Spider-Man’s second solo outing takes him far from home on a school trip to Europe, and despite a creaky first half that plods along too slowly, the final product is a thrilling ride with plenty of laughs.
After helping to save the world in Avengers: Endgame, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is looking to relax as a normal teenager on a science trip to Europe with his classmates, including best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon). Though he has an elaborate seven-step plan to confess his love to MJ (Zendaya), fate intervenes in the form of gigantic elemental monsters with the power of fire and air that must be stopped. With the help of Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal), a mysterious superpowered soldier from another world, Peter must decide if he’s ready to be more than just a friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.
Holland is perfect for the role of Spider-Man as he continues his trademark sweet yet awkward take on the teenage superhero. Even though Spider-Man just wants a break from the superhero life, his inherent goodness won’t let him stand by if innocent people are going to be hurt, even if he has to sacrifice his own happiness to save others. Holland convincingly delivers the performance of a kid caught between two paths struggling to make the right choice.
Unfortunately, the pacing of the movie is not as good. The first half takes some time to get rolling and jumps around to many background scenes to set up the story. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) make appearances to further the plot, but don’t seem very engaged.
Luckily, the romantic subplot with MJ is great because Holland and Zendaya’s chemistry is fantastic. It also helps that Zendaya’s character was deliberately not written as just a typical helpless damsel in distress.
Gyllenhaal’s performance is also nice, and appropriate for the character of Beck as a world-weary superhero who’s seen it all before (albeit in another universe). The action scenes are also worthy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe name, especially a climactic fight scene in the second half.
Overall, Spider-Man: Far From Home is a worthwhile summer blockbuster that will leave fans satisfied and eager for the next Marvel film. Even though it takes time to get going, the punchy dialogue, humourous subplots and spectacular action will keep you far from bored.