Heath Lynch’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's easy to fool people when they're already fooling themselves.
Well, it was fun. I was able to power through the entire MCU in a week, prepped for the WandaVision finale on Friday. It was a fun, and refreshing journey. Especially watching in chronological order this time, got a lot more out of it. But every journey has an ending. And while this isn’t the start of phase 4, we are here at the end of of phase 3, and the Infinity Saga. Spider-Man: Far from Home...
I waiver back-and-forth on this film. I definitely like it. But I don’t love it. But do I really like it? Is it 3 1/2 storms, or is it for? Let’s dive into it.
We are back to our first solo adventure after the extreme highs of the Avengers Infinity War. In a lot of ways, this is arguably the best Spider-Man story ever told as a live action Spider-Man film. We have more I have an understanding of Peter Parker‘s psyche than ever before. His vulnerabilities, and insecurities. What makes him so lovable in the first place, it’s all on display here. And since we skip the origin of Spiderman in the MCU, this is the first time we really get to see him deal with grief with the loss of Tony Stark, supplementing what we never saw for Uncle Ben. We also see his relationship with MJ blossom. All of this is terrific. But what makes it even better, like always, as we have a incredible villain to challenge him.
Jake Gyllenhaal‘s Mysterio might be the greatest live-action Spiderman villain only behind Alfred Molina‘s Doc Ock. His origin as well defined, and his motivations are clear. From the moment we get the big reveal, we see him transform from hey supportive father figure, humble and quiet into an enigma of eccentricity and bastion of sociopathic tendencies. He’s the best villain in the MCU, only behind Thanos and Killmonger. And the visuals used to portray Mysterio are gorgeous. The character model is stunning. The use of illusion tech, and green lasers/smoke it is impressive to look at. The fight with Spider-Man in the empty warehouse is the best fight we’ve ever seen from Spider-Man, anywhere ever. there are so many layers to that one battle that could be picked apart and it’s own review, it’s so well-crafted.
With all that said, there are things that hold me back. The layout of the plot seems very formulaic, and the redundancy is annoying. Spider-Man goes to a famous European city. He walks around some historic landmarks so that we can have some noticeable locations in our film. Fights big elemental dude with Mysterio. Move onto the next city, repeat. That’s so boring, and could’ve been better. There’s an argument to be made though that this was intentional because it’s how Mysterio wanted things to go. He wanted to be able to control his illusions, and the storyline he was crafting, so he made it simple. But that leads to the other problem of the film that I have…
I cannot stand that the main bad guy is nothing more than drones. I really wish they had made Mysterio actually have illusory magic, like in the comics. This just feels like screen writers wanting to take things to another level, unnecessarily. Especially when they tied everything back to Tony Stark. Tying into the bar simulation from Civil War, very much a stretch. Having Mysterio as an actual mystic would’ve been so much more interesting, and would’ve allowed for the plot of the movie to be more than repetitive elemental bashing. It would’ve allowed for us to not just fight a bunch of drones.
Because honestly, that’s just really boring. Trying to disable a whole bunch of tiny flying robots over and over is not what I wanted to finale of my big Spider-Man movie to be. It also brings up logical concerns. We actually see them pre-program the fight sequences for the illusion that the drones provide. So how do the drones/illusions account for spontaneous events? It’s entirely impossible. What if Spider-Man zigs when the illusion anticipates that he would zag? Now the entire illusion is it out of sync within the battle itself. There are several moments in the movie that absolutely don’t logically make sense because of this. There’s no way the illusion could’ve kept up with the random sequence of events that takes place that is entirely unscripted and unplanned for. Again, if Mysterio was a real mystic, none of this would be a problem.
Overall, I like this movie. Do I really like it? Depends on my mood that day probably. Regardless, it’s an enjoyable experience that I would recommend anyone who is a fan of Spider-Man, or the MCU.
MCU Timeline: boxd.it/aTI2Q