Spider-Man: Far From Home First Reviews: The Hilarious, Twisty, Action-Packed Adventure the World Needed After Endgame

Critics say Far From Home is a swinging delight, expanding the MCU world and giving us great performances from Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Zendaya.

by | June 27, 2019 | Comments

Spider-Man: Far From Home has a lot on its shoulders. Not only does it need to satisfy as a follow-up to the well-received Spider-Man: Homecoming (Certified Fresh at 92%) but also serve as a sequel to this year’s hugely successful Avengers: Endgame (Certified Fresh at 94%). Plus, it’s only been about six months since the release of another acclaimed Spider-Man movie, the Oscar-winning animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Fortunately, such responsibility is met with great power, according to critics.

This movie takes Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/Spidey on a European field trip and sees him reluctantly fighting elemental monsters alongside Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and a mysterious new hero played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Reviews of Far From Home so far highlight its cast, its action, and how it offers a light epilogue to the events of Endgame. The teen comedy stuff may still the best part, but for most it’s yet another essential entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Here’s what critics are saying about Spider-Man: Far From Home:

Is this the movie we needed right after Avengers: Endgame?

Far From Home serves as a vital comic palette cleanser following the latest gargantuan Avengers outing.” – Jordan Farley, Total Film/GamesRadar

“It’s a hopeful tone, which, after the last two Avengers movies, is very welcome.” – Mike Ryan, Uproxx

“[It’s] so important to making the MCU feel fleshed-out and realized and providing real stakes by reminding us how an average person would react to these world-changing events.” – Matt Goldberg, Collider

“It more than earns the consideration of being the best solo Marvel film in its third phase.” – Khal Davenport, Complex

“This comes off as a less-than-glittering star in the Marvel firmament.” – Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

“[It] only exists to clean up the cataclysmic mess that Avengers: Endgame left behind…as a stand-alone story it’s a hollow exercise in going through the motions.”- David Ehrlich, IndieWire

© Columbia Pictures / © Marvel
(Photo by © Columbia Pictures / © Marvel )

How does it compare to other Spider-Man movies?

“It might just be my favorite live-action Spider-Man film to-date.” – Dorian Parks, Geeks of Color

“Not to take anything away from Spider-Man: Homecoming, but Far from Home improves on it in a number of ways.” – Travis Hopson, Punch Drunk Critics

“While I felt Homecoming did not always live up to the Spider-Man brand in the sense of its predecessors, Far From Home does.” – Sheraz Farooqi, ComicBook Debate

Far From Home gets closer, in spirit, to the good Tobey Maguire films. (It has a kiss worthy of Spider-Man 2.)” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

Far From Home is a worthy companion to the psychedelia of Into the Spider-Verse.” – Matt Patches, Polygon

“A maddening failure when compared to the remarkable artistry of Into the Spider-Verse or the raw pathos of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

Spider-Man: Far From Home
(Photo by JoJo Whilden / © Columbia Pictures / © Marvel )

What if we’re just here for some teen romance?

“Peter and MJ’s chemistry is where the real heart of the movie lies…it subtly tells a love story between the two characters which I thought it was handled beautifully.” – Dorian Parks, Geeks of Color

“Zendaya and Holland have such amazing chemistry on both a friendship and romantic level…a balanced but exciting pair to see on screen.” – Kate Sánchez , But Why Tho? A Geek Communit

“The bits between Peter and MJ are still where the movie is at its best, but their screen-time together is far too limited.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

Is Tom Holland getting better and better at playing Spider-Man?

“Holland delivered an exceptional performance by delivering such a wide range of emotions…I believe this is his strongest performance yet.” – Dorian Parks, Geeks of Color

“Based on his performance in Far From Home, I’m gonna need him [in the role] for as long as possible.” Khal Davenport, Complex

© Columbia Pictures / © Marvel
(Photo by © Columbia Pictures / © Marvel )

How is Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio?

“Gyllenhaal Gyllenhaals all over Far From Home, adding a potentially illegal amount of charm to every single line reading and gesture.” – Alexis Nedd, Mashable

“The wild energy he pumps into Beck is of the same infectious variety that you find in Okja, Southpaw, or Jarhead.” – Brad Gullickson, Film School Rejects

“Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck is a shifting enigma of a character that the actor happily infuses with his unnerving bizarro energy seen in films like Nightcrawler and Velvet Buzzsaw, albeit slightly toned down.” – Hoai-Tran Bui, Slashfilm

“I didn’t think Mysterio was a character that could be pulled off properly in a movie. As it turns out, if you hire a fantastic actor and let a director who understands Mysterio take a crack at it, it’s very possible.” – Mike Ryan, Uproxx

How is the writing?

Spider-Man Far From Home turns all its intelligent themes into a triumphant story of self-belief for Peter Parker.” – Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist

“One must be content with enjoying the passing wit of the screenplay by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, which is agreeable if hardly dazzling.” – Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

“Most of the MCU has required people to suspend disbelief, but this installment demands that viewers expel it entirely; the amount of brain-checking labor is off-the-charts absurd.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

© Columbia Pictures / © Marvel
(Photo by © Columbia Pictures / © Marvel )

Is it funny?

“The film is far funnier than anticipated, though the comedy doesn’t always land, but the sheer number of jokes loaded into Far From Home is impressive.” – Hoai-Tran Bui, Slashfilm

“If Homecoming emulated John Hughes’ high school comedies, Far From Home much more accurately duplicates the silliness of one of Hughes’ Vacation flicks.” – David Crow, Den of Geek

So the movie works best when it’s not a superhero action movie?

“If there weren’t twists and turns and acrobatic thrills ballooning the movie to blockbuster status, the cast would still make Far From Home a joy.” – Matt Patches, Polygon

“It’s a pleasant and lovely coming-of-age story first, a wild, funny, and cleverly executed comic book story second…in the blending of Peter Parker’s internal and external conflicts, it’s a home run.” – Hoai-Tran Bui, Slashfilm

© Columbia Pictures / © Marvel
(Photo by © Columbia Pictures / © Marvel )

Is there also some great action, though?

“The action has received a serious upgrade…the final battle may be the best we’ve seen in a Spider-Man movie.” – Travis Hopson, Punch Drunk Critics

“The best action sequences in a non-animated Spider-Man movie since Spider-Man 2.” – David Crow, Den of Geek

“The action felt very fluid, web-swinging was exhilarating and certain sequences in the third act were jaw droopingly awesome for any Spidey fan.” – Sheraz Farooqi, ComicBook Debate

“The action is an improvement on the last entry, but it still amounts to little more than the typical light show. It delivers on that ingredient, but it’s not why we’re here.” – Brad Gullickson, Film School Rejects

“The acrobatic action here lacks the intimacy and personal stakes vital for superhero scraps to register as anything other than eye candy in this era of anything-goes CGI.” – Jordan Farley, Total Film/GamesRadar

How about the special effects?

“Visually speaking, the effects are quite stunning.” – Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the Movies

“Sand, water, and fire creatures slinging CG elements across cityscapes sounds like a set-piece philosophy from 2004, but 15 years of technological improvement goes a long way.” – Matt Patches, Polygon

“Many have criticized Marvel films for nearly always ending in a smashy CGI-laden fight…but this smashy, CGI-laden villain fight is one of the absolute best ever produced in the series.” – Alexis Nedd, Mashable

“Some instances of web-slinging or close-ups leaves Spidey feeling more like Play-dough-man and less the extremely athletic hero that he is.” – Kate Sánchez , But Why Tho? A Geek Community

© Columbia Pictures / © Marvel
(Photo by © Columbia Pictures / © Marvel )

Are there any major gripes?

“There are a few moments where the editing felt jarring and the pacing felt uneven…tone inconsistency and an over reliance on comedy in places of drama seemed off as well.” – Sheraz Farooqi, ComicBook Debate

“It is predictable and ultimately the same Spider-Man story from his first solo, but this time in Europe and with a different mentor.” – Kate Sánchez , But Why Tho? A Geek Community

Does the movie set us up for more Spidey in the MCU?

Far From Home makes sure audiences know who Phase 4’s most important character is.” – Sheraz Farooqi, ComicBook Debate

“My money is on Spider-Man being the savior of the MCU.” – Khal Davenport, Complex

“I can’t imagine the future of the MCU without this character…I too hope Spider-Man is the new Iron Man. It means we’ll get over a decade’s worth of movies with him.” – Matt Goldberg, Collider

“Tony and co. may be gone, but the future of the MCU is in safe hands.” – Jordan Farley, Total Film/GamesRadar

© Columbia Pictures / © Marvel
(Photo by © Columbia Pictures / © Marvel )

Should we stay after the credits?

“Its mid and post credits scenes are some of the most gratifying since The Avengers.” – Alexis Nedd, Mashable

“It’s never a good sign when both of a film’s most significant plot points are buried in the closing credits.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

Spider-Man: Far From Home opens in theaters Jul 2, 2019. 

Adjusted Score: 109.718%
Critics Consensus: A breezily unpredictable blend of teen romance and superhero action, Spider-Man: Far from Home stylishly sets the stage for the next era of the MCU.
Synopsis: Peter Parker returns in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the next chapter of the Spider-Man: Homecoming series! Our friendly neighborhood Super... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

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