A country-hopping adventure sequel that maintains its predecessor’s light, comedic tone, Far From Home also serves as kind of a mirror opposite to Homecoming thematically. In that film Peter Parker spent much of his energy trying to impress Tony Stark and become an Avenger. This time, especially in the wake of the cataclysmic events of the last two Avengers films, Peter (Tom Holland) wants to get as far away from the superhero life as he can, enjoy his class trip through Europe, and find a perfect, romantic way to confess his feelings to his friend M.J. (Zendaya). However, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and otherworldly threats to humanity have different plans for the web-slinging young hero. Gigantic elemental monsters from another dimension are wreaking havoc across the continent, and a new super powered being, Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), has chased them to our world, recruiting Spider-Man and possibly filling the mentor role recently vacated by Iron Man.
Just like Homecoming, Far From Home balances jaw-dropping spectacle with solid character work and a situation that ties into our hero’s development from teen into grownup. Holland again does a perfect job of portraying the beloved, iconic hero. And as objects of affection go, Zendaya is aces, making M.J. a morbid, weird, unglamorous flesh-and-blood person with boatloads of personality. Lastly, Gyllenhaal (who, once upon a time, came extremely close to playing Spidey himself) is perfectly cast as the enigmatic, visually unique Mysterio.
Should you stay through the closing credits? Of course you should. This film has a ton of tricks up its sleeve and you want to go into this film as blindly as possible. It’s a cool summer blast of a crowd-pleaser.