Spider-Man: Far From Home 4K Blu-Ray Review
Especially after everything that has gone down with the character since release, Spider-Man: Far From Home carries far more external weight than it should have. Sure, it’s a transition piece that sets up the character as a critical player in the MCU moving forward. But more importantly, Spider-Man feels essential to the future of the MCU in retrospect. Spider-Man: Far From Home, in particular, has the difficult task of being first and foremost an MCU follow-up to Avengers: Endgame, and a Spider-Man movie second. While the film does successfully thread that needle, it’s also far different than anything we’ve seen before from the character.
Helmed by a returning Jon Watts, Spider-Man: Far From Home feels much more content with itself. Watts once again brings a grounded but stylish approach to his filmmaking in the sequel, this time presenting a solid mix of action, drama, and comedy. He’s making a coming of age situational comedy cloaked in an action/adventure movie, and it absolutely works. Tom Holland also proves that he can successfully step out of the massive shadow left by Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. Holland’s chemistry with Zendaya is easily the best aspect of the film, often doing much of the characterization heavy lifting. While these to provide the heart to the film, it’s Jake Gyllenhaal who nearly steals the show. He’s having a blast in this movie, while also helping to successfully create a modern interpretation of Mysterio.
Spider-Man: Homecoming brought a new visual style to the franchise, and the sequel repeats that visual template. With the exception of one key sequence late in the third act, the visual storytelling is good, but not great. Even more so than its predecessor, Spider-Man: Far From Home has a powerful message, both for Peter’s journey and the film’s overall political theme of deception. At the same time, the final result of the story is far more exciting than the journey it takes to get there. The film’s cliffhanger ending gives it more weight to Spidey’s presence in the MCU than anything that’s come before.
For my expanded thoughts on the film, check out our theatrical review here.
Spider-Man: Far From Home arrives on UHD Blu-ray with a 4K presentation that is impressive. Although this particular transfer is sourced from a 2K Digital Intermediate, the 8K source format makes up for the fact that it’s an upconvert. As a result, the detail on this disc is outstanding, offering a surprising amount of texture to the image. Even though many of the critical costumes are digitally-created, fabric definition is crisp and detailed throughout. The disc’s HDR 10 capabilities also provide a boost to overall contrast, especially during the night sequences. As a result, the dynamic range sees a significant increase, especially when compared to its 1080p counterpart.
Perhaps the most significant improvement of this transfer comes by way of the Dolby Vision capabilities, which renders the film’s color spectrum in vivid detail. Not only are colors more accurately represented, but also the increase in saturation and luminance adds a whole new level of nuance to the film’s visual palette. Skin tones are appropriate, while no encode errors apparent on this disc.
Unfortunately, the transfer also doesn’t retain the 1.90:1 ratio for the Imax-shot sequences. Instead, the film employs the standard 2.39:1 for the entire runtime. The lack of the Imax sequences, coupled with the fact that it’s not an actual 4K image, keeps this disc from reaching reference-quality levels. Despite these apparent flaws, this 4K transfer is clean as a whistle, making it a heads and tails improvement over the Blu-ray.
Unfortunately, the Atmos track on this UHD disc is paltry at best. Right off the bat, it becomes apparent that low volume issues plague this mix. This track is best served by cranking up the volume at least 12-15 dbs above your reference level. That’s right; it’s a significant issue that immediately hurts overall immersion. Even with this glaring fault, environmental ambience, clarity, and positioning are sufficient. Perhaps the best-served element of this mix is composer Michael Giacchino’s wonderfully playful score.
Except for the action sequences, surround elements are limited, and most of the significant activity comes through the front channels. Similarly, subwoofer use is limited, which makes this track feel hollow for the most part. In essence, this track lacks any sense of girth or additional sonic depth whatsoever. Especially when compared to the reliable 7.1 mix, this track feels mostly like a redundancy. There’s no depth or finesse, which is a disappointment for such a popular and effects-heavy release.
The Special Features
The supplemental material in this home video release of Spider-Man Far From Home is substantial but inconsequential. Most of the special features include light and fluffy material that consists of a few entertaining featurettes, some deleted scenes, a gag reel, and more. While most of this is pretty standard stuff, the lack of a more extensive making-of piece and a director’s commentary hold it back from being truly memorable in this department.
Peter’s To-Do List –A short Film (3:22; 1080p): A cut sequence early from the film that has been refashioned into a short.
Gag Reel & Outtakes (3:35; 1080p): A standard blooper reel featuring shenanigans from the set. Unlike most gag reels, this one is notable because it highlights the ongoing saga of Holland and Gyllenhaal trying to make each other laugh on set.
Deleted Scenes & Alternate Scenes (6:07; 1080p): A standard series of deleted and expanded scenes.
- Betty Blips
- Bus Rest Stop with Class
- Beck’s Green Juice
- Peter & MJ on Plane and May Sees Glasses
- A Film by Flash Thompson’s Phone
Teacher’s Travel Tips (4:58; 1080p): a “featurette” that is comprised of deleted scenes and clips featuring the two teachers.
The Jump Off (6:19; 1080p): A great featurette that looks into the practical stunt work used in the film. While it rightfully focuses on Holland’s physicality and instance on doing his own stunts, it also features tons of great BTS footage.
Stepping Up (3:42; 1080p): A quick featurette that focuses on peter’s thematic journey in the MCU at large.
Suit Up (4:38; 1080p): Showcases the various Spider-Man suits that are featured in the film. It also highlights the use of practical spidey suits whenever possible, as well as the overall costume design choices.
Now You See Me (6:30; 1080p): An excellent featurette about Mysterio’s presence in the film. It covers the character’s origins in the comics, casting Gyllenhaal, characterization, and the dynamic between himself and Holland.
Far, Far, Far From Home (5:14; 1080p): Explores the various locales visited in the story with actual location shooting.
It Takes Two (3:09; 1080p): Highlights the combination of Holland in front of the camera and Watts behind it. Although it’s short, it features a nice mix of B-roll and interview footage.
Fury & Hill (3:29; 1080p): A quick look at how the relationship between the two former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents evolves in this film.
The Ginter-Riva Effect (1:32; 1080p): This short featurette explores the film’s connections, all the way back to Iron Man.
Thank You, Mrs. Parker (3:35; 1080p): Another featurette that focuses on Aunt May’s evolution in the MCU thus far.
Stealthy Easter Eggs (4:23; 1080p): A neat piece that uncovers some of the film’s hidden details.
The Brothers Trust (11:44; 1080p): A lengthy advertisement that highlights some under-represented charity causes favored by the Holland brothers. You can learn more about supporting these charities by clicking here.
Select Scene Pre-Vis (8:20; 1080p): Consists of the original animatic footage alongside the final film. This pre-vis is particularly interesting, especially because you see the evolution behind some of the film’s critical sequences from prep to post.
- Hydro-Man Part 1
- Hydro-Man Part 2
- Molten Man
- Final Battle
- Spider-Man Through NYC
Previews (11:44; 1080p): A handful of trailers for other Sony releases.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is easily the best Spidey-centric sequel since Sam Raimi’s quintessential take on the character in 2004. But whereas the video transfer on this 4K disc is surprisingly dynamic for an up-convert, the sound mix is anything but. Although there is a pretty hefty amount of special features on this disc, there’s not much substantial material. Especially considering that MCU releases traditionally contain a commentary track, the special features are a bit of a disappointment. If you’re a fan of this character or the MCU, it’s worth picking up the 4K version. For average fans or more casual viewers, however, the Blu-ray will most certainly suffice.