My Spidey Senses are tingling: this sequel is fun.
For those of you who didn’t see “Avengers: Endgame,” and that would be the few of you, then don’t read this review of “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”
But of you did, and obviously, you did, then please read it. I promise not to spoil anything new.
In terms of any “Spider-Verse,” “Far From Home” is neither “Spider-Man 2” nor “Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse,” and yet, it still has its heart and humor in the right place. And Tom Holland continues some fine work as your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, and his real identity Peter Parker.
Ever since the MCU has lost Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Widow, Peter Parker feels pressured about being a superhero replacement. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) constantly calls him, but he ghosts him, especially since he goes on his school trip in Europe.
Obviously, a superhero is never on vacation, as elementals begin attacking the world. They are monsters based on the four elements: Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. Nick Fury and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) both find out about this from a mysterious hero named Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), and they require Spider-Man’s assistance.
It’s not “Spider-Man 2,” because that film gave Parker a more complicated life-balancing school and superhero work. In this one, he wants to tell the wisecracking MJ (Zendaya) how he feels about her, if only he can prevent the pompous Brad Davis (Remy Hii) from overshadowing him. This isn’t as challenging, but you still admire Holland and Zendaya’s chemistry for their abilities to balance wit with awkwardness.
And it’s not much of a “Spider-Verse,” because there’s only one character who claims he’s from a parallel universe. That would be Mysterio, charmingly portrayed by Gyllenhaal. I liked the green smokey helmet and cape he wears, and I liked his ambitions. So that’s a plus side to this.
And what’s an MCU entry without a sense of humor? You also get some comic relief characters like Peter’s agent Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), his other rival Flash (Tony Revolori), and his high school teachers (Martin Starr and JB Smoove). And you have honesty in the gags.
My favorite use of special effects and sets in the movie is when the water elemental attacks Venice, Italy. I was reminded of my fun times at Universal Studios, especially the Spider-Man 3D ride, because of how the water attacks people, buildings, and the river. And it’s also fun watching Peter Parker run on those boat poles while dodging the monster.
There are parts of “Far From Home” that might confuse you a bit (I won’t spoil what), but you’ll grasp the concepts once you see how the action sequences pay off. Am I softie with the MCU? Maybe, but at least, they try harder than the recent Marvel bombs “Fantastic Four,” “Venom” and “Dark Phoenix.” This is fun for fans of all ages.