SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (2019, Jon Watts)
Admirably fleet-footed and amusing, with a plot that’s often a step or two ahead of the audience, this is both a typical SPIDER-MAN movie (my favorite superhero since childhood, thanks to the spritely, comic tone of its stories and the cleverness of its writing) and a fine addition to a redundant MCU. Jake Gyllenhaal makes a meal of his role here (what else is new?), and touches like the Whitney Houston-drenched tribute video give a sly sarcasm to a franchise that desperately needs levity.
I could do without the slavish adherence to formula, however, which necessitates all the braggadocious CG effects, the save-the-world-and-get-the-girl narrative, and slightly hypocritical subtext about corporate takeovers. It also continues to waste Marisa Tomei. But this is perfectly keen and inoffensive entertainment — a taller order than you’d expect, these days.