In the wake of Avengers: Endgame, a grieving Peter Parker (Tom Holland) eagerly anticipates a much-needed school trip to Europe, where he plans to leave his suit behind and profess his love for crush MJ (Zendaya). However, Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) has other plans for the web-slinger as he ropes him into battling elemental creatures alongside new hero on the scene Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).
Spider-Man follows Mysterio’s lead as he claims to originate from the same dimension as the monsters and soon the pair strike up a budding friendship. Gyllenhaal is disarmingly nice as he manoeuvres his way into the role of mentor, seemingly filling the void left by Tony Stark.
Returning director Jon Watts capitalizes on the franchise’s greatest aspects; its endearing, adolescent hero, who’s caught between stepping up as a surviving Avenger and simply wanting to be a teenager. Rather than the earth-shattering stakes of Infinity War or Endgame, the film zeros in on Peter’s fragile frame of mind and naivety, resulting in mesmerising, kaleidoscopic imagery when it becomes apparent that appearances can be deceiving.
Far From Home is not only a refreshing change of pace but cements Holland as the ultimate Spider-Man (with Sam Raimi’s series remaining some of the better films overall), a feat Homecoming fell short of as it tried to rigidly fit the mould of a John Hughes’ movie.
There’s also an authenticity to Peter’s family and friendships this time around. Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) is featured a little more and proceeds to embarrass in the way only family can, describing his spidey senses as the “Peter tingle”. While best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) amusingly finds love with classmate Betty (The Nice Guy’s Angourie Rice) and becomes an unappreciated relationship guru in the process.
Peter and MJ’s blossoming romance is also genuinely adorable and is only slightly marred by a major development being divulged in the film’s trailer. While it’s understandable to want to skip over well-treaded territory from previous Spider-Man incarnations (much like the omission Uncle Ben’s fate), an unspoilt, short and sweet revelation would have added to the pair’s charm.
Only time will tell if Marvel can ever top the colossal scale of Endgame and while their recently announced list of future releases is somewhat daunting, the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe appears to be safe in Spider-Man’s hands.