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Home Blog Popcorn Parent Movie Reviews Family Movie Review: Spider-Man: Far From Home (PG-13)

Family Movie Review: Spider-Man: Far From Home (PG-13)

 ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ is the funny, frothy pick-me-up needed after ‘Avengers: Endgame.’ 

Kernel Rating: 4 out of 5

MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 129 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 12+. This second film in the rebooted Spider-Man franchise picks up after the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ with the world still mourning for the characters who passed away in that preceding film. Otherwise, the film includes elements familiar to a movie about high school students: on a trip to Europe, teenagers attempt to drink and are refused; teenagers flirt, hold hands, kiss, and date, and a few adult characters are mentioned as being in a relationship or a “summer fling”; there is a joke about pornography and a subplot including a cellphone picture of Peter disrobing; and there is some cursing and insults. Also, per usual for the ‘Avengers’ films, there is a fair amount of violence, including battles between Spider-Man and elementals beings who can control earth, water, and fire; people are injured by citywide destruction, and there are many close-call situations where the teens could be hurt; a villain uses a gun; drones are used to hunt down and attack people; and there is a vision of a beloved character coming back to life as a zombie.

By Roxana Hadadi

The zippy humor and believable characters displayed in the first film of the rebooted Spider-Man franchise, “Homecoming,” continues with its sequel, “Far From Home.” Although this film feels like it was released a bit too soon after this spring’s “Avengers: Endgame,” and certain elements of its narrative seem rushed as a result of that, “Far From Home” is still funny, frothy, and fun.

“Far From Home” begins some months after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” (please note that spoilers for that film continue throughout this review), with the world still mourning the loss of the characters who died in “Endgame.” Peter Parker (Tom Holland) in particular feels slightly unmoored since the passing of his mentor and father figure Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), and everything is different now: Five years did pass for those who remained unsnapped, and so friendships and relationships are altered. Many people who were snapped are now homeless because other people who survived moved into their homes. And Peter, who wanted to simply be your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, finds himself pulled into various directions that feel overwhelming.

SpiderManFarFromHome1 ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewWhen the opportunity to take a trip to Europe as part of his school’s science club arises, Peter jumps at the chance—maybe he can finally tell MJ (Zendaya) how he feels about her, and maybe leaving New York City will help him move past his grief. But then Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), formerly of the Avengers-affiliated group SHIELD, shows up, and asks Peter for his help: The events of “Endgame” created a multiverse, and in another version of earth, Elementals figures who can control wind, water, earth, and fire wreak havoc. From that world is the scientist Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal), who is determined to stop the Elementals appearing now on this version of Earth. Can Spider-Man help the man the European news media have nicknamed “Mysterio”? Or will he ever get the opportunity to be a normal teenager?

Over “Captain America: Civil War,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and the “Avengers” films “Infinity War” and “Endgame,” we’ve seen Peter’s conflicted emotions regarding his status as a superhero, and “Far From Home” continues that narrative. It’s a familiar concept, but “Far From Home” keeps the story moving forward by progressing his relationship with MJ and acknowledging that Tony’s death has changed Peter in profound ways. There is humor throughout the film thanks to Peter’s best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and a girlfriend he acquires during the Europe trip, and Jackson shines here as Fury, who cannot comprehend that Parker would rather be a normal teenager than step up and help save the world.

New to the franchise, Gyllenhaal’s Beck follows in Michael Keaton’s footsteps as another excellent foe for Spider-Man. With his own relatable backstory and a clearly developed plan, Beck’s plotting adds real danger and depth to “Far From Home.” The visual style Mysterio brings to the film, with swirling plumes of green smoke and a malleable idea of reality, rival the excellent animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” in gorgeous ingenuity. But at the same time, the action scenes in the film’s third act last too long, and the movie would have benefited from 10 or so fewer minutes of those CGI-heavy sequences in particular.

A cynical (or highly logical) viewer could look upon “Far From Home” as simply an opportunity for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to position Parker as the new Stark, and the film certainly makes those connections between the characters. But “Far From Home” also continues “Homecoming’s” precedent of a lot of laughs and a compelling villain, and a few twists late in the film promise that this franchise will continue moving in unexpected directions. 

Interested in a previously released film? Read our reviews of films already showing in your local theater.  

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