Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

YES!!!

YES, YES, YES!!!

How Marvel can do this time after time while Sony, Fox and DC can’t get two in a row right is baffling.  And I know this was Sony, but it’s more than apparent they’re getting help when you consider their prior two Spider-Men series, to say nothing of…sigh…the Fantastic Four.

I’m not even going to talk about Tom Holland who is the most genuine, believable Peter Parker I’ve ever seen on screen.  That just needs to be understood at this point.  But it’s the rest of the cast where Spider-Man: Far From Home separates itself, even as a Marvel movie.

In all these other stand-alone movies you have the lead (be it Thor, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, the ensemble of the Guardians, etc.), but the people in their lives are little more than set decoration.  I would say an exception to this is Black Panther and maybe, maybe Ant Man, but to a far lesser extent.  Pepper Potts is great, but not essential.  In fact, Gwyneth Paltrow didn’t even remember being in Spider-Man: Homecoming.  Thor had Loki, but he was a villain in his own right and you never did really understand their rivalry.  Plus, you never saw the relationship between Thor and his mother and father develop beyond whatever needed to happen to progress the story.  Even Cap only had the memory of Peggy to cling to.  We know she had a huge, amazing life that I’m assuming Cap train-wrecked with his little time-traveling stunt, but we never see how her life contributes to his growth (two seasons of Peggy Carter proved she was a stand-alone character with or without him).  But this Spider-Man has Mae and Happy and Ned and MJ and Flash and a ton of other people who are consistently present and develop their own arcs independent of Peter, and then allow Peter to grow because of what’s going on with them.  Even with the death of Tony Stark we get to see Peter deal with loss without it having to be an origin story.  A perfect non-spoiler example is Peter having to swallow the fact that Happy and Mae are dating.  His reaction is perfect and it is exactly in character.  The same sort of moments occur for all the supporting cast.  These relationships aren’t cursory for Peter, they are central to who he is and they support his hero’s journey without minimizing their lives.  Marvel has built a universe, but Spider-Man is committed to world-building.

Also, Spider-Man: Far From Home finally gives us a great, enduring Marvel villain and it’s not Mysterio.  Without giving anything away it’s safe to say that Peter finds himself dealing with the same enemy that has essentially been at the core of every other Avenger’s movie:  the consequences of Tony Stark’s ego.

In this movie there’s a question of whether or not Peter needs to step up and take his place as a leader within the Avengers.  He is adamant that he is not ready (so much so that he is willing to let literally anybody take his place) and he may be right, but that’s why we love him.

Peter will always be a human being first, a superhero second and an Avenger third and that is what makes him so believable, even as we watch him jump off buildings and battle giant CGI monsters.  You will cheer for him and your heart will break for him.  This movie is that good.

Also, there is a mid-credits scene AND a post-credits scene.  Both will change the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever so make sure to stay until the very end.  The MCU’s fabled “Phase 3” may be over, but they have boldly declared they have more stories to tell and I cannot wait!

Spider-Man--Far From Home

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