This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
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First of all, it’s completely unfair to have Jake Gyllenhaal in your movie. How am I supposed to fairly judge this when he is taking up much of the screen-time? The man is actually a “movie cheat code,” and it’s just not fair. He doesn’t just crush this role; he absolutely owns every second of screen-time. Going back and watching the film after knowing the “twist” is amazing from that perspective. Comic fans knew it wasn’t a twist, and most assumed this was going to be the case going in, but for some it was a surprise. I love the changes they made to the character that allowed him to fit this live-action world. Changes to the source material are not (always) a bad thing. It all comes down to how they execute said changes. The execution with this villain was pretty flawless.
My flaws with the film come in with what made Spider-Man: Homecoming work so well, and that’s the humor. The quirky nature of the story (in the first half), and the lighter tone didn’t necessarily add much to the film. This is especially the case when you look at how much it added to Homecoming. My favorite part of that first film is how the subtle teen humor worked so well. Here we get a few montages covering their trip at the beginning, and some humor that doesn’t always stick the landing. It takes quite a bit to find its footing. The film (finally) locks in when the reveal comes, and then the real mystery within the plot kicks in. It’s funny because it’s a similar moment to that of Iron Man 3, but I found this reveal to be much better. Mysterio’s monologue is somewhat exposition-filled, but it almost seems necessary. It’s also brilliant with how it brings characters back from other films.
We also get some epic “Mysterio mind battles“ against Spider-Man, and they prove to be some of the coolest scenes in the MCU. It’s what every fan of this villain wanted to see. The concept of the glasses being passed down does seem a bit silly at first, but it’s another element that proves to mean a lot to the story. The issue some have with Peter being “Iron Man jr.” is one I just don’t have. I understand for sure, but I’m more than happy not to have another retread of the two incarnations of the character that we just saw. I wanted something different. It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and I do somewhat miss Spider-Man being the main hero in his universe, but again, we’ve seen it plenty of times before. It lacks a few elements that made the first a bit better (personally), but it’s honestly such a fun film. I also much prefer the sequel’s version of MJ. I like her so much more in this film compared to the last. That romance genuinely adds a lot to the film.
🔙(500) Days of Summer