This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Joseph D’Andrea’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
This is a genuinely enjoyable and lovable movie, okay, it's not just because I love Spider-Man.
I'm so glad they brought back Jon Watts to direct this, and you could really tell the movie benefited from it. Watts' style works so well with this character and this has become yet another great installment in the MCU. Marvel Studios' ability to consistently produce enjoyable films one after the other (for the most part) lends a hand in avoiding the eventual superhero movie fatigue to set in, and this movie is no exception to their successes in this franchise.
Personally I think Tom Holland is the best Spider-Man and maybe the best Peter Parker, but Tobey Maguire will always be my Spider-Man and my favorite. But, putting aside comparisons as I should, Tom Holland once again delivers on all levels. He's so comfortable in this role and the way he plays off other characters/actors feels so natural, as displayed in the first one as well. I think I might like this one better than Homecoming by a very slim margin, but I can't say anything now because I've only seen this once. The story feels very much expanded for a Spider-Man movie and that's due to multiple reasons, but it doesn't fault the movie at all for the most part. So many of the jokes land and the film once again another great screenplay. Despite the predictability in some instances, some of the twists were out of left field and, pertaining to this subject, I love how they handled Mysterio's character. It didn't go the obvious route I thought it would, but instead chose a much more complex option that worked so well and better than anything I could've hoped for. And what else can I say about Jake Gyllenhaal? This guy is one of the best actors from the past two decades. Another great villain in the MCU, they've been on a roll lately in that category. I appreciated how they did something different with that element of the movie. There were some moments when the Peter-MJ relationship felt a little bit off in terms of pacing, but the relationship itself was pretty well done in my opinion. I actually initially predicted that they'd kill Tony off in Infinity War back before the movie came out and then thought the now deemed Far From Home would center around Peter dealing with, and eventually overcoming/avenging, Tony's death to some degree, and I wasn't exactly spot on obviously timeline-wise but I had a general correctness to my hope for this film's plot, and I'm glad they incorporated it in this movie. It just seemed like an obvious, yet not forced plot device that ended up adding a lot to the movie emotionally and character-wise. The way the movie balanced high school relationship with global threat also was very well done and the overall well done pacing and editing here plays a role in that.
One of my absolute favorite scenes in the entire MCU takes place here as well in the visually stunning illusion scene between Mysterio and Spidey. This scene is just so incredible. The story-telling that's told with these images and the sheer amount of talent and effort that the CG animators did here is such a testament to what we're able to accomplish in this day and age. Maybe I'm making a bit of an overstatement here, but it was just so... cool. I'm sorry, I can't really find another word for it, that's what it was, similar to Mysterio. I know it sounds very undescriptive but they're able to convey so many things through this one scene and it really brings out the character of Mysterio as a classic villain, and as a well-developed character in himself.
The action was a big issue in Homecoming and was pretty much the worst part of the movie due to its darkness and lengthiness, but this movie really triumphs in its action scenes. They're so fun and really awesome to look at, as well as being tame enough to see everything that's going on in all the chaos.
There's one plot hole in this that is hard to get past because it's such a crucial part of the movie, and that's when Peter cancels the drone strikes. As shown earlier in the movie, Beck isn't able to access the controls of Stark's tech without confirmation from the previous owner. So, when Peter picks up the glasses after Mysterio dies, he should not have been able to stop the drones' attacks unless he got verbal permission from the previous owner himself, Beck. I thought that was a pretty blatant issue that ruins the climax of the ending of that scene.
Overall, a great movie. One that will undoubtably be one of the top tier MCU films for me. It's still impressive how we're this far in and still getting movies that have the potential to top some of this franchise's greats.
Also that "In Memoriam" segment at the beginning had me absolutely rolling.