A superhero epic for the young at heart

By Aaron Reynolds

The Surveyor

4 out of 5 stars

It is no hidden secret Hollywood has become enamored with churning out superhero movies. In the modern era it all began with the success of “Spider-Man” and “Batman,” and more recently has progressed into more obscure releases like “Black Panther” and “Wonder Woman.”

This past weekend Hollywood went back to its origins with “Spider-Man: Far From Home” – a true stable of the genre. While releases like “Shazam!” and “Captain Marvel” have recently produced some acclaim, nothing is quite as tried and true as an original classic which explains how “Spider-Man” has withstood an early 21st century trilogy as well as more recent series.

In fact, “Far From Home” is the 23rd release in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and arguably one of its finer achievements. Tom Holland returns as Peter Parker, while getting support from a deep cast that also includes Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Riding off the appreciation of its predecessor – “Homecoming” – the new “Spider-Man” epic features a genuine combination of great storytelling, outstanding visual effects, authentic performances, and wholesome entertainment.

While MCU has arguably leaned on its superstitions in the past and produced largely serious and deeper superhero works of art, “Far From Home” is much more grounded and a unique combination of flying superhero meets teen romance. It doesn’t take itself quite as seriously as previous MCU installments, and that is quite alright.

Parker begins the next chapter in the “Homecoming” series by teaming with best friends Ned and MJ as they embark on a European vacation. Unfortunately, he cannot just abandon his super-hero antics for a few weeks, as things quickly turn sour on the other side of the pond. Nick Fury (Jackson) makes an arrival and seeks assistance taking down a slew of new bad guys.

Though there are some serious messages to “Far From Home, the principal of the story remains attached to the teenage version of Parker and the harmless nature that comes with such an age. He is forced to deal with newfound super powers while still wanting to desperately grasp onto his youth, creating a divide that everyone can relate to when we all transition from our teen years to adulthood.

The direction of Jon Watts is solid throughout, and MCU delivers a crisp and clear plot. Sequels do not always live up to the hype and, after a really good 2017 prequel, the follow-up is comparably good. So much so one has to argue which series will end up better, the current one or the original Tobey Maguire trilogy from the early 2000s.

If you were seeking a fun and lighthearted middle-of-summer type of flick that entertains throughout and isn’t too heavy on subject matter, “Far From Home” is a really good movie. Superhero films are absolutely killing it this year, and “Far From Home” is among the best.

It never takes itself too seriously and instead offers a new take on the most exercised genre in Hollywood, offering a different dish to appease a faithful fan base.

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