Spider-Man: Far From Home

Spider-Man: Far From Home ★★★

Film 23/23

"Don't ever apologise for being the smartest one in the room."

This is how Phase Three ends. Not with a bang, but with the Comic Sans font.

Far From Home doubles down on a lot of the problems that plagued Homecoming. The Iron Man connection looms large: Tony's absence is a major theme, and both main villains (Vulture, Mysterio) have now been disgruntled former Stark employees. Is Spidey not allowed to have his own rogues gallery? Also, the class thing is still a big deal. Instead of struggling to pay his bills, Peter Parker is treated to an all expenses paid holiday around Europe, while also secretly carrying superhero tech worth millions. That's weird.

Some things are kind of fun. Zendaya gets more to do this time, and the connection between her and Tom Holland is genuinely sweet. Jon Favreau and Marisa Tomei provide decent support. The action is mostly exciting, and there are some suitably trippy visuals during the Mysterio scenes. Plus, Jake Gyllenhaal is always reliable.

Yet as a ride or die Spider-Man fan, I feel a little cheated. The day before I saw Far From Home, I re-watched Spider-Man 2. And if you've read my recent review, you'll know that I absolutely adore it. All five previous Spider-Man flicks - even seriously flawed ones like Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - had big personalities and a sense of individuality. They made Peter Parker the star, and every adventure felt like a big deal.

With Homecoming, and especially Far From Home, they come across as just another MCU joint. Less of a blockbuster movie, and more akin to an episode of a long-running TV show. They're fine, but they're also bland. Bordering on disposable. Maybe that's why I also loved Into the Spider-Verse. Because it reminded me of what was so special about Spider-Man in the first place.

I guess we'll see what the future holds, eh? Bring on Phase Four I say. I'm sure some of it will be to my liking.

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