Spider-Man: Far From Home

Spider-Man: Far From Home ★★

A disappointing sequel that intermittently threatens to be something special, before immediately squandering its potential with another weak and out-of-place joke or moment of poor characterization. The Disney Channel comparison so many love to make isn't exactly false, but the comparison I was actively brought to is to that of Riverdale in that all the kids are insufferable and all the adults are barely tolerable. The only jokes that land come from the mouths of Martin Starr and J.B. Smoove, who are basically the best parts of the movie alongside some moments of brilliance in Jake Gyllenhaal's performance.

I can't say I totally agree with the direction taken in Mysterio's characterization, particularly in the second half or so, but Gyllenhaal's energy as well as the grounded and human moments he has with Peter are genuinely very solid. I also really do like the few touches on the idea of responsibility as well as how Peter is made to grapple with what he needs to do and what he wants to do.

Otherwise, this movie is a confused mess set in a world that isn't quite ready to just let Peter *be* Spider-Man. It's more worried about fitting into a larger universe than standing out within that universe; the jokes are borderline self-parody; and just about every character is bland, one-dimensional and are, at best, pawns used solely to lift up Peter's loose arc. It has some entertaining moments, sure, but it's also frustrating, mind-numbing, and outright irritating.

I can't say I'm hopeful for No Way Home. All I can say is that I'm curious.

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