'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Reviews: Early Reactions Say It's Incredible
The first Marvel film to follow Avengers: Endgame is Spider-Man: Far From Home, and even though Peter Parker’s next solo adventure won’t be out in theaters until July 2, the earliest reviews have hit social media to reveal that Far From Home has done something amazing by delivering a story able to follow one of the biggest cinematic events of all time.
How could a story about just Spider-Man follow the spectacle that is Avengers: Endgame? This is the chief question on everyone’s mind, but if all these early reviews are any indication, then Far From Home does this by pulling the webslinger back to Earth to focus on what makes Peter Parker such a grounded character. Spider-Man: Homecoming felt like a John Hughes coming-of-age story, and, in many ways, it seems like its direct sequel follows suit.
Fandango managing editor Erik Davis called Far From Home a “brilliant ground-level look at Spidey’s world & how events of Avengers: Endgame impacted everyday life.”
Peter turned to ash five years ago in this universe, along with half of the Earth’s population. How do these students deal with that?
There’s no way that Far From Home could get away with not addressing the Snap directly, and it sounds like the film might do that in an honest way by infusing those apocalyptic stakes with some levity.
Sean O’Connell, managing director of CinemaBlend, straight-up called Far From Home “jaw dropping.”
We assume that the first half is all about Peter’s vacation with his friends as the story explores innocent high school romances like the one emerging between Peter and MJ. The second half must be when Peter gets thrust into the war against the Elementals, working with Nick Fury and the new Mysterio, so we get “the BEST Spidey action ever.” This probably involves Spidey using his new suits, like the black stealth suit, to fight the new creatures across Europe.
We doubt, however, that the ending is genuinely “SHOCKING.” All of the trailers and early clips make it seem like Mysterio is a noble hero from an alternate timeline, but given what we know about this character from the comics, we think the “shocking” twist involves the surprise that he’s a secret villain. The real Shocker (pun intended, though, would be if this is not the case.
Not enough critics out there are comparing Spider-Man: Far From Home to Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man 2, which I think will live forever as one of the greatest superhero films of all time. But Kevin McCarthy was bold enough to say “Far From Home has dethroned Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2.
I’m skeptical that Far From Home can top Spider-Man 2, but this will be my reaction if it’s true.
What’s the spoiler that this critic loves so much?
We’re guessing it has something to do with the aforementioned twist with Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio character. Think about how innocent Peter Parker is. Tony Stark showed up in his apartment one day and basically blackmailed him into fighting Captain America, and he just went along with it because “Gosh, Mr. Stark. You’re so famous!”
When Quentin Beck shows up claiming to be a valiant hero from an alternate reality, he probably seems really awesome. On an emotional level, he might feel Peter’s potential replacement mentor after Tony Stark’s death. But if the big twist at the end is that Peter’s trust was misplaced, and that Mysterio is a villain trying to dupe everyone, then that would force Peter to do some serious growing up.
That’s the exact type of thing this character needs right now.
Ultimately, it seems like Far From Home did the impossible as a worthy follow-up to Avengers: Endgame. Matt Singer, editor-in-chief of ScreenCrush, notes that, in addition to following both Infinity War and Endgame, this latest Spidey film also had to contend with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Singer recognizes a fundamental aspect of Peter Parker’s character, of a person “caught between what he wants and what responsibility demands.” Even as Spider-Man joins the Avengers, he’ll always be a “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man” first and foremost. In every Spider-Man story, Peter Parker struggles to balance the pressures of real life with his duties as a hero.
The whole “with great power comes great responsibility” Spider-Man mantra arose when Peter didn’t use his powers to do good, and his Uncle Ben died as a result. Peter wants to just be a normal kid, to have fun with his friends, to find love. Far From Home focuses on these desires even more than Homecoming when he embarks on this vacation, hoping he might get a break from his superhero obligations.
All the best Spider-Man stories explore how even when Peter wants that kind of freedom more than anything else, he’ll always be the Spider-Man that people need. And it looks like Far From Home won’t be any different.
Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters on July 2, 2019.