Spider-Man: Far from Home ★★

I’m not sure it works as an action movie: not only is it very clearly not going to stand up to repeat viewings, the action just isn’t well grounded. Too much of the stakes rely on Fury throwing Spidey into situations he’s very clearly not ready for, and the attempts to reconcile the scale of our friendly neighborhood superhero with the existential cataclysm of the snap just do not work, and it’s all ultimately undercut anyway by narrative revelations I won’t spoil (even if I don’t believe in it as a storytelling mechanic—great reveals enrich the story, not detract from it—other people deserve to experience it for the first time themselves)

That said, the character work, as is probably unsurprisingly from Marvel at this point, is very compelling. Like Homecoming, this works much better purely as a John Hughes-esque coming-of-age tale: the Peter–Ned–MJ triad is so rich, and the film manages successfully to tell a story of young love that’s both naive (Ned/Betty) and fulfilling (Peter/MJ). Is it good? That depends on what you’re looking for from a superhero movie. For me it's not quite enough, and is almost embarrassing next to the masterpiece that is Into the Spider-Verse, but it does continue Tom Holland’s arc in a way that has me excited for the future of the series

PS. Some of the Mysterio visuals are super sweet

ScreeningNotes liked these reviews