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Now that Spider-Man has swung onto digital (I am not sorry), we can finally talk about Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio. A few months ago it was too new, too spoilery, to really get into how wonderful Gyllenhaal is in the role, but now — much like Quentin in a post-Tony world — all bets are off.
In the comics, Mysterio’s not my favorite villain. He’s a little too absurd, and unlike some other Spidey-villains, doesn’t have the charm to back up his monologues. Jake Gyllenhaal?
OUR GUY HAS CHARM FOR DAYS. FOR MONTHS. FOR YEARS. [Implied: for decades for centuries for millennia etc.]
The marketing of the movie made us think that our friend Jake was playing a good, multiverse version of Spidey’s hack rogue, but no! A little more than halfway into the movie, Quentin Beck, thus far playing a Papa Bear Replacement for Peter, gets the piece of Iron Man tech he desperately wanted and everything changes. The minute Peter walks away from the bar in Prague, where he gives up E.D.I.T.H., a change comes over Quentin’s face. Gone is the concerned parent, the hero, and in its place is the maniacal joy of an-interrupting-Patrick-Swayze-at-a-school-presentation-Donnie-Darko-as-played-by-Jake-Gyllenhaal.
Gyllenhaal owns it. As Mysterio he oozes a perfect cocktail of confidence, entitlement, and several dashes of pure unhinged angry-man behind a sculpted visage. He wears that weird-CGI suit like it’s as important as Cap’s first go-round in the stars and stripes. I bet even his perfectly crafted beard helps sway his horde of anti-Stark minions. And you know what, the best part is Gyllenhaal looks like he’s having the time of his godd*mned life. I’d like to exist in his multiverse if you know what I mean.