Wait – wha? I thought Peter Parker was missing? Lol. As traumatic and powerful as Spider-Man’s dusting in the arms of Iron Man was in Avengers: Infinity War, the moment we wiped our tears out of our eyes, we all knew that the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler would return sooner rather than later. The surprise was that the Avengers: Endgame trailer did not tip its hat to Parker’s resurrection, but here we are today with our first glimpse at Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Jon Watts and Tom Holland are back, and they’re dragging Jake Gyllenhaal into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The rest of the Midtown decathlon team are riding shotgun and going overseas, where they’ll bump into those other restored Marvel heroes, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). Don’t expect too many clues to the fallout of Avengers: Endgame below, but that’s not to say that this trailer doesn’t contain several treats. Let’s swing into the sequel and breakdown our first tease of yet another most-anticipated MCU adventure.
So, first reaction: Dat Goldfish Bowl!! I am happy. I am way, way, way happy. Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio looks as ridiculous and wondrous as his comic book counterpart. That’s just another astounding act of confidence from Marvel Studios, embracing their roots and being proud of that absurd Steve Ditko design.
However, beyond that glorious headgear, there is still a lot to unpack from this trailer. Um, Hydro-Man and the Elementals??? Who the hell are they? Let’s get into it.
The trailer opens in the friendly neighborhood of Brooklyn (note the street sign) where Spider-Man has stopped by a local shelter to lend his support to the homeless. Peter Parker continues his mission to help those who cannot help themselves. After the cosmic brawl with Thanos, these quieter moments of heroism have to feel refreshing. The glory of bank robbers and flashier criminals will always be in his future. For now, though, NYC seems to have its crises in check.
As we saw in the final moments of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Aunt May is now fully aware of the teenager that resides under the spandex. Standing next to Spider-Man on that shelter’s stage indicates some level of guidance of where her nephew should focus his talents, and maybe she can steer him away from those more diabolical world-ending threats in her unique way. Good luck with that, May.
Frankly, it’s nice to see that May didn’t completely wig out on Peter after the revelation. Battling the little evils of poverty together will bond them as they’ve never been before, and will help her let go of the hero when he’s called to face truly heinous evil abroad.
Happy Hogan meets them backstage of the shelter, carrying an impressive $500,000 novelty check. He immediately launches into a list of flattering comments for Aunt May. “You look nice,” he says, and May returns with a “You, too.”
Happy recognizes May’s new dress. “How’d you know?” she asks. Awkward pause. Peter Parker caught in the middle. Flattery will get Happy everywhere, including some uncomfortable concern from Peter. Mad Titans are one thing, but male suitors are an entirely different destructive force. “What just happened?”
Cue “I Wanna Be Sedated” with The Ramones back to provide the soundtrack to Parker’s adolescence. Peter starts assembling a suitcase for a European school trip. He’s got to get his toothbrush, a fresh pair of socks, and a passport. Check out his date of birth — he’s a Leo, meaning he’s warm, action-oriented, and driven by the desire to be loved and admired. If you believe in that sort of nonsense.
May runs down a checklist of all the items he’ll need as he hops across the globe. Don’t forget to pack your suit. Yeah, but Peter just had his molecules reassembled. He’s already fighting the good fight against poverty… maybe he can actually take a break from the superhero business. The kid decides to leave the long johns in the closet and hit the road for a proper vacation from his great powers and great responsibility. His neighborhood is New York. Europe will have to find another savior if needed. Sorry, Pete, it doesn’t work that way.
He slams his suitcase shut, and we catch a glimpse of his Uncle Ben’s initials. Cool to see that a piece of this particular father figure will be with him when danger arrives overseas.
First stop, Venice. Ned has a new hat, but the same sunny disposition. Thumbs up, all good. Let’s enjoy the simple bliss of high school relationships. Jon Watts established the first film in the grounded “reality” of a John Hughes environment, and he’s going to keep that vibe rocking in the sequel. Take out the punching and the lightening in the sky, and you’d still have a compelling teen relationship comedy.
The friendship between MJ and Peter will possibly develop into something more. Hopefully, her father won’t turn out to be a costumed psycho like his last high school crush. Parker attempts a smooth exchange, “You look really pretty.” Of course, MJ won’t let the courtship be that easy, deflecting his stuttered advances before acknowledging that “You look pretty, too.”
The school group ventures into a ratty Venetian hotel, and we catch our first glimpse of J.B. Smoove acting as teacher and guide. Does this mean his driving instructor from the Spider-Man: Homecoming Audi commercial is canon? I say, yes!
Ned attempts to appease Peter’s delicate feelings towards MJ, but before he can relate his own lovelorn adventures to his friend, a dart is fired into his neck, knocking him unconscious. Timber.
“So nice to finally meet you, Spider-Man,” says Nick Fury as he turns his one eye on a Peter Parker in mid-process of brushing his teeth. I can’t imagine this teenage hero would be the first person the one-time agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. would call upon given any other choice. He must really be up a creek to require Spidey’s assistance. Or there are not as many heavy hitters as there once were. “Put some clothes on, let’s go for a ride.”
As we knew it was going to happen, Nick Fury highjacks the summer vacation. Ned is a little more stoked about that notion than Peter. While the old suit is still hanging in the closet of his Queens apartment, it appears that Fury cobbled together some rad new duds for Parker to fly into battle. Love seeing the web-wings back in action as Spider-Man soars into an electric storm surrounding Tower Bridge in London. Oh hey, we’ve had a dramatic shift in locations.
Cut to Maria Hill and Nick Fury throwing down with a creature that appears to be made completely out of sand. Can this be a version of the villain last seen in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3? Naw. This may be Magnum: Master of the Earth, one of several Elementals that debuted back in the ’70s in a little known Marvel comic called “Supernatural Thrillers.” For a brief moment, they tormented Ms. Marvel before she donned the rank of Captain.
The Elementals were a group of immortals that traveled from another planet that was very much like our own. Each alien brute could control an elemental energy: earth, wind, fire, and water. These forces seem to be very much at play in this trailer and causing havoc across the continent.
As we see in another shot of Tower Bridge, set ablaze.
This figure is hard to discern. It seems to be a living flame, a brother of the sand creature. If that beast was Magnum, then this cretin would be the head Elemental known as Hellfire. What does Nick Fury think a wall-crawler can do against such a threat?
“You got gifts Parker, but you got a job to do.” All Peter can do is trust in Fury’s belief and step up to the challenge. To accomplish this mission, he’ll need not one, but at least two new suits. This stealth get-up is no Spider-Man Noir, but it should keep him lost to the shadows.
Back in Venice, we meet another Elemental threat. Hydron is the master of the waters, a beast who could do quite a bit of damage in this Italian community. Happy matches the encouraging words of Nick Fury reminding Peter that he’s “all alone” and “your friends are in trouble, what are you going to do about it?” Why hasn’t Happy called for a little Iron Man assistance? Um, is there an Iron Man post-Endgame? Gulp. For sure, other Avengers would be better matched against Elemental demons like these guys.
Enter: Mysterio. Ok, so maybe all that Elemental stuff I was just spouting was a bunch of B.S. We’ve been told that Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck would start this story as a partner to Spider-Man, but we also know that anyone who dresses like this maniac cannot possibly remain a friendly. We know based on his comic book history that Mysterio is a master of special effects and illusion. These Elementals that are terrorizing Europe may actually be one big ruse created by this nut job.
Gyllenhaal reservedly states, “You don’t want any part of this.” When Peter Parker gets his butt handed to him by a Hydro-Man, Mysterio swoops in, to the rescue. He attacks the creature in Venice, secreting noxious green gas from his fingertips. What exactly is he doing? What are his powers? Um, it’s a hoax, a nonsensical light show. He’s pulling the wool over the eyes of the world.
That being said, seeing him ride atop a cloud of green gas, firing green blasts at the water Elemental, and sporting that great big fishbowl atop his head is pretty gosh darn stunning. “He’s like Iron Man and Thor rolled into one.” Beautiful, utter gibberish that will fool some, but not all.
Flash Thompson gets it. “He’s no Spider-Man.”
Continuing a long-running joke from the comic books, Peter must suffer through Flash’s championing of his alter ego. Flash raves, “He looks after the neighborhood, has a dope costume, and I really respect him.”
The second Flash quits fanboying it up and spots Parker by the stairs; he fires a “What’s up dickwad?” Lol. The preposterous reality of dual identities keeps our boy Parker honest.
So, what did you think? Not your average Spider-Man adventure. Sandman, Hydro-Man, fire guy, and Jake Gyllenhaal? Peter Parker is far from home, out of his element, and asked to step up to his Avengers status by Nick Fury himself. There is still a lot more to be revealed about this film, and I’m eager to see more of Mysterio as well as the return of Michael Keaton‘s The Vulture. I managed not to utter “Sinister Six” once during this whole breakdown. Good for me.
Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters on July 5th.