Anika Kotaru
Mercury Staff

Graphic by Sarah Besserer

At first, I was afraid I was going to be bored during this movie. I thought to myself, “Oh, another film related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There’ll be more guns, more fighting and just the same storyline recycled over and over.” I enjoyed the MCU up until the second Avengers film, where everything started to feel the same to me.  

However, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” had me on the edge of my seat the whole time, facepalming when characters did something I found idiotic and audibly gasping when they left me on a cliffhanger during the mid-credits scene. As someone who easily gets bored with action movies, I found one that had me glued to the screen just as “Iron Man” in 2008 did. I am very glad to say that this movie has sparked my interest in the MCU once more and every bit of hype about this film is well deserved.  

In the beginning of the film, we are introduced to the villain, Mysterio/Quentin Beck, who is played by Jake Gyllenhaal. I liked the way his character was portrayed. He was a strong big-brother figure for Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland, which caused me to look up to him greatly, but as soon as he showed his true colors, the vengeful side of his character was very believable as well. Mysterio is shown fighting an Earth Monster and meeting with Nick Fury, (reprised by Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (reprised by Cobie Smulders). After this, we see Peter Parker, who is upset over Tony Stark’s death. Due to the ‘Blip’ in “Avengers: Infinity War” (the event which caused half of the universe to return five years after the decimation), Peter’s school has decided to restart the school year. He and his classmates are preparing to go on a summer trip to various cities in Europe.  

However, Nick Fury wants Peter to be active as Spider-Man while he is on the trip. He gives Peter artificial intelligent glasses called E.D.I.T.H. which were created by Tony Stark. These glasses are able to fire weapons on command and have access to the Stark Industries database. At this moment, I sympathized with Peter, since so often kids dream of having a life where they fight crime or have some sort of fame. But Peter didn’t ask to be bitten by a radioactive spider, yet he knows the responsibility he holds is massive. As a sixteen-year old, he only wants to be normal. I can’t imagine carrying the weight of being a superhero while also being a full-time high school student. In Europe, he wishes to get closer to MJ, who is played by Zendaya. When I saw “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, I thought MJ was an unlikeable character due to her attitude, but for this movie, I liked the change I saw in her and she emitted a certain warmth. The awkwardness between her and Peter was something so grounded in reality. I could definitely see a relationship like this budding in my own high school.  

Peter is forced to fight some monsters along with Mysterio while he is on the trip. This is where I saw the relationship between these two and I found it very admirable. Mysterio gave him advice with MJ and acted like a shoulder to cry on. Peter noticed that during the fights, Mysterio was doing the most work. He later felt like Stark gave Peter the E.D.I.T.H. glasses because he wanted Peter to choose who received them. Peter feels like he does not live up to Stark’s legacy, and gives them to Mysterio. Once Peter is out of earshot, Mysterio reveals to the audience that he is the villain and his goal was to obtain the glasses to use for evil purposes.  

MJ learns that Peter is Spider-Man after witnessing his spiderwebs during an attack in Prague, since he was often absent during the trip, and making the connections that he lived in New York. This concerned me. I was also concerned during the first film when Ned discovered Peter’s secret. It bothers me that Peter puts all of his trust in his friends, which of course there is nothing wrong with that, but there is no guarantee that his friends will keep that secret for life. They could very easily backstab him with such a secret. However, his friends knowing his secret helped him with his battles. Later, Mysterio takes advantage of the glasses and Peter realizes that the monsters they fought together were just illusions. There’s a montage of Peter dealing with many different situations, which are all illusions by Mysterio. It showed Peter adapting to all these different situations related to his insecurities and it was the most nail-biting scene in the whole film. Peter is defeated and gets hit by a train, but survives. With the help of Happy Hogan and his friends who are aware of his identity, he is able to stop Mysterio and ultimately use his weapons against him to kill him. 

In the mid-credits scene, Mysterio was revealed to be filming himself defaming Peter before his death. He reveals who Spider-Man is and films Peter in such a way that Peter was responsible for his death. It made me so angry that this was left on a cliffhanger. I needed to see how Peter was going to handle this situation and how the people in his personal life would act around him. I sat there, completely in awe.  

I believe this film’s secret weapon was the high school cult-classic feel to it. It had so many comedic moments that reminded me of the awkward days of high school, from Ned and Betty’s relationship to Flash’s Instagram livestreams. This movie felt easier to relate to than any other Marvel movie, probably because of its realistic feel. The characters feel like real, awkward high school students. I know that the other Spider-Man movies take place in a high school setting, but for me, the MCU version of Spider-Man definitely felt more like a coming-of-age movie than all the other MCU movies. The film kept reminding us that Peter is just a kid through the mistakes he makes.  

Some could even argue this film had mumblecore moments from the second-hand embarrassment you could feel for Peter (especially when Brad mistakenly thinks Peter is hooking up with a woman and takes a picture). Along with that, there’s a strong amount of action which doesn’t feel repetitive. It has you rooting for the good guys the whole time. As for me, I was rooting for them to get back to their personal lives, such as Peter taking MJ on a date. “Spider-Man: Far From Home” definitely has characters that are lovable and a good amount of comedic relief. Altogether, the feel-good quality of this film, coupled with an exciting plot makes it a must-watch.