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THE MOVIE GUY — “Spidey” swings into new era of Marvel movies.

THE MOVIE GUY

“Spider-Man: Far from Home”

Sony Pictures

Rated PG-13

3 Stars

“Spider-Man: Far from Home” is the first Marvel movie to hit theaters after “Avengers: Endgame,” the film that dramatically changed everything within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

That means that there is a lot riding on the shoulders of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Sure, he’s got to save the world and all of that, but the real question is whether or not he can he keep the Marvel cash cow up and running.

It turns out that he can, with a film that gives us a smaller-scaled superhero adventure, but also one that successfully pivots into a new era for Marvel. Kudos to the filmmakers for pulling off this tricky transition.

We catch up with Peter Parker as he’s preparing to go on a high school trip to Europe. His plan is to take MJ (Zendaya) to the Eiffel Tower to tell her that he likes her. Unfortunately for Peter, young love is stymied by several intergalactic monsters when they start rampaging across Europe. This forces Spidey to swing into action and team up with a new superhero named Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).

These big fight sequences are well done, but there’s not much going on here that we haven’t seen before. Giant elemental monsters smash things and Spidey and Mysterio do their best to keep innocent civilians from getting squashed.

Yeah, done that, even bought the tee shirt.

The difference in this movie is that Peter’s high school love life takes precedent over all the carnage. Major cities are being destroyed, but Peter still has a girl to impress and he still has to protect his identity, plus keep posting on social media because he is a teenager, after all.

I found this disconnect from the gravitas of world-ending events to be a delightful reminder that these movies are supposed to be fun little escapes. This won’t be a film where beloved characters will die, instead we get a minor adventure that feature a lot of funny moments, peppered in among the action sequences.

Tom Holland continues to be the perfect choice in the title role. His boyish good looks pair wonderfully with his character’s youthful energy and sense of optimism. This is the film where Peter has to decide whether he’s willing to take on the responsibilities of being a superhero, and Holland’s performance allows us to understand why it’s such a difficult decision for the young man.

Ultimately, “Spider-Man: Far from Home” won’t be remembered as the best Marvel movie ever–it simply doesn’t have the scale or gravitas to stay with you long after the final credits roll. So what? If you just want to beat the heat with a fun and funny superhero adventure, then swing on over to the theater for Spidey’s latest movie.

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are each week in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM and Fox4. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@sbgtv.com.