FILM UNFILTERED – ‘Spider-Man: Far from Home’ is another winner

FILM UNFILTERED – ‘Spider-Man: Far from Home’ is another winner

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Three months ago, the Marvel Cinematic Universe culminated its 10-year, 22-movie run with the tour de force “Avengers: Endgame.”

“Endgame” saw the demise of some key characters in the long-running franchise that has amassed a mind boggling $2.7 billion worldwide in ticket sales.

So, for Kevin Feige, the mastermind behind this amazing success story of number one hit movie after another, how do you follow that up but with another engaging, rollicking and fun escapade with the friendly neighborhood crimefighter known as Spider-Man. But here’s where Feige and those he chooses to write these movies hit home runs; rather than just present an adventure, they go for the heart and heartstrings by showing a broken hero who is still struggling, months after helping to victoriously vanquish the evil threat known as Thanos.

Picking up eight months after the return of everyone that Thanos has snapped away, the return is now being referred to as the blip. There’s a quick, humorous look at how those who have returned are now reintegrating back into society and the trouble and confusion it has caused. Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) is working with the Salvation Army to help raise money for people who are homeless.

We also find out that she and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), Tony Stark’s driver/bodyguard were also snapped away and now that they’re back have begun dating.
Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is of course holding up OK. He’s still doing his part on a smaller scale to help prevent crime and injustice locally but clearly is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after having witnessed and survived all he did including the loss of his mentor and pseudo-father figure Stark.

As Peter and his classmates embark on a summer vacation trip across Europe, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) shows up needing his help to combat threats known as the Elementals, destructive monsters that feed off water and fire and are showing up sporadically.

A new hero also arrives in the form of Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who claims to be from an alternate Earth. Peter is both fascinated by the prospect of multiple Earths and by the gusto and determination of this heroic new player.

Of course, all is not as it seems and Spider-Man’s trust is betrayed. “Far from Home” is an outstanding palette cleanser to follow “Endgame.” It directly addresses the fallout and ramifications from “Endgame” but also presents a troubled and shaken Spider-Man/Peter Parker.

Holland is hands down the best Spider-Man yet. He embodies and captures the awe, humor and youthfulness of the character. There’s a playfulness even when there’s imminent peril and Spidey cracks jokes. Holland shines brightest as Peter, because of his zest, chipper attitude and how well he plays off of others, especially MJ (Zendaya), but his exchanges with best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and nemesis Flash (Tony Revolori) are equally memorable.

The film also borrows to a degree from the highly successful animated “Into the Spider-Verse” and the showdown sequences in the third act are spectacular and the manipulation of reality was evocative of the groundbreaking animated scenes in that film.

The supporting cast all have the bright moments, especially May and Happy who serve up possibly some of the best laughs of all.

Another win from team Marvel and Disney.

The film is rated PG-13.