Erik Jimenez/Staff Writer
I’d like to ask for a retraction of a review please.
Last year, I harshly judged the film “Venom” for its perceived task of accomplishing what Sony Pictures will to steal the Spider-Man character Marvel has developed over the last three years, and place him into their developing “Venomverse” with Marvel already doing all the heavy lifting and unironically attaching that part to the overall MCU like a parasite.
Thankfully, despite the film’s success, Sony and everyone involved have no plans to add that version of Spider-Man anytime soon. “Spider-Man: Far from Home” is an example of the creative fun we would lose if that were to happen.
“Far from Home” starts off where “Avengers: Endgame” left off at: With Peter Parker (Tom Holland) still mourning the death of Tony Stark, constantly seeing his visage in memorials everywhere and being asked by the press whether or not Spider-Man will step up to the mantle. Seeing a two-week European vacation organized by his school as the best way to escape his responsibilities and focus on pursuing a relationship with classmates ‘MJ’ (Zendaya), his plans backfire as Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) hijacks his trip and has him team up with interdimensional superhero Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) to stop the Elementals–powerful beings of Earth, Air, Fire and Water who wish to destroy our world after destroying Beck’s.
“Far from Home” is arguably the most unique live-action feature to star the character as it literally uproot him from his New York City roaming grounds and places him in areas we never seen him in before. And the action scenes stand out for that. From the canals of Venice to the climax on London’s Tower Bridge, the film knows how to create inventive shots and dynamic move sets for the webslinger to take advantage of his environment. The cinematography is also beautiful, particularly in the scenes taking place in the Netherlands.
The acting is also top notch. Holland is charming as Peter continuing to grow into his own as the high-school version of Peter Parker. His chemistry with Zendaya’s MJ is unique and helps us accept Zendaya’s take of the character as her own. Sam Jackson fits back into the role of Nick Fury like a glove and Gyllenhaal’s character is somewhat of a stoic bore early on in the picture but a twist about halfway through allows him to turn the charm up and become an interesting role for the underrated actor.
The other classmates of Peter bring some of the witty high school banter that made the previous entry “Homecoming” so funny along on the trip and the actors commit themselves into their roles that it is surprising to find out that most of them are not teenagers. J.B. Smooth and Martin Starr shine as the class’s chaperones and have some great lines about the situations they encounter and Jon Favreau has a nice extended cameo reprising the role of Happy Hogan, Tony Stark’s former bodyguard.
Overall, “Spider-Man: Far from Home” is another solid entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and perfect summer entertainment for those looking to beat the heat. And if the post credits scenes in the film show, Marvel Studio’s third Spider-Man film will be they’re most risk-taking yet.