WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home, in theaters now.
When it comes to bizarre superhero adaptations, almost nothing compares to Supaidman. The Japanese Spider-Man movie is a mishmash of classic Marvel imagery with late-1970s touches. It involves spider aliens and a superhero whose secret identity is a stunt driver. It's always been held up as the weirdest version of Spider-Man ever produced on a large scale. But that title now might have to go to Spider-Man: Far From Home.
While managing to be a fun adventure and inventive superhero film, the MCU sequel is also a surprisingly odd movie, especially for Spider-Man. It features shape-shifting aliens, an army of drones controlled by sunglasses, high-school comedy, trippy illusions about a zombie Iron Man and a teenager using a mace against a robot inside the Tower of London. It is a weird movie.
For the most part, Spider-Man: Far From Home is a teen comedy masquerading as a superhero film in the way that its predecessor, Homecoming, was a teen coming-of-age dramedy masquerading as a superhero movie. Much of the personal drama comes from Peter Parker (Tom Holland) trying to come to terms with his emotions and his forced maturity following the traumatizing events of Avengers: Endgame.
While he's befuddled by his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) seemingly entering a relationship with Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) he's also trying to figure out how to ask out MJ (Zendaya). Meanwhile, he's also trying to deal with new expectations after his former mentor, Tony Stark, died in the last MCU film. The teenage antics are amplified by his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) entering a relationship of his own and his teachers (Martin Starr and J.B. Smoove) having wacky adventures throughout Europe.
But then that tone is thrown up against everything that Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) brings to the screen. Mysterio forces Spider-Man to contend with possibilities of a multiverse and elemental monsters trying to destroy the planet. It's a lot for a teenager to take, which is why Spider-Man keeps trying to back out of it. But Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) keeps forcing it upon him, leading to an awkward and well-meaning teen boy trying to figure out how to not get himself killed while operating on a larger scale than he's ever confronted before.
It's an odd mix of tones, even when Mysterio is revealed to actually just be a hammy former Stark employee using holograms to fake a potentially world-ending crisis to steal Tony Stark's robot-controlling sunglasses. Yes, that is actually the main plot in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
The stakes in Spider-Man: Far From Home keep changing throughout the film. That is in part due to the overall duplicity of Mysterio. His supposedly apocalyptic threats are revealed to be nothing more than a set of holograms, undercutting a lot of the apparent dread of the film. But Mysterio slowly reveals himself to be a coldly murderous man, at one point openly threatening his employees with a grisly death if they make any mistakes in his charade. He's an odd villain throughout the film, swapping back and forth from a false jovial nature and an absolutely ruthless perspective that would allow him to casually trick a teenager he openly likes into getting hit by a train.
Likewise, Peter's attempts to have a regular school trip mean he's constantly alternating between small scale drama and globally destructive conflicts. His attempts to ask out MJ persist throughout most of the film, at one point leading to him almost accidentally killing his romantic rival with a drone.
But it's not long before he's forced to switch back to helping keep his friends alive when they're attacked by a legion of drones, or trying to live up to the inheritance Tony Stark left for him. Outside of his constant attempts to be cute with MJ, Peter ends up with about seven different goals over the course of the film, and it can make things somewhat confusing.
We haven't even touched upon the other wild events of the film: The revelation that Fury and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) are actually shape-shifting Skrulls reporting to the real Fury while he takes a vacation in space; or that the film contains references to the comics continuity by having Mysterio lie and claim the Marvel Cinematic Universe is actually Earth-616; or even the very trippy sequence in which Mysterio assaults Spider-Man with a nightmarish hallucination.
The sequence plays out like a bad drug trip, with Peter Parker quickly lost in a massive world that keeps changing around him, full of fake-outs and apparent deaths. It even features a zombie Iron Man climbing out of his own grave so he can try to attack Spider-Man, which is perhaps one of the most surprising and shocking visuals yet to appear in the MCU as a whole. It is just a bizarre Spider-Man movie from start to finish, even more so than one that features spider powers from space.
Directed by Jon Watts, Spider-Man: Far From Home stars Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, JB Smoove, Jacob Batalon and Martin Starr, with Marisa Tomei and Jake Gyllenhaal.