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SYFY WIRE reviews

Critics say Spider-Man: Far From Home is high-flying, fun MCU adventure

By Josh Weiss
Spider-Man Far From Home

If you were worried Marvel Studios couldn't possibly follow-up Avengers: Endgame with anything short of another all-out MCU crossover battle sequence, you can put those fears to rest.

According to the first reviews for Spider-Man: Far From Home (out July 2), the conclusion to Phase 3 is a fitting end to what Kevin Feige & Co. have built these last 10+ years. Moreover, the sequel to Homecoming (helmed by the returning Jon Watts) ramps up the scope, effects, emotion, and mind-blowing twists to an 11. As with the last MCU Spidey film, the film currently holds a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Trust us, we've seen the film as well and you DO NOT want to move a single inch (we'll know if you do) when the credits — aptly set to the Go-Go's' "Vacation" — start rolling.

Written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, Far From Home takes place after the events of Endgame and gives us an overview of what the planet is like post-Thanos. Still reeling from the death of his mentor and friend, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Peter Parker (Tom Holland) tries to forget his worries and hero duties during a summer Eurotrip with his high school classmates. His plans to relax and hook up with MJ (Zendaya) are shattered when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) show up, asking for his help in defeating a number of destructive beings based on the four elements.

Fury and Hill have also recruited the talents of a new and mysterious hero by the name of Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), who claims to be from an alternate version of Earth that was accessed by one of the Infinity Snaps. Is Beck, like the Skrulls in Captain Marvel, a clever subversion of the Marvel Comics or is he still a lying master of illusion as some have theorized? You'll just have to see the movie to find out!

Jacob Batalon (Ned), Marisa Tomei (Aunt May), Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan), Martin Starr (Mr. Harrington), J.B. Smoove (Mr. Dell), Tony Revolori (Flash Thompson), and Angourie Rice (Betty Brandt) round out the rest of the cast.

Put down those web-shooters for a minute and find out what critics are saying. However, we will warn you now that moderate spoilers abound below!

"Where does Far From Home fall on the scale of Spider-Man movies? It’s more urgent than the last one (and should be even bigger at the box office), with a richer sense of malevolence, and Holland’s kid-in-over-his-head hero — awkward and ingenuous, romantic and quicksilver — is alive inside in a way that Andrew Garfield’s Peter never was. Far From Home gets closer, in spirit, to the good Tobey Maguire films. (It has a kiss worthy of Spider-Man 2.) By the end, this Spider-Man really does find his tingle, yet coming after Into the Spider-Verse, with its swirling psychedelic imagery and identity games and trap doors of perception, Spider-Man: Far From Home touches all the bases of a conventional Marvel movie. It doesn’t take you out of this world. But it’s good enough to summon the kick — or maybe just the illusion — of consequence." -Owen Gleiberman, Variety

"Without a proper, full-on villain, as well as an adequate substitute for Robert Downey Jr.'s late, oft-mentioned Tony Stark, this comes off as a less-than-glittering star in the Marvel firmament. It pales even more when compared to Sony's wildly imaginative animated feature of last year, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse." -Todd McCarthy, THR

"Far From Home is a looser film than Homecoming, with pacing that occasionally slackens, and a compulsion to give every minor character time to shine. But it’s a light-footed summer blockbuster that faces Endgame’s monolithic legacy head-on, before leaving it behind to embark on its own globetrotting adventure. The MCU doesn’t need a new Iron Man yet — Far From Home proves it’s more than safe in the web-slinging hands of Spider-Man." -Ben Travis, Empire

"Far From Home is a movie about attempted escape that carefully reminds us, like a benevolent dictator, that there’s no such thing to be had. Sure, now that we’re post-Avengers, we may get smaller, lighter, more personal Marvel movies. But they’ll still all be in rote service to the grand design. Peter Parker might fall in love. He might graduate. He might grow up and leave Queens behind. But he’ll remain trapped in the same simulation. The great treadmill built by Marvel catches all in the end—even those allowed to swing, seemingly free, so high above it." -Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

"It's full of heart and good intentions, clever, quick-witted, and confident enough to pull off some really insane reveals. The parts that work, work very, very well. But the parts that don't tend to feel like stubbed toes or irritating splinters—not life-threatening by any means, but distracting at best and annoying at worst; like someone pulled the curtain back on the MCU's systemic shortcomings a little too far. Still, if you can ignore that—and it'll be easier for some than it is for others, depending on your relationship to the MCU at large--you're in for a pretty good ride." -Meg Downey, GameSpot

"The biggest drawback to Far From Home is that there are times where it seems like the story wants to move faster than the film will allow. What I mean by that is how some scenes run on just a little too long even though there’s nothing wrong with the content of the scene. It’s a movie that just needed a few nips and tucks to keep the momentum moving. There were times where I was checking my watch not because the film was bad, but because the pacing felt a little off and I was ready to get to the next story beat. It doesn’t cripple the movie, and it’s hard to argue against stuff like more MJ when the character becomes more layered and Zendaya is so good, but there are other scenes (can’t talk about ‘em!) where I was having fun but also wanted to move on." -Matt Goldberg, Collider

"I wound up liking Far From Home more than any Spider-Man film this decade. There’s something eerie in the constant assertion of Tony Stark as Tycoon SuperJesus — but don’t underestimate the shifty layers the final act ... The teen characters really are a blast, even if one key person skips a whole movie of development between scenes. Some digital effects look good in a boring way, and then some digital effects look bad in a perfect way. “Is this real?” asks Spider-Man. In the end, I really didn’t know. Far From Home succeeds with an unusual, troubling virtue: The best parts are the most fake." -Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly

"What’s most satisfying about Far From Home, though, is that by the end, you have a very solid sense of where things are going for Peter and the gang, and it all feels very right. Just don’t forget to stay for the movie’s two post-credits stingers. It feels like the first step towards something bigger." -Charles Pulliam-Moore, Gizmodo

"Overall, Spider-Man: Far From Home is a blast, though it does take some time to really get going ...  It's also able to hold its own as the first MCU movie following the epic Endgame, largely thanks to focusing in on one of the franchise's newer and more compelling lead characters ... While Spider-Man: Far From Home is a great superhero movie on its own, viewers may be more excited by what comes next - both for Peter Parker and the larger MCU." -Molly Freeman, ScreenRant

"Between its large ensemble and country-hopping script, this is a movie that very clearly required a lot to rein in, and Jon Watts deserves enormous credit for the work. Spider-Man: Homecoming seems tiny in comparison to the scope of this film, and it’s amazing to see how far he has come as a blockbuster filmmaker in such a small window of time. Particularly thanks to both Mysterio and the Elementals, this is an adventure packed with epic action (made with stunning visual effects), and Watts keeps you on the edge of your seat and smiling through each and every one." -Eric Eisenberg, CinemaBlend

"Spider-Man: Far From Home is a grandly entertaining culmination of the MCU wall-crawler’s journey so far. Thanks to its sweet humor, clever commentary, and deft action set-pieces, Far From Home continues the journey of Peter Parker from kid hero to Tony Stark’s successor. The movie sets the table for some exciting new adventures ahead for Spider-Man and his place in the MCU, pitting him against an antagonist who preys on Peter Parker’s fears and insecurities in ways no other villain quite has yet. Far From Home ends Marvel's Phase Three with a hell of a bang, thrusting its young wall-crawler into a treacherous but hugely exciting new era." -Jim Vejvoda, IGN