‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ a near-perfect summer movie; Griffin’s score: 9/10

(Sony Pictures)

“Spider-Man: Far From Home” is once again directed by “Spider-Man: Homecoming’s” Jon Watts, written by Chris McKenna II and Erik Sommers and of course stars Tom Holland as Peter Parker. Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury is on-hand for this adventure and the new addition to the cast is Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio. Zendaya and Jacob Batalon star as Peter’s two closest classmates, MJ and Ned Leeds. This is the second of Spider-Man’s solo adventures in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), but we’ve become very familiar with this version of the character thanks to his inclusions in films like ‘Civil War’, “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame”. The film picks up shortly after the events of Endgame with the world having changed significantly since the earth’s encounter with Thanos.

Fair warning; if you have not seen “Avengers: Endgame” you do not need to read any further in this review. The story launches directly off the events of Endgame and they definitely assume that you’re all caught up when you walk into the theater. Peter’s relationship with Tony Stark and the way he’s dealing with that loss is the emotional core of the film and the anxiety that comes with filling the void left by Iron Man begins to make life difficult for Peter.

The world is looking for a new hero to protect them with both Steve Rogers and Tony Stark gone and several people, including Tony himself, believe Peter might be that person. When Peter’s class goes on a summer field trip to Europe, he sees it as the perfect opportunity to get away from the pressures of being a superhero and advance his relationship with MJ. As I’m sure you can imagine, superhero life follows him overseas and he’s forced to work overtime concealing his identity, protecting his friends and fighting off both supernatural threats and romantic rivals.

2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” was filled with humor and ‘Far From Home’ is as well but I think it works even better this time around. Nearly every joke hits and every character is played pitch perfect by the actors and while this film has just as much humor as ‘Homecoming’, it also has a relatable struggle for Peter to face with the emotional weight of “Avengers: Endgame” behind it. Even with all of the jokes and fun action happening throughout the course of the movie, Watts includes a scene between Peter and Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan that is as moving as any scene we’ve gotten in a Marvel film.

The action has gotten a little bit of an upgrade as well. This might be the most visually amazing that Spider-Man has looked onscreen and it comes in the form of the great fighting sequences and a couple of other fantastic cinematic sequences that I won’t spoil here. It’s also great to see Spider-Man swinging through locations we’ve never seen him in before like Italy and London. ‘Hoemcoming’ took him out of Manhattan and kept him in the neighborhoods of Queens but now we get to see him on an entirely different continent. It’ll be exciting to see this version of the character make his way to the big apple eventually but for now it’s great to see him in some unconventional places.

“Spider-Man: Far From Home” is probably the best Spider-Man film we’ve gotten since Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 2” in 2004 and ends in a way that makes you very anxious to see what comes next. This is the best that Sam Jackson has been as Nick Fury in a while and every word he has to say in this one is entertaining. MJ’s role and character grow throughout the runtime and by the end you’re ready to see what will happen next with her as well. Gyllenhaal is clearly having a blast playing Mysterio and makes for a great new MCU character and Holland is now completely comfortable in the role of Peter Parker. ‘Far From Home’ is a funny, bright, action-packed, near-perfect summer movie that has some real emotional weight behind it and some big-time MCU ramifications going forward.

Griffin’s score: 9/10

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