The CGI is a little spotty and the writing is full of cannonball-shaped holes (Nathan is a good character but the backstories to Sully, the treasure, and the rival hunters are only hinted at; meanwhile, the twisty trust/betrayal dynamic of the main three awkwardly flip flops between serious and playful), but the clue-hopping pace is perfect, the comedy sufficient, and the adventure action barrels of fun (see the heist, the plane jump, and the ridiculously amazing pirate ship battle in the sky).
Swings a bit carelessly through some key plot points (neither Peter’s desperation nor Dr. Strange’s willingness are convincing enough to justify the initial spell; see also the miraculously fast cure development and the vague magical repair at the end), but it’s an enormously enjoyable ride (the action and humour are top-notch) with a refreshing redemptive angle and uniquely poignant character work for the titular hero (the metaverse is used to its fullest emotional and comedic potential here).
Well-made, not just in its technical elements but in the way it deftly ties its many characters and generation-long plot threads together in such a satisfying (and ultimately surprisingly positive, as suspicion and violence give way to trust and sleep) manner, making for a powerfully morbid epic on the dangers of religion. That said, it’s done through a distanced, fairy tale-like approach that prevents it from ever reaching emotional dramatic excellence despite solid turns by the whole cast.
Two elven brothers embark on a quest to bring their father back for one day. (IMDb)
Hits a lot of the familiar road trip story beats but the Americana x magical fantasy setting is a unique one (gorgeously animated) and provides a good share of memorable moments (most notably Guinevere’s heroism that had me in tears). The real gem of the film though is the last act featuring good ol’ (dragon-conquering) Mom and a completely unexpected, incredible, beautiful, heart-wrenching emotional climax (not the sweet but on-the-nose journal writing flashbacks but the silent view from afar).
7.5/10 (Really Good)
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever. (IMDb)
A bit of a scattered sequel, with some promising new elements not fully realized (the Endgame aftermath and emotion isn’t committed to; the initially intriguing villain is sloppily developed-see the ham-fisted exposition at the bar). The awesome action and sly commentary on superhero sci-fi and spectacle (“nowadays they’ll believe anything”) that come with the twist are great though, as is the continuation of the coming-of-age comedy and plot from its predecessor (see the bridge awkwardness).
A well-executed mix of goofy teen comedy (see the hilarious school news reports), wild superhero action, and authentic coming-of-age drama (see the breakdown beneath the rubble). It’s the most down-to-earth MCU film yet thanks to its blue-collar, nuanced villain (see his slight post-credits redemption) and the continued interplay (dramatic but also humourous: see Cap’s instructional videos) between the mature but distant Avengers and our eager but juvenile hero (“I’m nothing without the suit!”).