Why Gyllenhaal’s reveals rom-com Fake News is Media!

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I can’t stand Far From Home’s inevitable trudge toward a unified universe where things just happen for the sake of brand reaffirmation. I don’t care for this movie’s take on Gyllenhaal’s character or the way that much of the plot feels like a wake for Tony Stark, Omniscient Millionaire. And I’m also frustrated by the way that movie’s makers never went far enough in developing either their #FakeNews media critique or their cute, but effective Archie Comics-style rom-com jokes. That stuff went nowhere and very slowly.

Which leaves me with an expensive-looking Avengers tie-in. Instead of wielding a reasonable amount of superpower responsibly, Peter has to shimmy his already heavy head into a pair of Tony Stark’s ultra-destructo sunglasses (tellingly named E.D.I.T.H., a self-conscious acronym for “Even Dead I’m the Hero”). I’m sorry, but come again? Didn’t we already have this argument about rich people and drones when The Dark Knight came out? (I love that movie on a storytelling level, but am not so high on its symbolism.) Why is the only thing that can stop a bad guy with earth-scorching technology a Spider-Man with more boom-boom tech? And when are you gonna jump on, I’m starting to hate the sound of my own voice.

Steve Boone (aka Flash Thompson’s older, wiser brother): Indeed, I am not a comic book fan, but that doesn’t make me a grown man with a life. As a C.H.U.D. in a painter’s cap/recovering Trekkie, I love outlandish fantasy as much as the next nerd. And it’s on that basic level that I enjoyed Far From Great. Like Homecoming and much of the old Raimi Spider-Man saga before it, this film has fun treating the material as what it once/often was: lighthearted young adult fiction. The one comic book I collected as a kid was Spidey, but what lingers in memory this century is the daily Spider-Man newspaper comic strip. Four-panel snippets, mostly about Peter Parker’s everyday life colliding with his deadly vocation. Much ado about MJ.