This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Jordan Barbosa’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
“Mysterio is the truth!”
As expected, Mysterio was basically Syndrome from The Incredibles, but played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Not really a bad thing, but it’s pretty much all the film has going for it.
Mysterio has always been a favorite of mine due to his comic backstory of being a Shakespeare-loving FX guy for Hollywood. My love for film and his theatricality sold me on the character. Here he regrettably loses some of the backstory in favor of Beck being a slighted Stark tech employee instead. But the spirit of the character (and his crew of “extras”) as well as the theatricality is still there. And JG sells the hell out of the character too with a speech during his scenery-chewing (literary?) reveal as a illusionist.
The speech comes off strangely as a statement on post-truth (aka “post-Trump”), painting Beck as an iconoclast showman saying “nobody listens unless you shoot lasers out of your hands or have a cape!” This is all while he elaborately lies to the world and puts himself on a pedestal. It sounds achingly familiar. This theme comes together later in the film though which finally accumulates the final scene (or with what should be the final scene. Post-credits be damned). Beck unleashes a piece of untruth into the world with major consequences, showing that dangerous lies can carry on even after death. That’s not even the best part of the scene because JK Simmons, baby!
Gyllenhaal’s performance and the commentary it provides, while a little cloying, is definitely the most interesting thing in this transitional MCU flick. Otherwise, it’s a breezy, occasionally messy, and forgettable experience.
But JK Simmons!
Speaking of that, parts of this reminded me a lot of the (genuinely great) PS4 game, which also has Simmons return. So I can’t help but infer that it was a big influence on this. The game’s better tho...