8/10 If you look at my past reviews, it is no secret that I was not a fan of “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, despite most critics and audiences enjoying it. Since this film retained the director of that movie (although it drastically cut the number of screenwriters), I wasn’t sure what to expect with this film. Luckily I can say that this film is not only light years ahead of “Homecoming” but also just a really fun, well made film in general and the perfect ending to the MCU’s Phase 3 set of films. Despite this being a stand-alone Spider-Man film, I really enjoyed how the impacts of “Avengers: Endgame” and a certain death at the end of that film are greatly felt throughout this film. We see Peter Parker in an extremely vulnerable time, which adds depth to his character and further obstacles for him to overcome. The humor in this film isn’t overly shoved in like some other MCU movies (cough”Thor:Ragnarok”cough) but the humor that is here really works and is quite funny (the two teachers leading the European trip are quite amusing in particular, as is the film’s opening). The acting all around is great but the stand out is Jake Gyllenhaal, whom balances calm and confident with unhinged and intimidating with expertise. The chemistry between Tom Holland and Zendaya is palpable and really cute to watch the two of them together. The action and set pieces are very well done and the European setting is a refreshing break from most of the New York City or space set MCU films. The costume design, production design, visual effects, cinematography, editing, etc. are all first rate. There is a balanced level of fun, entertainment, action and heart that just blends extremely well together and it feels like all MCU films should feel like this while viewing them. Despite how well made this film is, it is not without its flaws. The use of “spider sense” is extremely inconsistent and unexplained. We have seen it happen in “Avengers: Infinity War”, yet here it isn’t working but is never explained why. Then it returns when the plot needs it to with no explanation. There is also one scene with Mysterio that is essentially just an exposition speech that he gives to his co-workers that didn’t 100% work, even though Gyllenhaal elevates the material, so you may not mind as much. Having Mysterio be a former employee/colleague of Tony Stark and Stark wronging him, leaving him bitter and angry, has also happened several times in the MCU by this point, so it isn’t exactly original. Finally, as Peter Parker and his classmates travel around Europe, no one notices how everywhere they go, they are incentivized to go there by people no one knows or have met and everywhere they are lead, a giant catastrophe with the Elementals befalls them. That would raise a ton of flags if you were anyone in the group but no one really puts that together, which seemed a bit silly. Despite the listed flaws, most of them are rather minor and don’t derail the film’s accomplishments. This film has some of the best ever post credit scenes in a MCU film (with an amazing cameo in there as well) that really gets me excited at what happens next. So despite not being perfect, this film is a step in the right direction and if my spider senses are correct, I will definitely be checking out the next Spider-Man film as soon as it drops.
#HoganOutForAHero / #FightCrawler / #HubbleBoy / #WeaveAWebOfDeception / #ShieldTrip / #MyDroneCountry