Like its predecessor, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home is content to be a high-school movie first and a superhero saga second. Tom Holland returns as Peter Parker (still squeaky clean), and the plot is driven as much by Peter’s crush on MJ (Zendaya) as it is by the appearance of Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), a new character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When monstrous creatures based on water, earth, air, and fire—the “Elementals”—interrupt Peter’s school trip to Europe, Mysterio arrives to help Spider-Man fight them off. There is an element of technological illusion to Mysterio’s powers that gives the movie a meta touch (and allows Gyllenhaal to amusingly riff on what it means, as an actor, to accept an MCU part). As an action film, the highlight is by far a psychedelic, funhouse-mirror sequence in which Peter faces his fears about MJ, his failures as a superhero, and the pressure he feels to carry the mantle of the late Tony Stark. With a shifting sense of reality and a kaleidoscopic aesthetic, it recalls Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse more than anything in the MCU. The battles against the Elementals are far more chaotic and yawn-inducing, and certainly nowhere near as thrilling as watching Peter’s best friend, Ned (Jacob Batalon), fall for a classmate and have his crush rewarded. This is a high-school movie, after all, so nothing—not even a giant fire monster—feels as monumental as telling a girl how you really feel.