Critics agree that “Spider-Man: Far From Home” swings into summer vacation with a much lighter touch than “Avengers: Endgame,” the last film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In early reviews Thursday, most critics agreed that “Far From Home,” from Sony Pictures and Marvel, was a welcome reprieve from the recent “Avengers” intensity. Many praised Jake Gyllenhaal for his role as a new character named Mysterio.
“Returning writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers and director Jon Watts have carved out a space for Spider-Man that feels uniquely breezy and charming while still fitting the larger structure of the Marvel movies,” TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde writes in his review.
“‘Far From Home’ is as much a palate cleanser as it is a coda to the climactic ‘Endgame,’ grappling with the legacy left by Tony Stark/Iron Man by way of a classic Spider-Man identity crisis,” Hoai-Tran Bui of SlashFilm writes in her review.
Critics also discussed how the opening of the film provided a tongue-in-cheek explanation for how life has changed since Thanos’ snap in “Avengers: Infinity War” and the events of “Avengers: Endgame.”
“All of these questions are answered pretty early on in a lighthearted tone that equals those Captain America PSAs from ‘Homecoming’ that social media still loves so much,” Uproxx’s Mike Ryan writes in his review. “Yes, ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ was kind of dealt a, let’s say, complicated hand and turned it into something funny and clever.”
Spoilers prevented many critics from discussing Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio in too much detail, but David Sims of The Atlantic led off his review by saying that Gyllenhaal is the film’s breakout star.
Not every critic was won over.
“While no one goes to a superhero movie expecting documentary realism, ‘Far From Home’ is hard to swallow even by the standards of a franchise in which one of the major characters is a space raccoon who sends emails to Scarlett Johansson,” David Ehrlich of Indiewire writes. “Most of the MCU has required people to suspend disbelief, but this installment demands that viewers expel it entirely; the amount of brain-checking labor is off-the-charts absurd, and bleeds into some of the later fight scenes in a way that strips them of their most basic visual pleasures and detracts from their narrative purpose.”
Check out more reactions to the film below. “Spider-Man: Far From Home” opens in theaters on July 2.
Alonso Duralde, TheWrap
But with a focus on character-based comedy, coming-of-age anxieties, and super-battles that exist in very specific geographical locations, returning writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers and director Jon Watts have carved out a space for Spider-Man that feels uniquely breezy and charming while still fitting the larger structure of the Marvel movies. (They even play with that structure, and with deep cuts from the MCU’s history, in very clever ways.)
David Ehlrich, Indiewire
As a standalone story, however — another predictable call to action about the burdens of growing up and becoming the person that others believe you can be — it’s a hollow exercise in going through the motions. Fans might be appeased by a successful bunt in a long summer of disgraceful strike-outs, but this is still a maddening failure when compared to the remarkable artistry of “Into the Spider-Verse” or the raw pathos of Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 2.”
Hoai-Tran Bui, /Film
Everything about the follow-up to the delightful 2017 “Spider-Man: Homecoming” lives up to the web-slinger’s “friendly” moniker, delivering an incredibly fun, frequently funny, and sweet sojourn from the soul-crushing grief of April’s “Avengers: Endgame.” But Far From Home is as much a palate cleanser as it is a coda to the climactic “Endgame,” grappling with the legacy left by Tony Stark/Iron Man by way of a classic Spider-Man identity crisis.
David Sims, The Atlantic
The biggest achievement of all remains that Marvel managed to introduce Spider-Man into its crowded universe just a few years after he’d been played by Maguire and Andrew Garfield in five movies and make him feel fresh. Keeping these films as relatively low-scale high-school capers (buoyed by Marvel’s fat visual-effects budget) has kept Holland’s hesitant, kindhearted Spider-Man from seeming like a fatuous flagship star. These movies still allow Peter to make mistakes, to bumble into heroism rather than boldly go, and to give his chemistry with MJ some time to properly simmer; Marvel movies are naturally episodic, but for Spider-Man that path is at least somewhat distinctive. “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is a bouncy addition to a bulging franchise, with just enough fringe zaniness to help it stand out from the pack.
Mike Ryan, Uproxx
Now, all of a sudden, Peter has (as it’s pointed out in the trailer) been to space and, not to mention, was dead for five years and came back to life. It’s kind of difficult to have that as a starting point and remain “grounded.” What’s crazy is, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” pulls it off. The story starts off not long after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” and, very cleverly, explains to the audience how the rules of this new world work. Is half of Peter’s high school class five years older now? When the missing people reappeared, how did this happen? Did people just reappear in houses that had been sold to other people? All of these questions are answered pretty early on in a lighthearted tone that equals those Captain America PSAs from “Homecoming” that social media still loves so much. Yes, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” was kind of dealt a, let’s say, complicated hand and turned it into something funny and clever.
Tasha Robinson, The Verge
The film clears that bar seemingly without effort. It’s an out-and-out triumph, an adrenaline blast of pure action and emotion that lives up to its predecessors and ably forwards the MCU story in memorable and even touching ways.