Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
(2019 Summer Blockbuster Movie Series)
In the hangover of Endgame, its time to finally see Spider-teen buck up! Ohh and those Mysterio actions scenes gave me the Peter-tingle!
'People need to believe in something ... and they will believe anything.'
I think that's what Marvel's marketing department must have been thinking when introducing Mysterio in the trailer.
So in this latest Spidey adventure, Peter and his class are off to Europe for their Summer vacation. Then while in Italy, Mysterio who is brilliantly played by Jake Gyllenhaal appears and tells S.H.I.E.L.D and Spiderman that he needs their help to take out these inter-dimensional elemental monsters in order to save the world!
If you were annoyed by the cheeky high school comedy parts of 'Spiderman Homecoming', then you may find the first half of this movie to be a real slog. Instead of wanting to help save the world, Peter just wants to be a normal teen and is perfectly fine letting Mysterio be the one take over where Iron Man left off. Many of Peter's friends and teachers have some funny moments, and it was nice to see Peter now actively trying to date Mary Jane. But it was Peter being so whiny about having to do hero work that was the obnoxious part ... I'm talking borderline Tobey Maguire levels.
Thankfully when the Mysterio plot really started to kick in, my enjoyment of the movie increased exponentially.
So anyone familiar with Spiderman could see through the ploy that Mysterio was going to be a good guy. Especially with how bland the element monsters were, that felt like a rehash of Sandman from 'Spiderman 3'. The 'twist' moment where he reveals his true nature was a lot like what they did with the Mandarian in 'Iron Man 3', which was deflating at first ... until they proved how well they were able to pull off how great Mysterio's abilities were, based on these illusions. While Iron Man was a one-man team that utilized technology, Mysterio turns out to be a former Stark employee who is accompanied by a team of other jaded former employees to create the illusion of Mysterio in order to gain power. They accomplish this by using hundreds of drones to sync up and project anything they want from huge monsters to a surreal dream world.
So really Mysterio is not this magic fish bowl guy at all, he is just controlling the illusions with a wrist controller. That sounds lame at first, but the audience is shown these illusions as if they were real and it is a blast to see Spidey start using his spider-sense to separate the illusion from reality in order to defeat Mysterio. So in these action scenes we get some great moments of Peter getting toyed with in this fantasy world, and that ends up getting him smacked by a train.
Some additional takeaways:
- Once again Aunt May is pushed to the side, and it is no big deal that she knows Peter is Spiderman. Instead Happy Hogan is the one that fills in toward the end to help Peter sort things out. Also, Peter has to deal with him starting to date his Aunt
- It was cool seeing Peter take some ownership over the capabilities of the new suite he designs, but I wish he would have gone with a less traditional look. But it was neat at the end to see the back of his suite had started melting
- Ned having a luvvy dubby girlfriend was cute
- It was fun to see MJ catch on to Peter's constant disappearing. And it was good to see her more involved with what was going on with Peter and Ned
- We need more New York web swinging in these new Spiderman movies, since that is one of the best parts of the character
- J.K. Simmons was the perfect J. Jonah Jameson, so it was great to see him get recast in that role
- My interest is peaked heading into the next movie, with Peter's identity as Spiderman being announced to the World. Does he really need to wear the mask if everyone knows who he is??
- There is a decent post-credits scene to check out if you feel like waiting to see how the Scrolls were in this movie
The first two Marvel Spiderman movies have given us more than enough Peter Parker in High School. So hopefully the next chapter will not focus so much on Spiderman saving his friends, because the Spiderman VS Mysterio parts of this film were some of the best spidey action moments we have seen in a movie.
Thanks for reading.
Happy movie watching ... SKOL!