‘Bitch, please, you’ve been to space!’
Following up from the epic that was Endgame is a hard task and a hard act to follow. The latest Marvel movie, and the second solo outing for Spider-man (which, if you’re counting, is the third ‘second’ Spider-man film in 16 years…) is a solid addition. Unsurprisingly the stakes are much lower but the entertainment level is comfortably high.
Set fairly soon after the events of Endgame (I’ll be intentionally vague in this review just in case) the film neatly and rather humorously answers some of the questions that fans have been pondering. This youthful and comical-leaning tone is retained throughout, although there’s just enough to get fraught over.
Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and his classmates are on their Summer holidays travelling Europe, supposedly for ‘science’ reasons. Martin Starr provides a scene-stealing performance as the teacher leading the trip. The fact that we are both teachers and his surname is similar to my own (he’s Mr Harrington, I’m Miss Harrison) may have added a extra layer of trauma for me, watching the teens in his care get up to all sorts and in all manner of dangerous situations. (Won’t someone think of the children?!? Or, at the very least, the paperwork…?) This may have also impacted on my ability to suspend disbelief whilst watching, although maybe the film just requires that from all audience members as we watch this nonsensical – if not highly unpractical – MacGuffin of a school trip take place.
Whilst in Europe, Peter’s talents are requested by Nick Fury (a reliably great performance from Samuel L Jackson) and newly arrived superhero Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). Gyllenhaal is a great addition to proceedings, providing an Okja level performance which adds to the sorbet-quality of the film. This is a respite to what has gone on before, balm to the emotional onslaught that was Endgame. Whilst the end result here isn’t the most memorable of Marvel movies, it certainly has it’s moments. For one thing, it will never not be a joy to watch Holland in the role – and he has a high calibre ensemble to bounce around with.
A special mention also has to go for the best usage yet of the truly underrated Ramones track ‘I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend’ (listen here – I demand you!) It’s a song that is as full of charm and sweetness as the film it appears in.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is in UK cinema now.