Spider-Man: Far from Home is just about the best thing one could ask for in a summer movie, but I didn’t think it would be. I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe as much as the next person who grew up on superhero cartoons. Superheroes have personal, sentimental value to me because I spent my childhood discussing them with my siblings and my marriage is literally marked by the release of The Avengers. We had superhero themes in our wedding and joke that every May Marvel gives us a movie as an anniversary gift. (I realize how uncool I sound right now, but I’m a person who writes a column about pop culture. Are you really expecting me be cool?)
In spite of all that love, I left the theatre after Avengers: Endgame partially asking myself, “Where can they even go from here? Is this story over?” So I went into Far from Home trepidatiously. I wanted it to be good, but I just didn’t know if there was more story to tell. However, by focusing in equal parts on the weight of legacy and the awkwardness of high school, this movie made feel just as invested in this grandiose epic narrative as ever. A big part of this is due to the often talked about mid credit scene, which literally had me asking “what is gonna happen next?” with just as much excitement as previous MCU films.
But even beyond the typical superhero twists and excitement, in Far From Home we get to really deal with the emotions of the big death from Endgame. It looms large over the people who loved that character, while the world just carries on. But we also see a Peter Parker who just wants a break. He doesn’t think he is ready to be the superhero that saves the planet. He just wants to be a friendly neighborhood Spider-man. Emphasis on the neighborhood. It’s an honest reaction for a good-hearted kid who only ever just wanted to help because he could, but was never trying to be the one everybody looked too. Actor Tom Holland navigates all of Peter Parker’s dilemmas incredibly, from the heavy grief to the lighter and perhaps more relatable high school stuff. We as the audience feel the weight of all that with him, even between all the normal Marvel movie’s laughs and fun.
Plus, the rest of the cast is great too. This movie’s full of incredible action scenes, triumphant moments, beautiful locations, great jokes, and just the right amount of romance. It really is the perfect movie for a bucket of popcorn, those new really comfy seats, and an icee. If finding a babysitter wasn’t so hard, I’d go again.
Strange Perspective is a unique weekly look into today's pop culture by Progress columnist Rachel Strange.