Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Jon Watts directs Tom Holland, Jon Faverau and Jake Gyllenhaal in this Marvel superhero sequel to Homecoming and Avengers: Endgame where Peter Parker goes on a school trip to Europe and meets Mysterio.

The first solo film of this iteration of Spidey was a blast. Great villain in Keaton, compelling action and smart 1980s teen movie copying. This time everything that works is forgotten. Gyllenhaal is too subdued, having to tread water for over an hour until his true nature can be revealed. Once he’s out, the ruse is revealed, things improve, but it feels too late. The early, wobbly CGI FX saturated action plays out forced and unthreatening… there’s narrative reasons for that… but it doesn’t help a sluggish overly busy film. Once Peter is battling mind bending reality, it does raise the pulse. Until then it is all a bit sitcommy. Those likeable side players from Homecoming have nice wriggles of European Vacation business to distract us but none of it is as sharply written or visually zippy as the Ferris Bueller and Breakfast Club homages a few years back. To say of a Spider-Man blockbuster that the only real highlight is two lower credited characters hooking-up neatly is hardly the stuff of IMAX wonderment. The most shocking and exciting developments happen after the credits.

5

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