Spider-Man: Far From Home begins from exactly where Endgame ends: deep into the structural and emotional understanding of Marvel’s cinematic universe. One of change, loss, grief, hammers, captains, hammer yielding captains, and a blip which has made half the population five years relatively older than the rest. As Marvel always has, it just couldn’t depart without an incentive of intrigue for the future. Endgame was the end, Far From Home is the reason why we don’t need a new beginning.
It is 2019 and Peter Parker is a more responsible and presumably a more mature teenager in the aftermath of the events of Homecoming and Endgame. Tony Stark’s death took on an evident emotional toll on him and questions on him being the natural successor arises. As almost every stand-alone movie in the MCU, our hero is the only available choice to counter a new and exponentially powerful opponent with not higher stakes than ever. Well, all that and being a teenager.
Jon Watts lay focus on the bigger picture more than ever. Far From Home was never going to establish Spider-Man as another Avenger, it was to establish him as the Avenger. The superhero motivation, which in Homecoming arose from trying to make a mark, now needed to come out of a sense of responsibility post a tenure of grief and relative quietness. Add to that a school trip, ‘a guy in the chair’ and a crush, the sum means Spider-Man – the movie – will never run out of agendas. That was supposed to be a good thing, just until it wasn’t.
Somehow, despite never getting predictable or boring, Far From Home never feels enough. Having gone through the end of an entire filmography, stand-alone movies or character establishments, for obvious reasons, can’t possibly have enough at stake. But that’s where the focus should ideally be on being definitive and precise. Not until the absolute end and by that I mean the post-credits and not the climax, do we have something that we know will trigger a response through the universe. Every action, sequence or action sequence previously was inconsequential.
In a bold attempt to possibly re-define or just as an experiment, the villain is unpredictable — Parker’s indecisiveness or the foolish lack of it is a character of its own. Our image of Spider-Man as the making-his-own-suit-and-constantly-lying-to-his-own-aunt boy from Queens might just need to be erased for now. It’s a sacrifice for the greater good, that of the Stark tech backed Avengers.
Thankfully, physics of a hero vs villain story wasn’t where Jon Watts invested his script, it was the off-battle banter and everything Ameican high school. Tom Holland as a 16-year-old fit and does everything from cute to sweet in his power for Spider-Man fans to get over Tobey Maguire. Jake Gyllenhaal does just enough as Mysterio, while Samuel L Jackson (Nick Fury) has an unusual off-day. Jacob Batalon (Ned) continues to be subtle x-factor meanwhile Zendaya Coleman (MJ) brings to life the most unusual fitting superhero’s girlfriend and also the most human part of the film.
Twenty three — that is how many films it takes to execute a cinematic universe which clicked with a billionaire surviving in a cave by making himself a suit. Gods, guardians, and spiders later — we know what Marvel can be trusted with, so much so, that despite almost ending humanity (among all the possible things really) innumerably and never indefinitely, it never feels like the end. We always wait for the credits to roll.