Spider-Man: Far from Home

Spider-Man: Far from Home ★★

On one hand: Tom Holland is charming. He and Zendaya are cute together. I like how much of Far From Home is just a lighthearted teen road trip / romantic comedy, with Spider-Man hijinks on the side. Some of the quips are actually funny, the Mysterio hologram freak-outs are kind of neat.

On the other: dull CGI-noise action scenes, as usual. And even by the totalitarian standards of Marvel, the E.D.I.T.H. / Drone stuff is…unsettling. How many times have Tony Stark’s brilliant, all-powerful, world-saving technological surveillance / defensive systems gone wrong in these movies?! And yet he’s still treated like a deity. Far From Home takes “with great power comes great responsibility” to a creepy extreme. Marvel movies are like the anti-Tolkien - his Lord of the Rings books are all about how ultimate power is corrupting in anyone’s hands, no matter how good. Marvel’s stories are all about putting ultimate power in the ‘right’ hands, even as they reveal much more than they intend about how untenable and dangerous that sort of power inevitably is. If most superhero movies are about American power and the USA’s post-WWII self-image as world police, then the Marvel movies - particularly ones involving Tony Stark - seem like increasingly flop-sweaty desperate attempts to justify that power despite enormous evidence, unwittingly included in the narrative as “obstacles to be overcome”, that it’s more destructive than anything.

I wish this had just stuck with being a goofy Spider-teen movie.

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