Spider-Man: Far from Home ★★★½

Fun and delightful and yada yada, but a less than stellar script and some very uncooked themes make this a bit unsatisfying, especially as compared to "Homecoming". It leans hard into Peter Parker's central and overworked dilemma, balancing his friends and being a teenager with his superhero obligations, without fleshing it out or moving that ball forward any. At the end of "Homecoming", he's not ready to be an Avenger, but then he is in the next movie, and now he isn't again, and by the end, it's all .... still the same struggle. Holland is a great inhabitant of the character, but these movies are too breezy to really dig into the character's pathos, leaving him to largely just restate the issue again and again. This one is even light on his usual wisecracking.

Jake Gyllenhaal continues to be on one with a subdued, then manically dickish performance. Mysterio has all the spurned resentment that Keaton's Vulture had, but none of the class or power intrigue, a villainous premise as light as "I want to be listened to." In crafting a new superhero out of manufactured threats, it stands to wonder what he would do when a legitimate threat emerged. The theme of "people will believe in anything with lights and production" is certainly interesting in 2019 (and it certainly wants to be playfully cheeky when set inside a $200 million piece of product), but it's mostly a throwaway line, the only conclusion left to draw from it being "yeah, I guess they will?"

Zendaya is still brilliantly nihilistic. The humor here is fine but there's a good deal that doesn't land. The projection drone freakout scene is a standout. Nick Fury is kind of a plot cudgel to give Peter ultimatums. It's okay. Thank you Disney for our blessed content slop.

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