Spider-Man: Far from Home
Far From Home feels like a throwback, though not really to anything in superhero film history. Superhero movies have almost always carried a heavy weight of nostalgia, fandom import, and franchise insurance on to their silver screen escapades. And even though the latest web-slinging adventure directly follows one of the most ambitious cinematic projects in history (Avengers: Endgame), it somehow finds a way to shed all that in favor of pure, escapist, one-off fun. With lighthearted soul, a travelogue setting, an endlessly relatable hero and a compassionate but cartoonish villain, Far From Home is a Marvel movie made for the Saturday-morning-cartoon crowd. After the world-altering events of “the snap”, Peter Parker is trying to get back to some semblance of normalcy, when a high school Eurotrip gets interrupted by multiverse superhero Mysterio and some big elemental bad guys. All the everyday superhero facets are here (funny quips, questions of self-worth, great action sequences), but with the added element of an angsty teenage comedy. How does he tell MJ he likes her? Can he and his bff stay friends while having girlfriends? What kind of fun can they get into in Europe? This seems low stakes, and I suppose it is in comparison to much of the MCU, but that’s what makes the story work: we know these characters on a personal level, and we like them for it. Honestly, after the Infinity Saga ended, with all its drama, death and destruction, Far From Home’s down-to-earth, low-stakes, neighborhood feel is exactly the comedown we needed. With no overarching plotlines, no big universal threat, and few crossover implications, this manages to be a perfect summer escape.