With the Universe almost back to normal (remember – no Iron Man and Black Widow) and reeling under the aftermath of Avengers End Game, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is back to school and is amongst his friends.
He is still feeling the loss of his mentor Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). The rest of the Avengers are on a well-deserved holiday after saving the Universe. Peter is coping after seeing the unseen.
Harold “Happy” Hogan (Jon Favreau), Tony’s head of security is now looking after Peter. Peter’s aunt May Parker (Marisa Tomei) and Happy have a thing for one another. Peter and with his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) are on a trip to the city that floats – Venice. Peter has a crush on Michelle “MJ” (Zendaya). As luck would have it, their trip is interrupted by the Water Elemental, which proceeds to wreak havoc on the city. Enter Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) and Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is none other than Mysterio, an expert on the Elements.
Who survives? Who is Mysterio? Will Peter’s friends realise who he is? – these are the questions.
This is not about the avengers. This is about Your Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man. And a tribute to Stan Lee. This is the aftermath of the final war. This is about rebuilding. Surprisingly, the comedy parts are not only from Tom Holland but also from all the others including Tony Revolori as Parker’s classmate and rival Eugene “Flash” Thompson, Angourie Rice as Parker’s classmate and Ned’s girlfriend Betty Brant. There is also subtlety. The teenagers are sitting in the hall and watching a local news channel and the topic of Spider-Man comes up. One of Peter’s friends acknowledges him with a “hey looser” and he responds just by nodding – a proof that he truly is Tony’s prodigy.
Spider-Man is Iron Man’s prodigy. Of course, he has baddies to fight and innocent bystanders to save. This is not only a scrappy teen comedy, it is also a fast-paced more jokes and less logic type of a movie. This is what sets the movie apart.
Early on in “Far from Home,” there’s a clip from a memorial video tribute to Tony Stark, Black Widow, and others among Endgame’s departed, which is being shown in Peter’s school, ahead of a benefit event for victims of “the Blip”—the catastrophic event, shown in “Infinity War,” that wiped out half the world’s population. This movie shows the evolution of the next series. A new series. Samuel L Jackson as Fury is at his best. Especially when he hijacks the school trip. Fury gives Peter Tony’s glasses – the command center of Tony’s interactive system of surveillance and weaponry, called EDITH — an acronym for “Even dead, I’m the hero”.
Marvel does have a knack of coming up with funny acronyms and palm it off on Tony. Director Jon Watts ensures that the legacy of Marvel continues, even without the Captain or the Widow. The script writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers play it safe.
Comparisons are bound to arise. Spidey is not Iron Man. Holland is not Downing. This is a new beginning.