Spider-Man: Far From Home: Flawed but Ambitious Sequel Swings High

4 out of 5 stars for Spidey fans, 3 out of 5 for nonfans.

Image from https://www.imdb.com/

Spider-Man: Far From Home is one of the most bizarre superhero movies I’ve ever seen.  The action is bigger, the plot is zanier, but it lacks the heart and subtlety of its predecessor.  While the first half suffers from pacing issues, huge logic gaps, and hit-or-miss running jokes, Spider-Man: Far From Home swings to a wacky finale and allows Tom Holland to redefine the character for a new generation.

The world is readjusting to normalcy following Avengers: Endgame.  Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) wants to take a break from heroics and woo his crush MJ (A snarky Zendaya) on their class trip to Europe.  Unfortunately, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) forces him to work with the mystical Quentin Beck (a fun Jake Gyllenhaal) to defeat giant monsters.  Now Peter must balance his desires with his responsibilities, made harder when a new threat emerges seeking world domination.

Spider-Man: Far From Home fixes some mistakes of its predecessor (Which I enjoyed more on a second viewing).  The action is visually dazzling, the humor better integrated, and Tom Holland would be the definitive Spidey were it not for Tobey Maguire’s iconic portrayal, effortlessly balancing Peter’s optimism and frustration.

The first hour of Spider-Man: Far From Home is a repetitive mix of teen angst and blasé fights with easily fixable plot holes (Why are they going on this trip, what’s their itinerary, and why do they have the world’s dumbest teacher as a tour guide?)  While fun, Gyllenhaal’s character is underwritten and the actor struggles to fully disappear into his role.  The 2nd half thankfully provides stronger momentum, a classic action scene, and better comedy.  Spider-Man Far From Home may entertain Spidey fans more than general audiences, but those seeking a fun, trippy superhero flick will have their spidey senses tingled.   Swing to your nearest theater and See Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Rated PG-13 for Sci-Fi Action Violence, Some Language, and Brief Suggestive Comments.  There are 2 mid-credit scenes.

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