A Brief History
On July 2, 2019, the latest Marvel superhero movie, Spider-Man: Far From Home, makes its debut across the United States. Having already premiered in Hollywood, the 27th film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe already holds an incredible 91% approval rating on critical aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. (Audience scores are not yet available as of the writing of this review.) Acting performances and directing are all spot on, and of course, the special effects are indeed something special. Lots of eye candy for fans of bright, colorful eye-popping effects.
Once again starring Tom Holland as the eponymous Spider-Man/Peter Parker, and the fetching Zendaya as love interest MJ, the 2 central stars are surrounded with a galaxy of Hollywood A-Listers such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, Marisa Tomei and Jon Favereaux. JB Smoove and Martin Starr provide comic relief as the well meaning but clueless teachers/chaperones on a class trip to Europe.
It is because of this class trip, with itinerary machinations behind the scenes, that bring Parker/Spider-Man to Europe where he must represent the Avengers in an epic quest to save the world, all while keeping his secret identity secret from his classmates. Teenager Peter just wants to be a high school kid on a fun vacation trip with his classmates, but saving the world intervenes whether the young superhero likes it or not.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is the 5th film in which Tom Holland appears as a teen Spider-Man. Merely looking at him in a photograph belies the latent superhero under the child exterior. A closer look reveals an athletic build and a certain determination worthy of being Spider-Man. The awkward teen quickly transforms into a serious protector of the innocent and a tenacious fighter. Tom Holland is now 23 years old, but in the movie he plays a convincing high schooler. (By the way, what is with all these British actors playing red-blooded American characters? Television and movies are absolutely flooded with great British and Commonwealth actors that play the typical American to a “T.” Amazing!) Zendaya, now age 22, also plays a convincing high schooler, and a particularly resilient and confident one as well. The 2 main stars are well paired in their roles, Peter as an awkward and hesitant kid and MJ as a confident and capable young woman, with just enough of a girlish side to keep her character simpatico.
Despite the deadly serious nature of saving the World, there are the requisite funny lines and situations that worked well enough that our advance screening audience consisting primarily of critics often laughed out loud. Plenty of oohs and aahs as well. Oh, and be sure to stay for the mid-credit and post credit scenes. In fact, even the credits are more entertaining than some films we have seen! The 129 minute running time, including staying for the credits, goes by much faster than it sounds in print. The big budget of $160 million is well in evidence by the star-studded cast and the spectacular effects, as well as on location filming all over the globe.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is part of the bigger story of the Avengers and the mythology surrounding their story. The film neatly sets up the next step in the movie franchise and is consistent with what has come before. Rated “PG-13” for relentless violence, there is no gore or horror movie like scenes, although there is death and destruction. We think almost all kids could handle the movie just fine, especially any kids that have seen any of the other Marvel movies. We strongly recommend this film for all Marvel, Avengers, and comic book superhero fans!
Questions for Students (and others): Who is your favorite actor that plays Spider-Man? Who is your favorite Marvel Superhero? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Caitlin, Mariah. Random Marvel Movie Facts: 352 Fun Facts and Secret Trivia from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Independently published, 2017.
Roussos, Eleni. Spider-Man: Far From Home – The Art of the Movie. Marvel, 2019.
Titan. Spider-Man: Far From Home The Official Movie Special. Titan Comics, 2019.
The featured image in this article, a scaled-down, low-resolution image of a poster by Sony Pictures for Spider-Man: Far From Home, is used in an article intended for educational purposes to provide critical commentary on the film in question per fair use under the copyright law of the United States.