Granger on Film / ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ is entertaining
After the climactic tragedy of “Avengers: Endgame,” it seems that 16-year-old insecure Peter Parker — aka Spider-Man — is left to battle baddies on his own.
His story begins 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 incident 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 Hill), who was five years their junior but is now is Peter’s rival for MJ’s affection.
Just as everyone prepares for summer field trip to Europe, Peter is summoned by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Peter’s inner conflict is immediately apparent. He wants to lead a normal life, playing with his friends, and, maybe, getting a kiss from MJ atop the Eiffel Tower. But as Tony Stark’s protege, duty calls.
Spider-Man needs to join Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) — aka Mysterio, a very powerful, spandex-clad warrior from an alternate reality/parallel Earth — to fight an evil force known as the Elementals.
From that moment on, Spidey’s trans-Atlantic 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).
Hesitant Tom Holland is so disarming as the web-slinger that Marvel may churn out more movies just for him (it’s remarkably easy to erase Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s previous incarnations).
Working with returning screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, director Jon Watts cleverly balances adolescent angst with lighthearted banter and heartfelt moments, punctuated by adrenaline blasts from Marvel’s high-tech visual effects.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” spins an exuberant, entertaining 8. Wait around for two additional post-credit scenes.
Susan Granger has been an on-air television and radio commentator and entertainment critic for more than 25 years. Raised in Hollywood, Granger appeared as a child actress in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, and Lassie. She currently resides in Westport.