Spider-Man: Far from Home ★★½

Far from Home feels like the MCU is dreaming-- it's colorful, fanciful, and it has a noticeable lack of internal consistency. It makes sense that a story featuring Mysterio would be rife with invented notions people are asked to accept, but this movie puts too much of that burden on the audience instead of the characters. Elementals? Other dimensions? Gyllenhaal's from other dimensions? While the movie pulls a turn that anyone familiar with Mysterio will see coming from minute one, it doesn't shed the contrivances as well as the film might believe. And honestly, it's a little disappointing when the twist drops--I liked the character much better when the illusion was in full swing, in the back of my head I was hoping they wouldn't go for a total 180 with him. Gyllenhaal was still my favorite part of the movie, both for his performance and the commitment on costume design--he looked perfect. Other things that worked well were the high school romance subplots, one just for comedic value and the other for the tongue-tied awkwardness that really hits home.

Post-review stingers:

-The parallels of Mysterio's illusions & the dissolution of objectivity in modern times with the illusions of film making are brought up but not explored. I was briefly reminded of Inception.

-Was Team Mysterio actually into it or were they under duress? The movie gives very mixed messages.

-What can’t the drones do? What can't Mysterio do? While the scenes of complex mind-bending illusions are visually striking, I felt they stretched the power of both a bit too far.

-On that subject, there is an eerie realness to drones (especially drones with machine guns) that I really wish movies would lay off of. It's hard to buy into a popcorn adventure movie when I'm looking at a very real technology that will almost certainly be used to end real lives in our world in the near future.

-What was with the abrupt, blink and you miss it cold open?

-The post credit stingers...I was happy they chose to give them actual story telling weight, but those twists were a little too heavy.