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Tom Holland meets Jake Gyllenhaal in "Spider-Man: Far From Home."

Spider-Man: Far From Home has a big problem: It cannot let Iron Man go. Before I come out swinging, I love Spider-Man: Homecoming so much that I searched the Earth for that goddamn rare Best Buy steelbook. Far From Home, on the other hand, is underwhelming, obnoxious, goofy, derivative, and bad-looking.

Where does Far From Home go wrong? For starters, the explanation of the people who were dusted during the Snappening is still a bit perplexing. The world calls it The Blip, and one character takes about 30 seconds to deal with this very important plot device we’ve all been very curious about since Avengers: Endgame.

The film spends much more time trying to make the audience laugh with repetitive jokes, and it’s hard to take the movie seriously once you learn the plot that we’ve seen in previous Iron Man movies and a recent animated film (which I won’t name). My biggest issue with Far From Home is how we see Peter (Tom Holland). The story takes place eight months after Iron Man saved the world with his snap and died as a result. Peter Parker died in his mentor’s arms, only to come back minutes later and watch his mentor die in his arms. Yet Peter just “misses” Stark in Far From Home where he should be experiencing serious PTSD from this trauma. Instead of getting inside Peter’s mental state, the film goes the comedic route.

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We meet Mysterio (the majestic dolphin Jake Gyllenhaal), who claims he has come from another Earth to destroy monsters Water, Wind, Fire, and something else I already forgot that destroyed his planet. Since this is now going to be an issue for MCU, all the other living Avengers are somehow still busy. Another threat from space, and they’re too busy. Director Jon Watts (who directed the excellent Homecoming) wants Far From Home to be grounded and self-contained, but it doesn’t work with so many superheroes wandering around the neighborhood.

Like he has in previous MCU films, Holland does a great job as Peter and Spider-Man. He’s just not given much to work with. Most of his scenes in costume are in some of the worst CGI I’ve seen in a Marvel movie. The best VFX team in Hollywood delivers effects that took me right out of the movie. As much as I wanted to love Spider-Man: Far From Home, it left me feeling uneasy, with flaws that are too big to overlook.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Starring Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal. Directed by Jon Watts. Written by Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna, based on Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s comic book. Rated PG-13.

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