Spider-Man: Far From Home: As Good As It Should Be

By | August 23, 2021
Far from Home

Far from Home Is Unsurprisingly Really Excellent

Finally, I got to see Spider-Man: Far from Home after nearly two years. It had been a missing piece in my viewing of the MCU—and I’d been really wanting to see it that entire time. So, with that in mind, I’ll try to not let my honestly overloaded anticipation affect my perception of what’s ultimately just another Marvel movie.

But though that might sound dismissive, it’s not even close. Marvel is consistently excellent, more than most media franchises, and their coverage and adaptation of Spider-Man has been routinely impressive. Especially considering they had to incorporate him into a world that wasn’t built with teen superheroes in mind. 

Spider-Man Fitting In This Way Is Truly Miraculous

Frankly, Spider-Man conceptually is quite quaint in a film universe with multiple world-ending threats. We’ve had war and genocide and shape-shifting aliens already. Therefore, I think it was a perfect idea to use this series as the coming-of-age, teenage drama part of the universe.

And what’s remarkable is that they do the subgenre better than most. I think I’m not alone in saying I’ve grown somewhat weary of the prom stories, the “do they like me or not” drama that’s stock in trade of more than just the film industry, but every form of media. But, somehow, someway, they made it fresh even without the “twist” of hidden powers. And Tom Holland is the glue of it—the only reason it works. His acting strikes the perfect balance of naïve, “adorkable,” and yet brilliant that marks the appeal of Spider-Man and makes you care about his low-scale anxieties and high-drama exploits in equal measure. The people in charge of casting Marvel movies are geniuses, full stop.

Far from Home

Tom Holland Has Cemented Himself As Our Peter

But you may have noticed most of what I’ve said so far is true of both Homecoming and Far from Home. It’s also probably going to be true of No Way Home. So, why is this film good as itself?

Two major draws make it a worthy addition: a great villain and a great love story. 

Let’s start with the first. I adore this trend of highlighting lesser-known villains like Shocker, Vulture, and now Mysterio. A lot of Spider-Man’s villains are technology-based, so they can be folded into the science fiction universe with little issue. Admittedly, Mysterio being one of Tony’s jilted employees is phenomenally overdone, but it ties Mysterio into Peter’s arc, so I’m willing to roll with it. 

Mysterio and Spider-Man Are Polar Opposites Here

I’m also more forgiving because you can buy him as a threat. He even tricked me during certain scenes. I’ll admit that there are maybe too many instances of CGI nightmares and they had to neuter Peter’s Spider-Sense for Mysterio to be a threat. But Mysterio manages to be charismatic, believable, and unique. And that’s good enough for me. Jake Gyllenhaal deserves some serious praise.  

Far from Home

Far From Home Delivers With Its Choice of Villian

This brings me around to the other actor doing a stellar job. Zendaya is killing it as MJ. It’s worth re-watching the movie just to see the subtle character work she’s doing with her facial expressions. You believe that she’s both a badass and has a fragile, uncertain emotional core. Her romance with Peter feels true to life, especially for teenagers dealing with high-stakes adventure and overwhelming hormones. It’s awkward and coy but sweet, and I hope we get more of it in the next film. 

Far from Home Should Keep The Shippers Happy

I would say I hope we get all the good from this film again—but that’s unnecessary. I’m sure we will. It’s got sprinkles of comedy that’s broadly funny and not too edgy. Action scenes that are inventive and energizing in their kinetic flow. The characters are great, varied, and increasingly inclusive. 

It might be standard Marvel, but it’s a gold standard. Far from Home simply reinforces that proven fact. If you haven’t seen it, don’t wait as long as I did.

Far from Home

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