Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

[6.0]

Tom Holland is far and away the best reason to ever see a Spider-Man movie these days. He’s charming, charismatic, funny and incredibly watchable. So as long as he’s our Spidey/Peter Parker, I guess I’ll keep watching these spider flicks.

What else is good about Far From Home? It’s nice to see parts of Venice and Prague. Some of Peter Parker’s friends have cute moments, though no one even approaches stealing the show from Holland — which is as it probably should be. Jake Gyllenhaal’s character is, I guess, maybe sorta interesting. I like the budding relationship between Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May and Jon Favreau’s Happy character, as well as Peter’s discomfort with it. The score by Michael Giacchino is among the better ones I’ve heard in a Marvel movie.

The bad? Nothing is terrible. Zendaya is pretty dull as Peter’s love interest. But he loves her so much, he kinda makes us love her, too. Girl needs a cheeseburger, to be honest. And an attitude adjustment. Gyllenhaal’s fish bowl helmet looks stupid. And the third act gets just a tad tiresome with an overload of digital viscery.

It’s increasingly hard to review Marvel movies. While I am at least moderately entertained by most of them, they all have the same outcome — charismatic actors bring the warmth, but the routine plotlines and obligatory CGI action border on tedious. I think Marvel is probably proceeding the best way possible by relying on character and personality to win the day. But maybe we could afford to see some Marvel movies that don’t have an obligatory bad guy of the season, or that don’t provide stepping stones for some overarching Earth-shattering storyline. Especially now that the cataclysmic Endgame storyline is finished, maybe now we can have ‘Thor and Starlord go to the brothel’. Or ‘Peter Parker tries to break up Aunt May and Happy’. No superpowers needed — just humanity. No pesky plot to get in the way of character. It could be just what the doctor ordered.

With Samuel L. Jackson.

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