I have done my best to make this review spoiler-free, and will mark potentially significant spoilers with **.
Well, fam, after Avengers: Endgame, I didn’t know if Marvel could keep me interested in the MCU. My love of Iron Man (and RDJ) was a driving force in my investment in the universe, the primary question that ‘Far From Home’ seeks to answer as the world (both the fictional and literal) seeks to move on from the universe-changing events in Endgame is, well, now that Tony Stark is gone, who is going to be the next Iron Man?
What do we do now that our favs are gone?
The film begins eight months after half of humanity has “blipped” back into existence. The world is still adjusting and people are still displaced. May and Peter Parker are working to help the people affected by it with fundraising (with a special nod to Pepper Potts and Stark Industries). Aside from being an Avenger, Peter, of course, is still a kid, and he leaves behind the neighborhood in order to go on a school trip and hang out with MJ, his crush.
It’s kind of refreshing to see Peter just want to be a kid. In fact, he even tries to leave the Spidey suit behind so he can focus on being a teenager. **Nick Fury, however, has other plans. He’s got eyes…err…an eye….on some pretty powerful bad guys known as Elementals. When Quentin Beck AKA Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) shows up to help battle the new baddies, it seems like the world post-Avengers has found a new hero to rally behind. Peter has to navigate being a kid and an Avenger, all the while living up to what he thinks are Tony Stark’s expectations for him.
This film has a pretty big twist in the middle of it, so if you’re not familiar with the comic books….I won’t spoil it for you. Let’s just say that appearances are deceiving and that this film confirms and disproves a lot of things that the MCU fandom thought post-Endgame.
Any film that follows Endgame has a few pretty large (almost insurmountable) challenges in front of it: 1. it needs to make sense of the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff came with the introduction of the quantum realm; 2. it needs to set up what comes next, and 3. it needs to fill the void that RDJ’s Tony Stark left behind. It’s a tall order for any superhero film.
‘Far From Home’ not only accomplishes all of these things, it does so in a way that pays attention to the timeline that’s been established over the last eleven years by reminding us that for every action that a hero takes, there are consequences. Heroes are made when the world needs them, but that need can also open the door for others who to trade on paranoia and fear to obtain power. It’s a theme that we saw revisited often with the OG6 Avengers, and it appears that Peter is learning that lesson now. He struggles, he loses, and he gets back up and keeps fighting.
The world is waiting for someone to pick up the gauntlet (pun intended) and say “I am Iron Man.” While Tony Stark was the suit of armor around the world–and the film definitely pays tribute to that–we don’t need another Iron Man because we still have him. His legacy lives on in his technology. But, it’s not the suit that makes the hero which is something that we watched Tony learn throughout the Iron Man films, and Peter’s journey requires a different kind of self-reflection, which he faces, quite literally, in Far From Home: Peter is ready, and worthy to be an Avenger.
The world (and the next phase of Marvel films) needs a new kind of hero at its heart, and you know what? Tony knew that.
The world needs Spider-Man.
(Sorry that I’m not sorry that I brought you Tony Stark feels, cuz I’ve got plenty.)
P.S. Peter Parker is Tony Stark’s son and that’s the only truth I know.
P.S.S. I’ve waited my entire adult life for Jake Gyllenhaal to have a cape and I was not disappointed.
P.S.S.S. The mid-credits scene is the single greatest cameo in all of MCU history.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is now playing in U.S. cinemas.