Spider-Man’s European Tour

“Spider-Man: Far From Home” is the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise and reunites Tom Holland, Zendaya, and several other familiar faces from the previous Spider-Man movie.  Jon Watts is the director with Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers credited as screenwriters.  Jake Gyllenhaal joins the cast as Quintin Beck, otherwise known as Mysterio.  Samuel L. Jackson returns as Nick Fury, which is as welcome here as in previous appearances.  It was also good to see Cobie Smulders return as Agent Maria Hill.

Anyway, Peter Parker wants to take a break from being New York’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and enjoy his school trip starting off in Venice, Italy.  But trouble predictably follows the web-slinging hero when a creature known as the Water Elemental splashes onto the scene.  Then, a new hero known as Mysterio emerges to help defeat the watery menace.  Parker is then reluctantly recruited by Nick Fury to help fight the other Elementals which have arrived from another dimension pursued by Mysterio, supposedly.  Parker has his own plans to enjoy the trip with his friends and find the most romantic setting to reveal his heart for Zendaya’s MJ.  Anyway, Spider-Man is either about the emerge as the heir to the legacy of the recently deceased Tony Stark or he has become enmeshed in a monumental deception that compels him into a catastrophic mistake he must correct while protecting his friends.

This film was not quite as good as the predecessor, “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, however it was still more then worthwhile.  Holland does overplay Peter Parker’s awkwardness a little, but he is still fun to watch.  He actually seems to have pretty good comedic chemisry with Zendaya and Jacob Batalon, who plays best friend Ned Leeds.  Zendaya has the potential to be a bit of a scene-stealer.  Sure, she is a little overly sarcastic, but I rather liked her.

I also like Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, although this depiction is a very significant departure from the original conception in the comic books.  She gets herself into an unlikely romance with Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan.

The MCU films are known to have their more than fair share of humor, but this one loads up on the funnies, which was a nice reprieve from the emotional heaviness of the recent Avengers movies.

The coherence of the plot gets a little shaky at times, but the film still delivers a good time.  The visual effects are pretty convincing and do seem to match the images one would likely see on the comic pages.  Quite a few liberties are taken when compared to the original comic range canon, but enough of it is still recognizable to not be terribly upsetting.

The film has enough strengths in the performances and the humor to make the more questionable moments irrelevant.

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