Some movies are beyond criticism. Oh, they can be criticized, and even hated, but everybody still goes to see them and they make enough money to run a small country for a couple of years.
“Spiderman: Far From Home” is one such movie. Don’t get the wrong idea. It’s a fun movie and well worth the two hours you’ll spend with it, but it could be nothing more that two hours of Peter Parker studying for a school test and it would still make $500 million in it’s first five days, as it actually did.
While “Far From Home” is the second Spiderman film, it’s more of a sequel to “Avengers: End Game” from this past spring than continuing any story started in the first Spiderman movie. If you’ve seen that Avengers movie (and if you haven’t by now you’re not going to, so I’m not worrying about spoilers) you know Spiderman was one of the many who were eliminated when Thanos snapped his fingers and freed up a bunch of space in the universe.
Well, things worked out all right in the Marvel Universe, as they tend to do, and Peter Parker snapped back into existence, along with apparently all the classmates he had back in the first Spiderman movie, and he immediately heads back to school where he’s amped up about taking a class trip to Europe. See, he’s really smitten with Mary Jane and he plans on telling her how he feels in front of the Eiffel Tower.
But Spidey is a hero now and Nick Fury (the always great Samuel L. Jackson), Director of SHIELD, has decided he’s needed in a battle against alternate universe baddies who can take out a whole city by themselves. But Peter really wants to go on his class trip and, like any sensible person, asks if this shouldn’t be handled by somebody like Thor or Captain Marvel?
But everybody else is unavailable and the world’s only hope is a high schooler who can do things like a spider. Sure. But Peter still refuses and Fury relents and let’s him go on his trip. But not really as Fury starts manipulating the class trip, steering Peter to where one of the creatures, called Elementals, will appear.
The Elemental does appear, Parker dresses in a black costume so people won’t keep thinking he and Spiderman keep popping up in the same places, and he helps save the day, meeting Mysterio, a hero from an alternate universe who is trying to keep our Earth from being destroyed like his was.
If you’ve read any Spiderman comics, you’ll know something is off here, but we won’t go any further as to do so would reveal things you should find out while watching the movie. But, if you think you know what it is, you probably do.
So, we’ll talk about the performances. Tom Holland continues to prove he was born to play Spiderman and all that came before him were just pretenders. Jake Gyllenhall, whose career has encompassed every kind of character you can think of, does the chin out, I’ll die to prevent anyone from getting hurt hero thing like he’s been doing it all his life. And all the actors who play Peter’s classmates do a lot with borderline thankless roles. You know, get in trouble, get saved by Spiderman then treat Peter like a giant nerd when he comes back, acting like he doesn’t know what happened.
Of course, the film looks great and you’ll really believe a radioactive spider bite will do something other than send you to a painful death. There’s also a lot of remembering of Tony Stark/Iron Man and when Peter gets handed the keys to Stark’s kingdom, well, spoilers you know.
And there’s humor. Lots of laughs. One ongoing joke is people referring to Peter’s ability to sense danger as his “Peter tingle.” Crude, sure, but it’s funny. And if you’re old enough, you’ll get a real laugh out of Peter yelling, “I love Led Zeppelin!” as “Back in Black” by AC/DC starts playing.
If you’re looking for a great summer movie, this is probably as close as you’ll get. It’s nowhere close to perfect and has way too many twists and reveals as it gets close to the end. Speaking of the end, there is one mid-credits scene and then another one at the very end. They’re both worth sticking around for.
Bottom line, it’s a Marvel film and you know what you’re getting. There’s no way you’ll be disappointed. And if you are, you’re probably just an old sour puss.