Spider-Man: Far from Home ★★½

It's not amazing, or spectacular, but it is what it is.

I didn't hate this as much as the first movie, so that's a good thing for starters. But this is still just an unengaging rehash of the first movie with even less concern for pathos.

In what i'm assuming was an end-of-year consolation prize for The Snap, Peter Parker and his (extremely flanderized) classmates are sent on a European class trip to Venice, Paris, and London. Along the way, Nick Fury recruits him to help Mysterio defeat a bunch of CGI effects and none of it is really that interesting.

The key issue with Far From Home is that nothing really matters, and everything is either in place to advance the franchise, or just a joke. In the opening moments, the universe-shattering events of Avengers: Endgame are negated completely in favor of turning the deaths of the Avengers into pure comedy or a visual gag of someone popping back into place.

With the schoolmates themselves, the teachers are repeatedly incompetent bumblefucks presiding over a handsome but bland romantic antagonist, the annoying coupling of Ned Leeds and Betty Brant, the social media-obsessed Flash Thompson, and MJ herself, who's reduced to a Wednesday Addams-esque goth girl obsessed with death and sadness.

While Mysterio's background is predictably a ruse, his true motivation ends up being so outrageously overdone that it's kinda hard not to roll your eyes when we finally see why he's doing what he's doing.

The movie also seems to have an obsession with turning Peter Parker into the next Iron Man, dropping small but unexplored thematic hints until it culminates in an extremely unappealing scene where they blatantly have him mimic Stark, right down to the blaring AC/DC music in the background. It reeks of producers who don't know what else to do with Spider-Man other than tie him into their dead flagship character.

The movie itself compensates for a lack of cinematic flair by having some truly terrific visual effects within Mysterio's illusions, but that's as far as Marvel Studios lets director Jon Watts go with style before it inevitably goes back to being washed out palletes and shot-reverse-shot.

At the very least, the movie has decent chemistry between Tom Holland and Zendaya, where they feel like actual teenagers exchanging awkward blows and passes at one another.

Overall, Far From Home is just an incredibly predictable and sometimes tedious exercise in superhero filmmaking, right down from the bad humor and forced universe connections to the waste of talent and one note characterizations.

The mid credits scene is extremely neat though, and does bring about some potentially world shattering effects (that'll probably be resolved with a nice little bow on top in the next one).

Drew liked this review