Spider-Man’s movies, more than any other superhero this side of the DC/Marvel divide, are identified by their villains—how memorable they are, and often the tangible connection they have to the movie’s most memorable scenes.
The one with a tentacled Alfred Molina, and the train battle.
The one with a winged Michael Keaton, and the twist that bares its teeth en route to a high school dance.
The one with a cackling Willem Defoe, and that stupendously horrific metal mask.
In “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” the big bad is the big bowl-headed Mysterio—a fascinatingly zany, stoicly formulaic amalgam played by the consistently zany, never-formulaic Jake Gyllenhaal, who fills his armored suit with the unkillable ambition of a smartass whose plans seemingly depend on being little more than a smartass. Gyllenhaal’s presence is the movie’s cheeky wink in A-list actor form, never less than incredulous and never more than high-concept gag, Continue reading →