Spider-Man: Far From Home is the cold glass of water you drain after eating something that doesn’t match with your taste pallet. Tom Holland remains the perfect tenure for the modern day Spider-Man and the cast around him accents an exciting action-filled John Hughes high school adventure.

The story takes place following the events of Avengers: Endgame and Peter Parker must balance his duties of being the most recognizable Avenger and his desires to live a normal high school life. He and his classmates, including his crush MJ, are travelling abroad for a science trip where trouble is found around every corner. Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders are the administrators of the Avengers, and they shape the field trip to ensure the reluctant Queens web slinger is able to help the new superhero on the scene, Mysterio.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is a not a movie based off a remarkable plot however, especially if you know the story of the film’s antagonist from the original Marvel comics. Instead, the story centers around the characters and all their unique personalities and intertwining relationships. It cannot be overstated the chemistry these actors and actresses have, and what the writers are able to convey with their creation’s interactions.

It goes without saying that Peter Parker has the most relationships to juggle. His adorable teenage angst in trying to impress MJ, his ghosting of Nick Fury, and his new friendship with Mysterio, AKA real-life Quentin Beck. That’s just a trio of them. Each one serves a different purpose in the blooming of Parker’s character.

The other major connection Peter Parker has to deal is the friendship he shared with the recently deceased Tony Stark. Iron Man is stamped throughout the adventure, whether it in evident funeral pyres or in the actions of Spider-Man. As was made evident in the trailers to Spider-Man: Far From Home, Parker is trying to come to grips with the concept of being the new “Iron Man,” in the figurative sense. The world needs a palpable, human, hero, and most would like it to be their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

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Various characters in the story bestow their advice onto Parker as to what he should do. However, the only voice he’d like to have purr his ears is MJ’s.

Zendaya, already riding the momentum of her new HBO show Euphoria, is only seeing her stock rise even more. She is perfectly dark and hilarious in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Prior to my screening in theater I saw a preview for the new Addams Family movie, and I can’t help but think she and Wednesday Addams would be best friends. But I digress. While backpacking along Europe, the slow paced and adequately awkward relationship between Parker and MJ pays of in the most accurate way in the end. It isn’t over the top, it isn’t bypassed. Their feelings are met in a way the aforementioned Hughes would have adored.

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Jake Gyllenhaal gets his Marvel indoctrination playing Mysterio. It’s hard to talk to deeply about his character without spoiling anything, but I can see that his portrayal is deliciously over-the-top. It plays to his motivations within the story and adds to the more fun tone that’s webbed throughout Spider-Man: Far From Home.

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Other shout outs are worthy for Marisa Tomei and Jon Favereau as Aunt May and Happy Hogan. Tomei has not missed a beat and director Jon Watts knows just how to portray the audience’s love for her. And Favereau is dealing heaters as the humbled and self-acknowledging mentoring figure.

In terms of visual, Spider-Man: Far From Home is stunning. It is truly breathtaking, especially in the final act. Major credit to Watts for finding a way make the talents of Mysterio modernized and breathtaking in action. Having directed Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017, Watts’ connection to the texture of this iteration of Spider-Man is strong. That goes past the visuals as well. Both antagonists in the Spider-Man solo movies are above the Marvel Universe Mendoza line, and both epic revelations pack a punch that lingers.

I tried to go spoiler free in this review because Spider-Man: Far From Home deserves it. The story flows but isn’t overwhelming or over complicated. The characters are all a delight. Visually, it’s dazzling with a nontraditional Marvel approach.

Both of Jon Watts and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man movies are in my top five Marvel movies. They in fact are second and third among the eight made since 2002 (Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is hanging onto the top spot). Spider-Man: Far From Home spans countries but doesn’t lose any of its classy neighborhood roots. A fantastic way to end Marvel Phase Three.

STANKO RATING: A-

For those curious on my Spider-Man ratings:

Title My Grade Year
Spider-Man B 2002
Spider-Man 2 B- 2004
Spider-Man 3 C- 2007
The Amazing Spider-Man B 2012
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 C- 2014
Spider-Man: Homecoming A 2017
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse A 2018
Spider-Man: Far From Home A- 2019

Spider-Man IMDB
Spider-Man Rotten Tomatoes

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