Recently, I swapped messages with my Spider-Man editor when I was publisher of Marvel Comics. Ralph Macchio (No, not the Karate Kid) is a brilliant storyteller.

'Spider-Man: Far From Home' again gives us a 23-year-old Brit named Tom Holland portraying 16-year-old Peter Parker. He’s the latest version of Spidey, following Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

This time Peter is on a high school class trip through Venice, Prague and London. He’s still having a hard time figuring out how to handle his super Spidey powers.

The film faced a tricky situation, trying to fit this story within the continuity of the last two Marvel epics — 'Avengers: Infinity War' and 'Avengers: Endgame' — films where half the world, including superheroes, gets wiped out and then magically restored.

Spoiler alert: Tony Stark ends up dead.

For much of this movie Peter Parker reminisces about the departed industrialist Stark, wondering if he will be able to fill his mentor’s shoes. Uh, make that iron boots.

“The world needs the next Iron Man,” muses Parker. That angst thing.

“You’re going to be the next Iron Man now,” asks a policeman.

“Well, no,” says Peter. “I don’t have time. I’m too busy doing your job.”

At Marvel we always said a superhero was only as good as his nemesis. Here Jake Gyllenhaal pops up as Mysterio, a master of trickery and illusion. Turns out, Mysterio is really a former Stark Industries employee who resents that ol’ Tony stole some of his best ideas.

It’s up to Spidey to sort this out.

'Spider-Man: Far From Home' is swinging into the Regal Cinema in Boone, Golden Ticket Cinemas in Lenoir, Two Rives Cinema in Wilkesboro and Liberty Theater in North Wilkesboro this week. Directed by Jon Watts, this is the 23rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Yes, even though the Spider-Man character was licensed to Sony when I was at Marvel, this new studio deal brings him back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here we have the familiar faces of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau).

But being that this is a Spider-Man story, we also have Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and MJ (Zendaya). Even J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons).

You will also meet Ned Leeds and Betty Brant (Jacob Batalon and Angourie Rice), the couple who double dates with Peter and MJ. Also you will encounter Mr. Dell and Mr. Harrington (J.B. Smoove and Martin Starr), the hapless teachers trying to guide the kids through Europe.

The preview of things to come during the end credits serves to assure us that more Spidey movies are in the pipeline. Holland has signed up for at least three, this being the second.

North Carolina native and Florida resident, Shirrel Rhoades writes movie reviews and can be reached at

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