REVIEW: ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ is web-spinnin’ fun, with a few caveats
The movie ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ has less violence and language than most Marvel films but still has a few scenes that may give parents pause.
Peter Parker is an average-looking high school sophomore who has the power to save the world from the latest evil villain.
Yet all he can think about is his crush, MJ.
As Spider-Man, he is as brave as a lion. As Peter Parker, though, he is as scared as a mouse—especially around her.
Perhaps a class trip to Europe will give him courage. He and his friends will tour Venice, Prague and Paris. They’ll see the sites. They’ll learn the history. They’ll escape all their worries from home.
But nothing is ever easy for Peter Parker. A water monster attacks Venice. Parker helps save the day, but then another villain, made of fire, descends upon Prague.
Meanwhile, Avengers boss Nick Fury is trying to persuade Parker to take on a larger role in the superhero realm.
And all Parker wants to do is ask MJ out on a date.
The movie Spider-Man: Far From Home (PG-13) opens in theaters this weekend, picking up where Avengers: Endgame ended and continuing the new Spider-Man saga begun by 2017’s Homecoming. It stars Tom Holland as Parker/Spider-Man, Zendaya as MJ, Marisa Tomei as Parker’s aunt and Samuel L. Jackson as Fury.
In Far From Home, the world is mourning the death of Stark/Iron Man and Natasha Romanoff/ Black Widow, and the retirement of Steve Rogers/Captain America.
“What is it like to take over for Tony Stark?” a reporter asks Parker/Spider-Man, who has no desire to succeed the legendary hero.
A new superhero named “Mysterio” (Jake Gyllenhaal) then arrives on the scene to help defeat Hydron and the other villains, leading Parker to wonder: Is Mysterio the next Tony Stark?
Warning: minor/moderate spoilers!
(Scale key: none, minimal, moderate, extreme)
Moderate. Far From Home has less violence and disturbing content than did Homecoming or most other Marvel movies, even though it still has plenty of stuff blowing up or getting destroyed. The villains—part of a group of bad guys called the Elementals—will give only the most sensitive children and tweens nightmares.
Drones shoot guns. Hand-to-hand combat scenes are virtually nonexistent.
Minimal/moderate. The film’s most problematic moment involves an adult female employee telling Parker (who is 16) to take his clothes off in order to put on a new costume. It’s an odd moment. With Parker’s pants down (he’s still wearing underwear), a male classmate walks in. He makes a joke about Parker wanting to “hook up” with a random “European chick.”
Later, Happy Hogan references Parker renting an “adult” movie in a hotel. Parker takes off his shirt and puts on his costume when MJ’s back is turned.
Romance is a major theme of the film. A couple share a kiss at the end.
Moderate. OMG (6), h-ll (4), a– (3), s–t (2), d—wad (1), b–ch (1), d–n (1) and one unfinished f-word. It’s less language than most Marvel films. A classmate flips off Peter.
Other Positive Elements
Peter may be unsure about his future role, but he still puts his life on the line to save others.
He says “thank God” twice. Perhaps it’s just an expression, but it carries meaning among some moviegoers.
The humor, minus the caveats already discussed, is family-friendly and truly funny.
At a bar, Peter drinks lemonade.
Other Stuff You Might Want To Know
Characters drink alcohol at a bar.
The movie contains mid-credit and post-credit scenes. Both
are critical to the future of the
Spider-Man and Marvel series.
Experience brings wisdom: Peter Parker seemingly proves he’s not ready for prime time when he misuses a weapon and nearly kills a classmate who is interested in MJ (he launched the weapon on accident). Fury becomes, well, furious. Yet Parker learns from his mistakes and matures.
Mistakes can be overcome: Parker is distraught after he makes the biggest mistake of his young superhero career. But he gets a second chance and fixes it.
Appearances can be deceiving: A major plot-spoiler is behind this lesson, but it’s significant.
Far From Home sparks a series of questions worth a discussion on the drive home. Such as: What’s real and worth pursuing in this world? What only seems real… and should be rejected? Christ and His Kingdom are the source of true goodness, peace and joy, yet there are literally millions of other things in our world—money, sex and fame, among them—that promise joy… but deliver exactly the opposite. They may appear innocent on the surface, but they’re not.
The action. The plot. The humor. The toned-down violence and language, which is welcomed.
A joke about an adult woman hooking up with a 16-year-old.
1. How do you know what is real and worth pursuing in life?
2. What is required for wisdom? Can a young person have wisdom? Can a young person be mature?
3. Why did Peter fail? What was the key to him overcoming his mistakes?
4. What would you want your last words to be? Is there something you would confess in your finals seconds, as several characters did?
Entertainment rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Family-friendly rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments.