This is 'Spider-Man 2' in more ways than one. 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' is the sequel to 2017's 'Homecoming' and is the 23rd film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland reprises his role as the titular wall-crawler, as the film follow Peter Parker trying to balance his school trip in Europe with a growing […]

This is 'Spider-Man 2' in more ways than one.

'Spider-Man: Far From Home' is the sequel to 2017's'Homecoming' and is the 23rd film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.Tom Holland reprises his role as the titular wall-crawler, as the film followPeter Parker trying to balance his school trip in Europe with a growing threatfrom unknown creatures. Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreauand Jake Gyllenhaal also star and Jon Watts returns to direct.

I enjoyed the first MCU Spider-Man film a decent amount,mostly due to Tom Holland's incredible charm and Michael Keaton enjoyinghimself as a very entertaining (and almost sympathetic) bad guy. And I havealways doubted that any Spider-Man film will ever top the heights of 2004's'Spider-Man 2,' but dammit does this thing at times come close.

Much that worked about the first film again works well here.The John Hughes-ish high school dramedy take on Peter Parker's story is oftenvery relatable, from dealing with fitting in to trying to work up the courageto talk to your crush. We feel like we can empathize with what Holland is goingthrough (until it gets to the whole 'saving the world' part) and thanks to hisand Zendaya's wonderfully awkward chemistry those scenes work so well.

The action is much bigger this time (despite a smallerbudget), and for the most part it is nothing short of incredible. There aresome mind-bending sequences throughout this film, thanks in large part to JakeGyllenhaal's Mysterio, but more on him in a second. The fights have much morecolor this time around than last (most of those battles took place at night)and because of the threat at hand it gives Watts more toys to play with andthings to throw at the screen. There are a few wonky moments, especially withgreen screen during one web swinging sequence, but overall this thing pops.

So, Mysterio. One of my favorite cartoon villains growingup, I had accepted a long time ago that I would never get to see him portrayedon the big screen. So when it was announced that not only would he appear inthe 'Homecoming' sequel but he would be portrayed by Oscar nominee JakeGyllenhaal, I got excited. From his brief appearance in the first trailer Iknew the filmmakers has nailed him and after seeing the actual film I loved it.So many times watching this I got excited because they got this characterperfect with his nature and powers, but I won't go into further detail becausethe marketing hasn't.

I really have no major complaints about 'Spider-Man: FarFrom Home.' It sets up the next phase of the MCU in mind-bending fashion andeven the first act"which some may find 'slow'"is full of cute awkward youngaffection and some actually pretty funny lines of dialogue. I'll say it: 'Spider-Man:Far From Home' is not only the best Marvel movie to come out in 2019 (I didn'tstutter), it is the best 'Spider-Man' film since 'Spider-Man 2.'

Critic's Rating: 9/10