‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

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“Spider-Man: Far From Home,” the next installment in the superhero universe, is smart, funny and action packed.

The film begins with a tribute to the fallen Iron Man, Black Widow, Vision and Captain America, by Midtown High School students Flash Thompson and Betty Brant. It has been five years since the Thanos attack killed half the universe and the world is still picking up the pieces, all now referred to as “The Blip.”

True to its comic book origins, the hero who was accidentally bitten by a radioactive spider and given superhuman anchariid powers, including superhuman strength and the ability to scale walls, this Spider-Man is a teenager with real teen angst.

Living in a modest section of Queens, New York, with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), he is one of the brightest students at his special technically gifted high school. Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is back in his alter ego, brilliant yet awkward high school student Peter Parker, and still has a crush on Mary Jane Watson, aka MJ (Zendaya).

He appears as Spider-Man at a fundraiser for his Aunt May’s homeless charity. Enters Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), Tony Stark’s former chauffer/bodyguard and best friend (and real-life producer of many of the Marvel superhero franchise films), with a check for the charity.

“Nick Fury wants to talk to you,” Happy says.

“Why does Nick Fury want to talk to me?”

“Because he probably has some hero stuff for you to do.”

“If he has some hero stuff wouldn’t he call someone else?”

Packing for a class field trip to Europe, Peter debates whether to take his high-tech Spider-Man suit, now very similar to Tony Stark’s suit of armor. In Venice, Italy, a routine sightseeing day is disrupted by a giant-sized water monster emerging from the canals.

A new hero, “mysteriously” appears and appears to defeat the monster, with no one knowing Peter’s efforts behind the scenes to stop it.

Back in his hotel room, Peter’s best friend, Ned (Jacob Batalon) is sedated as spymaster Nick Fury, (the great Samuel L. Jackson), confronts Peter. “I used to know everything,” he says, “and now five years later, I don’t know anything.”

Fury gives Peter Tony Stark’s sunglasses that access Iron Man’s vast database and interactive computer system. Fury introduces Peter to Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).

“Don’t ever apologize for being smart,” Quentin tells Peter when, to the amazement of Fury and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Peter reacts brilliantly when Quentin tells him about the existence of powerful creatures known as Elementals in a multiverse and how Peter is needed to stop them.

“I’m just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man,” Peter says, reminding them that he is still a high school student.

“You’ve been to space!” Fury says.

“But that was an accident. There’s got to be someone else you can use. What about Thor?”

“Off-world.”

“Dr. Strange?”

“Unavailable.”

“Captain Marvel?”

“Nope.”

Fury “hijacks” their summer vacation by providing the tour bus. Peter is betrayed by an adult he trusted and puts his friends and the world in danger.

The supporting cast includes Martin Starr and J.B. Smoove as teachers.

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