I’m suffering a bit from early-summer superhero fatigue, so I fully acknowledge that my ailment could account for my less than enthusiastic endorsement of Spider-Man: Far From Home. It’s still an endorsement though. Because no matter my personal angst and anguish over the final moments of Avengers: Endgame, this latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe does a solid job picking up the pieces from Endgame and moving the MCU forward. Spider-Man: Far From Home is an entertaining, somewhat bittersweet sequel that wears two hats: it’s a follow-up to 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming reboot (with a youthful Tom Holland swinging into the role full-throttle), as well as to Endgame, which must be seen first to fully appreciate and understand what’s going on in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the 23rd film in the MCU. In Far From Home, our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man from Queens, Peter Parker, is growing weary of the awesome responsibilities that come with global superhero status and is itching to be just a regular teenager again, at least for the summer. But a school trip abroad doesn’t exactly go as planned, and Peter is called upon to step-up, fill the void left by the Avengers shake-up, and help save his classmates – and the world – from a new, monstrous threat.

Far From Home taps into all the things that make Marvel movies so appealing – that delicate balance of heart, humor, character development, and action. Not only does Peter have to take on massive Elemental Creatures (representing Earth, Air, Water and Fire) that have emerged through a hole torn in the universe (an aftershock from the events of Endgame), he’s a hopeless romantic determined to execute a grand plan to charm his friend MJ (Zendaya, The Greatest Showman) at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Ah, young love in the age of epic destruction.

The film also introduces a sarcastic new superhero named Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), who emerges from a parallel dimension with the inside scoop on how to best fight the Elemental Creatures, with Spidey’s help.

And of course, what’s an Avengers film without the intimidating former S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson)? He plays a critical role in tracking down Peter and forging an alliance with Mysterio, in the hopes of rebuilding the Avengers team.

When all is said and done, Peter/Spider-Man emerges as a sweet, endearing, funny, ambivalent and heroic young man who must come to terms with his destiny in a post-snap world that – like me – really misses Tony Stark/Iron Man.

To be continued.

For a hint of what’s to come, stick around for the two end-credit scenes.

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