Spider-Man: Far from Home is the second Spidey movie to come out in less than a year, after Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and the third if you count Venom. The movie is also the first Marvel Cinematic Universe entry following the end-all be-all superhero confrontation in Avengers: Endgame.

You’d think that a movie with that much burden to bear, coupled with a character as frequently seen as the Web-slinger, would crumble under its own weight, but no. People just can’t seem to get enough of your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man!

Far from Home, funnily enough, takes Spidey out of the neighborhood and off to Europe on a high school field trip. The exotic locales and road trip vibe are a fresh take for the arachnid superhero who is most known for swinging through the concrete canyons of New York City.

Similar to its predecessor, Far from Home plays like an homage to 1980s John Hughes teen coming-of-age films, coupled with Cameron Crowe-style relationship dramadies, and a hint of inspiration from Richard Linklater’s European-set Before Sunrise series.

After the harrowing events of Avengers: Endgame, the movie takes a quick moment to establish the new status quo of a world where half its inhabitants were blipped out of existence, only to be brought back to life five years later.

In the aftermath of the cosmic calamity, all Peter Parker wants to do is go on vacation with his friends, and maybe tell his classmate crush Michelle that he has romantic feelings for her. But wouldn’t you know it, Nick Fury is in need of some superhero help, and all the other Avengers are either dead or off planet!

It seems that with the overuse of the Infinity Stones, a hole has been torn in the space time continuum. The effects are bringing people and creatures from alternate dimensions into our reality.

The monstrous Elementals are cosmic beings made of earth, wind, water, and fire who came through the dimensional hole and are set to destroy the planet. A superhero named Quentin Beck, AKA Mysterio, has followed them here after they destroyed his Earth, in the hopes of averting another planet ending disaster.   

Nick Fury, who is still trying to get his bearings after being blipped away for five years, joins forces with Mysterio and recruits Spider-Man to help based on Tony Stark’s recommendation. At first Parker turns Nick Fury down, but when the super spy manipulates his school trip itinerary to the same tourist attractions under attack by the Elementals, he’s forced to join the fight.

From here on out the spoiler-heavy plot prevents further exploration of story details, but let’s just say that Peter makes a monumental mistake that puts his friends and Europe in grave danger. In the vaguest of terms, he must make amends by creating a new suit and out-thinking his adversaries. And that’s about all that can be said without ruining the surprises ahead!

Reminiscent of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, this movie does a fantastic job of putting Peter Parker’s personal life through the ringer. He has to juggle Nick Fury, the Elementals, the class trip, his romance with MJ, and his new friendship with Mysterio, all while keeping his superhero identity a secret.

Tom Holland does a masterful job of portraying the earnest but inexperienced Peter Parker, who tries to do good but causes much damage. Jake Gyllenhaal brings the seedy weirdness of his former roles in films like Night Crawler and Velvet Buzzsaw to craft a truly memorable and surprising Mysterio. Zendaya rounds out the trio of leads with her performance as the lovably morbid Michelle Jones, who is a perfect romantic and intellectual foil for Peter.   

Overall, Spider-Man: Far from Home is a delightfully light and breezy MCU palate cleanser after the tear-jerking goodbyes of Avengers: Endgame. If you’re looking to sit back and go on a summer vacation with Spider-Man, this is the flick for you.

Don’t forget to stick around for not one but two truly shocking end credit scenes that will have long lasting effects on ole’ Webhead and the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.