If you like adolescent romantic adventures, this super-hero romp should please you.
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Director: John Watts (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Cop Car
Screenplay: Chris McKenna (Ant-Man and the Wasp), Erik Sommers (Jumanji: Welcome . . .)
Cast: Tom Holland (Spider-Man), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler)
Runtime: 2 h 9 min
By: John DeSando
“I think Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) just hijacked our summer vacation.” Peter Parker (Tom Holland)
After Captain Marvel, Shazam, and Avengers: Endgame this summer, I need a respite, and Spider-Man: Far from Home provides that. Like its eponymous hero (Tom Holland), the film is lighthearted, adolescent, and not earthshattering. It’s generally immature, with the usual proliferation of explosions, some of them illusory, and teen flirtations with no naked scenes, thank goodness.
Saving the earth is what a superhero does, and now with Tony Stark gone to the great techno heaven, it’s up to Peter Parker to do just that. Except he’s on a class trip to Europe and really wants to enjoy it, especially romancing the seemingly indifferent MJ (Zendaya). As the opening quote exclaims, the tour is not going to turn out well.
What is good is meeting the alternative-earth hero, Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), who joins Avenger forces against some very bad water and fire monsters. He’s smart and cool, a potential leader to replace Tony. Gyllenhaal had fun with the role, playing the leitmotif of appearance vs reality deftly and just enough insouciance to keep us interested.
As always for me, the explosions are too many, and the romance too negligible. Except that the flirtation between Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and Happy (Jon Favreau) has real world possibilities, if only to contrast the too-much-time with silly teen confusion over the right way to romance. Spidey is, after all, only 16! At least writers McKenna and Sommers got that awkwardness down right.
Spider-Man turns out to be a teen vacation punctuated by some bad villains and hairy situations. Teens will save this box office. Adults not so much.
About the Spidey with his new responsibilities:
“He looks out for the neighborhood, has a dope suit, and I really respect him.” Flesh Thompson (Tony Revolori)
John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.rr.com