We’ve emerged from the Blip that returned all things back to life at the end of Avengers: Endgame, and our first glimpse into the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes from … a hormonal teenager who may or may not like being a superhero. Spider-Man: Far From Home reunites us with Peter Parker, MJ, et al. as the teens make their way through Europe on summer vacation—while peril looms. After seeing the movie on opening night, Ringer staffers discussed the highs and lows of the film, as well as its scene-chewing villain, Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal.
1. What is your tweet-length review of Spider-Man: Far From Home?
Jason Concepcion: Peter Parker battles horniness and fake news on a school trip to Europe in the MCU’s first steps into a post-Endgame, post-Blip paradigm.
Andrew Gruttadaro: Ah—I, too, remember the days of ignoring all responsibilities due to the overwhelming weight of trying to figure out how and when to tell a girl you like her.
Micah Peters: Spider-Man directed like a comedy with a bunch of terminally awkward teens—you absolutely love to see it. In fact, you realize, there’s not a whole lot of other things that you love to see more.
if you don’t like everything about Tom Holland’s Spider-Man you hate fun and that’s all there is to it— Kate Halliwell (@katehalliwell) July 3, 2019
Mose Bergmann: This time, we brought Jake Gyllenhaal.
2. What was the best moment of the movie?
Gruttadaro: Upon hearing AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” Tom Holland’s gleeful delivery of the line, “Oh man, I love Led Zeppelin!”
Concepcion: J. Jonah Jameson as the MCU’s Alex Jones and …
… the reveal that Quentin Beck/Mysterio is a disgruntled former employee of Stark Industries!!!
Bergmann: By far, the living holo-nightmare that Mysterio put Spider-Man through. One of the greatest canonical aspects of the villain is the illusions and deceptions he creates to confuse the heroes. I had doubts that those could translate to the style of the current Spider-Man after the more realistic take in Homecoming, but that scene really delivered.
Halliwell: I wholeheartedly love everything to do with Peter’s goofy high school life, and all his short boy/tall girl interactions with MJ make me feel young again.
Peters: It’s either MJ and Peter’s delightfully nervy, cringey first kiss— which is the most true kiss in any Spider-Man film—or Ned getting into a committed relationship over the course of a single flight, after talking the biggest shit about his impending Hot Boy Summer.
3. What was your least favorite part of the film?
Concepcion: The United Airlines sponcon.
Gruttadaro: Things started to get a little wacky once we started to explore what “illusion tech” meant.
Halliwell: I don’t love trippy dream sequence shit, so I could have done without the whole Mysterio illusion sequence. But I appreciated that it gave us the Spider-Man Twins Meme in movie form!
Bergmann: They said the word “drones” so many times in this goddamn movie. The word itself is fine, but per the syllabus, demerits are given when the sum total utterances of “drone” exceeds 50.
4. On a scale from one to Okja, how was Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio?
Halliwell: I found him more disturbing in the first half of the movie, knowing what had to be lurking beneath the surface of that bland, Chris-like exterior. Then he went into ridiculous, wide-eyed yelling mode and all was right in the world.
Gruttadaro: Jake went from Day After Tomorrow Jake to semi-Nightcrawler Jake faster than you could say “Stark Industries.” For the first half of the movie you wonder why he took on the role; then it becomes delightfully clear.
Peters: He’s a much chiller and less uh, preeny (?) Johnny Wilcox. Which means Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio rips.
Bergmann: Jake is operating at Prince of Persia plus Lou Bloom, divided by Morf Vandewalt. He gets to have some fun with the theatrics of Mysterio, but you can tell he’s scaling back the full Jake experience just a little.
Concepcion: Beck is a Lou Bloom–level scumbag but with social skills. I want a 90-minute supercut of Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck channeling the infamous Christian Bale rant as he directs and stars in a real-time fake news illusion that levels an entire city.
5. Do you share Mysterio’s cynicism for heroes and hero worship?
Gruttadaro: I mean, he’s definitely right that people will believe in anything.
Concepcion: In real life: yes. In the MCU: nope!
In a world where super-powered humans, alien shape shifters, and gods exist, the morality of the individual trumps the wickedness of systemic injustice. In this world, an idealistic teenager with a genius-level intellect and the proportional strength of a spider can save hundreds if not thousands of lives and be a real force for good. In real life, the systems are insatiable, pitiless machines, and no heroes—no matter how seemingly well-meaning—can save us.
Peters: Who among us has not been recently, emphatically disappointed by a prominent public figure that we projected our hopes and dreams onto?
Halliwell: I’ve seen every one of these damn MCU movies, so I’m gonna say no.
Bergmann: No. Absolutely not. Someone show this guy Aquaman.
6. Who was the low-key MVP of this movie?
Concepcion: High-key Zendaya as MJ.
Halliwell: Tom Holland’s tear ducts! The boy is a top-notch movie crier!
Peters: Tallos, once again pulling off the deepest of fakes.
Gruttadaro: My guy Ned, who had himself a very dope, very adrenaline-fueled European romance before wisely acknowledging that these sorts of things don’t last.
Bergmann: Happy Hogan finally gets his moment! Jon Favreau has been having the most fun in the MCU for some time, but now he gets to be the emotional crux of a movie (sort of).
7. What was the most Gen Z thing about Far From Home?
Peters: Flash living on Instagram Live.
Gruttadaro: Triangulating someone’s location based on their never-ending livestream.
Halliwell: The fact that MJ went straight to a BuzzFeed article for the latest news.
Bergmann: I really loved how we got to see into Spidey’s Snapchat circle. That was huge, and I think it’ll be buzzworthy and cool.
Concepcion: I have no idea. However, I found it bizarre that none of the kids on the school trip seemed to use TikTok.
8. Aunt May and Happy—will it last?
Halliwell: I love Happy, but come on. We all saw those high-waisted jeans.
Peters: Happy: my man, my buddy, my pal. No.
Bergmann: I believe in love, so probably not long.
Concepcion: Nah. May is clearly ready to explore new horizons.
Gruttadaro: NO—because she is going to marry ME.
9. Now two movies in, is Tom Holland the best Spider-Man?
Gruttadaro: The competition isn’t really even close.
Bergmann: Depends! He’s definitely very good and actually looks like a high-schooler (point: Holland), and is 2-for-2 on the solo flicks (Maguire .667, Garfield .200). But who’s to say that if the Maguire and Garfield Spider-Men projects were under the steady guidance and direction of Kevin Feige and the current Marvel super production machine they wouldn’t be received similarly? I still give it to Tobey because he really carried the full weight of that franchise.
Peters: Shameik Moore as Miles Morales is the best Spider-Man full stop, but Tom Holland is the best live-action Spider-Man.
Halliwell: Absolutely no question, yes. Tom Holland, you have my mace. And my halberd. Whatever, it’s yours.