Spider-man: Far from Home

‘Spider-man: Far from Home’ is the 7th stand-alone film in the overall series. These do not include the stitched together efforts from the late 70’s/early 80’s that were episodes of the infamous Nicholas Hammond-starring TV series. Those of a particular age would remember them with fondness with its goofy charm surprisingly still evident in this bigger budgeted update. Being a huge Spider-man comic book collector since the 70’s, the character has always been of interest with this entry successfully capturing the essence of what made those books captivating page-turners.

Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is on a school trip to Europe with his school friends MJ (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon). His holiday is rudely interrupted when former head of S.H.I.E.L.D Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) enlists his services. Wanting Parker, in his guise as Spider-man, to team up with noted illusionist Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), Fury wants them to battle an otherworldly threat. With Peter’s personal and professional life blurring, he will need all his super-heroics to spin his way out of trouble.

‘Spider-man: Far from Home’ is a consistently entertaining entry in the franchise. Light, exciting and fun, it encompasses the lighter side of the web-spinning. With previous instalments exploring the darker side of the mythology, this recent reboot series has taken a much lighter tone. It doesn’t mean discarding the teenage angst that makes the Spider-story compelling. Peter’s personal problems still captivate and are relatable no matter what age viewers are. How he deals with his friends and foes alike is what sets him apart from the more muscle-bound heroes he encounters.

Like Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield before him, Holland makes the character his own. Each actor has conveyed a different aspect of the role with Holland’s keen sense of responsibility and naivety a key component of the comic book’s early days. Jackson and Gyllenhaal are equally strong as well as the other cast members. It’s refreshing seeing the story take Spider-man out of the comfort zone of his usual New York locale with the European locations put to great use. The CGI and cinematography bring each frame to comic-book life with lots of colour and movement under Jon Watts’ strong direction.

Whilst the first two Maguire films are still the best rendition of the character, ‘Spider-man: Far from Home’ is a fine addition. Briskly paced with scenes easily flowing into the other, it’s a solid crowd pleaser. A third outing of Holland’s Spidey would be welcome with the character’s popularity as strong as the webs he weaves.

Rating out of 10: 7

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