Spider-Man: Far From Home (PG-13)
There is nothing damagingly, damningly wrong with Spider-Man: Far From Home that would render it unwatchable. But neither is there much to commend it. To be sure, the film is uproariously funny, and the performances are engaging. The film even exceeds expectations in its action sequences. Because the set-pieces are staged live on location in European cities, instead of in wide-open spaces with bland computer-generated backgrounds, the tussles between Spider-Man, Mysterio, and the Elementals have a sense of tactility, geographical clarity, and human stakes that MCU battles have often lacked. I will also grant that the film has two show-stopping, jaw-dropping sequences that are among the MCU’s finest moments of visual storytelling. But the MCU has almost always been funny, and often to its detriment.
Avengers: Infinity War (PG-13)
Avengers: Infinity War is as middle-of-the-road between better and lesser MCU films as I am middle-of-the-road between the two camps of reviewers. The MCU’s greatest weaknesses are on full display here, and while Infinity War doesn’t always play to the MCU’s greatest strengths, it does keep my hope alive that those strengths do exist. Infinity War is not a game-changer. It could have been, should have been, and almost was, but it’s more of the same—only it’s more of the same to the power of more of the same.
How I Live Now (R)
When I was still quite young, no more than ten or eleven, little excited my soul more than the sound of a fire alarm going off at school. We would exit the building quickly and stand in the parking lot, surveying the school. Someone would claim they saw smoke, and we would all say we […]