September 9, 2019  (Web Review)

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Sony, 129 min., PG-13, DVD: $30.99, Blu-ray/DVD Combo: $38.99, Oct. 1

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

After the tragedy in Avengers: Endgame, insecure 16-year-old Peter Parker (Tom Holland)—aka Spider-Man—is left to battle baddies on his own as Midtown High School’s TV station broadcasts an “in memoriam” for Tony Stark and other Marvel Cinematic Universe superheroes who died fighting Thanos. That event is referred to as “the blip,” in which half the population disappeared and then reappeared five years later. Since Peter and his pals—Ned (Jacob Batalon), MJ (Zendaya), Betty (Angourie Rice), and Flash (Tony Revolori)—were blipped, they have to repeat their sophomore year, alongside hunky Brad (Remy Hii), who is now Peter’s rival for MJ’s affection. Preparing for a European trip, Peter is summoned by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and although he wants to lead a normal life with his friends, duty calls. Spider-Man joins Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal), aka Mysterio—a powerful warrior from an alternate reality/parallel Earth—to fight an evil force called the Elementals. Not surprisingly, Spidey’s trip is fraught with deception and betrayal (on many fronts) as he swings through Venice, Prague, and London. Meanwhile, back home, Tony Stark’s assistant, Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), has taken up with Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). Director Jon Watts cleverly balances adolescent angst with lighthearted banter and heartfelt moments, punctuated by adrenaline blasts from Marvel’s high-tech visual effects. Recommended. (S. Granger)