Spider-Man: Far from Home

Spider-Man: Far from Home ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

And so we continue, and for now conclude, our journey through Peter Parker's fantastic MCU character arc with his second solo outing, Spider-Man: Far From Home.

When we last left Peter in Spider-Man: Homecoming, he had settled into the idea of being a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and not rushing into end-of-the-world scenarios..... only to be thrown into an end-of-the-world scenario in Avengers: Infinity War. He still thinks of himself as a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, but also recognizes the severity of the situation and is willing to step up to the extreme circumstances at least temporarily. After all, "you can't be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man if there's no neighborhood." Once Peter stops not feeling so good and comes back to life for the final battle of Avengers: Endgame, this description also more or less remains apt. However, the events of that film, namely the death of his mentor Tony Stark, leaves him at the beginning of Far From Home with the opposite problem he had in Homecoming.

Instead of feeling overconfident and arrogant, he now feels like he isn't good enough to take on large-scale superhero missions. In fact, he even schedules a break from Spider-Man stuff for himself through his school trip to Europe. His overall arc in this movie is learning that he doesn't need Tony Stark to be an Avenger. He is constantly dealing with self-doubt and wanting to shirk his own responsibilities as Spider-Man. He tries to weasel his way out of helping Nick Fury with the Elementals only for Fury to force him into the scenario anyway. Peter even doubts Tony's faith in him when he gives Edith to Mysterio, a mistake that he ultimately pays dearly for.

Speaking of Mysterio, the illusion sequence he creates represents the ultimate realization of Peter's self doubt. Throughout the sequence, he is thrown around helpless through scenarios beyond his control. Mysterio is constantly telling him that he's not good enough and that he shouldn't be Spider-Man. "You told me you were gonna run after that girl," "You're just a scared little kid in a sweatsuit," and perhaps most importantly, "Maybe if you had been good enough, Tony would still be alive." At this point, Peter is literally being chased by the remains of Iron Man, a perfect metaphor for Peter's doubt at being able to live up to his legacy. He can't help but feel pressured to be the next Iron Man when he's reminded of Tony everywhere he goes, but it's only when he realizes that he's not Iron Man and that he'll never be Iron Man and that's a good thing; that he is truly able to beat his self-doubt and regain the confidence he needs to be his own hero, his own Spider-Man. Peter even builds himself a spiffy new Spider-Man suit to really hammer the message home.

Most of Far From Home sees Peter trying to prioritize his normal life above his Spider-Man life, while Fury and much of the pressure around him is saying it should be the other way around. The lesson Peter learns by the end is that he needs to balance these two lives to get any joy out of either. When he reaches that balance by the end, he saves the world and gets to be with MJ, the girl of his dreams. There's a lot of reasons I adore this movie and the continuation and conclusion of Peter Parker's Infinity Saga character arc (the identity reveal in the post-credits scene clearly means some big changes for the state of his character going forward, so this effectively the end of Spider-Man's first chapter in the MCU), is but one of them.

P.S. Mysterio had his suit on during the post-credits, despite there supposedly being "No illusions" in that scene. Meaning Mysterio likely created an illusion of there being no illusions. Furthermore, that means Mysterio is most likely NOT actually dead. Sinister Six, anyone?

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