Spider-Man: Far From Home

The Plot:

The Avengers have dispersed and Spider-man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is worn out. His alter-ego, Spider-man, keeps him busy, stressed and from being a teenager.

When he gets the opportunity to vacation in Europe with his school mates, he jumps at the chance – thinking he can vacation from his Spidey suit as well.

However, trouble seems to follow Peter Parker. Elementals begin attacking various cities, forcing Parker into choosing between the lonely life of a hero, or the regular life of a teenager.

Kent's Take:

“Spider-Man: Far From Home” captures the light, adolescent feel of “Spider-Man: Homecoming, “ but fails to properly balance the humor with the drama.

Peter Parker is tired, misses Tony Stark and most of the time, just wants to be a normal kid. Then Mysterio arrives to shore up a weakened Avengers.

Director Jon Watts delivers an action-packed film, but writer Steve Ditko misses the mark with a story more goofy than dramatic. From the insultingly inept teachers/chaperons to the innocuous Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), the characters in this film are simply mindless pawns to be manipulated by heroes and villains.

In addition, the stakes in this film are meant to grow as the story progresses, but never really seems to reach a crescendo.

As stated earlier, the action is present, but the flashy superheroes are not. Mysterio’s powers are interesting, but go unexplained and Spider-Man’s powers are dampened due to the situational disadvantage of being in Europe without his upgraded suit.

Cast members represent themselves well considering the shaky story. Holland is strong as an innocent teenager who is fearless against an evil interloper, but getting him to tell a girl how he feels, renders him meek and helpless. Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio is powerful, honest and a perfect substitute for Tony Stark.

Zendaya who plays Michelle Jones, Parker’s love interest, elevates her mediocre character in this film as does Jacob Batalon who plays Parker’s sidekick, Ned. Both of these characters were memorable in the previous Spider-Man film, but here must make lemonade out of lemons.

“Spider-Man: Far From Home” is far from an outstanding Marvel film, but the action and acting elevate this film to an acceptable summertime movieplex choice.

Lynn's Take:

Maybe it’s superhero fatigue, but all the noise in these mega-CGI visual effects is vexing. Weariness of manufactured mayhem has set in for this viewer, and the climax of “Spider-Man: Far from Home” seems interminable.

Are a bunch of frenzied battles with “The Elementals” exciting? Yawn. Let’s destroy more cities!

Really, the joy of the Spider-Man saga is that he’s a teenager coping with life, loss and love, and this recent reboot, first with “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and the ingenious casting of Tom Holland as Peter Parker, remarkably re-energizes the series after the two Andrew Garfield missteps came after the critically acclaimed and fan favorite Tobey Maguire efforts.

Holland is so likable – and brings out my maternal protective feelings – that the human interaction is far more interesting than the superhero razzle-dazzle.

He has terrific chemistry with Zendaya – inspired casting as MJ. The awkward teenage friendship/romance is endearing, as is his dorky best friend and the typical high school circle of stereotypes. It is, after all, based on a comic book.

Since his introduction in “Captain America: Civil War,” Holland developed a strong relationship with father-figure Tony Stark (Iron Man), and that has been one of the highlights of the last two Marvel The Avengers movies. So, if you did not see “Endgame,” this film has major spoilers.

That storyline deepens, but doesn’t go far enough here, but it’s good to include Happy (Jon Favreau).

Getting a bigger chunk of screen time is marvelous Marisa Tomei as Aunt May and a feisty Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

New to the series is villain Mysterio, with Jake Gyllenhaal flexing his muscles as a sly bad dude. He’s fine, but again, those lengthy battles of water, wind and fire just put a damper on the whole thing.