For many years, my only impression of Dune was that it was to Star Wars as Game of Thrones is to Lord of the Rings: the “adult version,” which is to say, the version that mistakes darkness for sophistication, cynicism for maturity, explicit sex and violence for being “grown up.” Last year, reading Frank Herbert’s […]
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.