Spider-Man: Far From Home
The Marvel Cinematic Universe seems to have been too successful regarding even the studio’s own expectations. Producer Kevin Feige had mapped an initial story, revolving around the Infinity Stones and culminating in a battle with baddie Thanos. After 22 films, the initial roadmap is finished and the films keep making more money. It was thus curious what the following film after Avengers: Endgame (2019) would do to frame the future of the franchise. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) smartly rides on the momentum of Endgame while narrowing its focus to its main character.
Spider-Man: Far From Home sees Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland) adjusting to life in high school after Thanos’ snap from Avengers: Infinity War (2018), which made half the world disappear for five years, including Peter himself. As Peter goes on summer class trip with friends to Europe, he is confronted with a new threat in the Elementals: huge monsters in the shape of the different earthly elements. In the vacuum of heroes, after the events from Endgame, Peter must choose between forming a superhero team with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and new hero Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), or to continue being a teenager, hanging out with friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and pursuing his crush MJ (Zendaya).
Unlike many of the Marvel films in the MCU, the two Spider-Mans have successfully been able to tone down scope, focusing on Peter more than his superhero form. This has allowed for a significant amount of character development to occur, as well as world building regarding the life and relationships of Peter Parker. Tom Holland is able to exude his charm more since he doesn’t have to act through a mask and thus gives great charisma to the story and stakes in Far From Home. In its whole, this new Spider-Man franchise is becoming characteristic for its charm and high-school centricity, something that had made the comic version so unique, and that previous film iterations wanted to skip over.
Far From Home is able to widen it’s perspective of Peter and his place in the world; sometimes literally as he hops around European cities like James Bond. The film adds a level of maturity by choosing a very present social theme with people’s concepts of reality. In the era of today, sometimes dubbed as “era of post-truth,” it seems that everyone has his or her own versions of reality, with a collective truth fading further into a thing of the past. Far From Home centers this exploration with its main villain and his essential powers. Such motivations made such a manipulation seem incredibly plausible today, and therefore more engaging for viewers of this film.
In the end, Far From Home is smart to focus on Peter Parker’s story and his journey through high school. It makes the aspects of relatability much easier for viewers, giving the interludes of action much more weight and tangibility. Tom Holland’s charisma and the general charm of the story is enough to move from the tones and scope of Endgame and usher in a great Spider-sequel as well as a transitioning chapter for the most successful franchise in movie history.