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The whole first hour of Far from Home , honestly, plays out like a Marvel-ized version of a classic Beatles film like A Hard Day's Night : the teen cast romps around in montage format with some underwhelming sight gags and a painfully telegraphed love-triangle premise among Peter, MJ, and hunky student Brad Remy Davis, Crazy Rich Asians. After a while, Fury gets hold of Parker, and the whole superhero thing starts rolling: SHIELD needs Spider-Man's help to battle a new, confusing source of evil, and they're joined by brand-new hero Mysterio Jake Gyllenhaal , who keeps showing up and somehow saving the day.

Nobody here mentions Spider-Pig , if you're wondering. This all leads to a "surprise twist" about an hour in, but it's the kind of plot surprise any grown-up can see coming a mile away.

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Don't flatter yourselves, Marvel; even M. Night Shyamalan is better at this than you. A few not-so-subtle clues land in the middle of dialogue scenes before one major veil is lifted, revealing that a campy undercurrent had been running beneath the movie all along. We learn everything via a montage that introduces a logical plot explanation and a cast of characters to match.

By the time that rip-roaring sequence ended, I nearly shouted at the screen to ask, "Why didn't y'all start with this part?

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The potential here isn't just the tantalizing series of characters who show up before being left in the screenwriting and character-development dust. It's also the special effects twist applied to this midway discovery. Nothing is really gained from keeping this stuff a secret for a full hour; I'd weigh it as the equivalent of a movie jerking audiences around with an "it was all a dream" explanation. If anything, Far from Home could have been that much more fun with viewers sinking their teeth into a collective sense of dramatic irony from the get-go.

But FFH seems stuck on replicating a twist from Homecoming , which tied up that entry's multiple dangling plots into a superhero version of one classic teenaged nightmare. FFH 's twist doesn't come close to the same level of heart or stakes. Instead, it simply sees Parker mess up in the kind of way that he's clearly going to rectify by the end.

All along the way, logical lapses pile up in dramatic fashion. Why does Nick Fury struggle so much to find Peter Parker's exact location when the kid doesn't employ any infosec practices?

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Why does Peter Parker, a kid hellbent on protecting his secret identity, repeatedly stand in the middle of major metropolitan areas with his mask off for two-minute superhero conversations? I have spent this review nitpicking and frowning in general, but that's not to say I didn't have a decent time. Again, actor Jacob Batalon proves himself quite the scene-stealing dynamo.

And Holland continues to earn his Spidey stripes with his delicate, teenaged juggle of excited and awkward, in spite of this outing taking his character in some boring directions. What's more, Gyllenhaal has his own very, very good moments as a new Marvel movie character. But going any further than that would spoil something satisfying about this week's film, and I'd like to leave that part vague for new viewers.

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Further Reading Shazam! Quite frankly, if you're looking for a teen-comic romp to watch this Fourth of July holiday, I'd recommend a dollar-theater rewatch of Shazam! You must login or create an account to comment. Skip to main content Enlarge.

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Sony Pictures. Peter Parker reflects on how his life has been forever changed. Misterio talks about a series of rising evils, which he has dubbed the Elementals. Peter spends a ridiculous amount of the film trying to woo MJ Zendaya. Peter moves forward with his part of the plan, which is mostly about being Spider-Man. After his solid mix of comedy and action in Captain Marvel , it's a bummer to see Samuel L.

Jackson phone in this Nick Fury performance. Sam Machkovech Sam has written about the combined worlds of arts and tech since his first syndicated column launched in Email sam. Chronological Insightful Highest Voted Funniest. Meanwhile, everyone I've talked to that had a chance to see this early said they enjoyed it more than the first Tom Holland Spidey flick. The general critic consensus is much the same. I wish they didn't have Spider-Man wearing what is essentially an Iron Man suit. What's with the dig aimed at M. Night Shyamalan? Sure, you expect his twists now.

Mary Poppins Returns review – a spoonful of state-of-the-art genetically modified sweetener

But really, in his first few movies, they were pretty good surprises. Meryl Streep gets a colossal cameo as a cousin of Mary called Topsy with an outrageous eastern European accent. There are some lovely early moments, especially the bathtime setpiece that becomes an underwater adventure, and the music hall number in which Blunt breaks out some serious singing and hoofing. But at the risk of annoying the faithful, I have to admit I was never a massive fan of the original, which starts terrifically and ends cloyingly just like this new one , especially its final number, for which this film finds a faithful equivalent.

Anyway, the situation now is that Britain is in the middle of the interwar depression.

The Banks children, Michael and Jane, are now grown up, played by Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer and reunited here as a kind of platonic adult couple. Michael is a financially embattled widower with three children who is on the verge of losing the family house in Cherry Tree Lane because he has rashly borrowed from the bank. The little moppets are on the brink of running amok in the park with their kite when Mary descends from the clouds. Booze, pills, smoking in well-acted but tragic biopic. Pitt flies high to reach emotional depths in sci-fi drama. Gorgeous drama will thrill longtime fans of the show.

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