Challengers will be released in theaters on April 26. Photo courtesy of MGM Studios

Warning: This article contains spoilers.

Ever since Kirsten Dunst filmed Wimbledon and Emma Stone filmed Battle of the Sexes, the world has awaited the next iteration of the Spider-Man-love interest-to-tennis-star-pipeline. Zendaya — who plays the female lead in the most recent Spider-Man franchise — has followed suit with Challengers.

After a seven-month delay due to the SAG-AFTRA and writer’s strikes, Challengers will be released on April 26. The film, directed by Luca Guadagnino (Call me by your Name), follows retired tennis player Tashi Duncan (Zendaya) as she coaches her husband Art Donaldson (Mike Faist) in an intense challenger tennis match against his former best friend and her former lover, Patrick (Josh O’ Connor).

The score, composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, imbues a captivating dramatic sound to the film, and Zendaya’s performance is excellent as well, though Challengers has little else to offer.

Over the course of the film, Guadagnino appears unsure of which character/narrative arcs he ought to explore at what pace. Many of Challengers’ scenes take up time while failing to propel its story forward, resulting in a narrative that seems jumbled together.

Though Challengers starts out as a conventional drama, it eventually descends into a convoluted tapestry of flashbacks lacking concision.

We learn very little about Patrick and even less about Art. Only Tashi is given enough attention to make her a three-dimensional character.

Zendaya channels an unexpected tenacity in Challengers, playing Tashi in a way that displays the raw vulnerability of a world-class athlete who’s lost the game that’s more important to her than anything — or anyone.

Loss and betrayal are the key themes of the film, but these themes are ultimately diminished by poor execution. Challengers trades narrative depth for hypersexualized scenes that don’t contribute to the story, making it a film that seems reluctant to explore the rich dialogue and subtext its talented cast sets up.

Challengers is a character study masquerading as a sports movie, but it’s ultimately unable to offer a satisfying or believable portrait of its characters.

“You don’t know what tennis is,” Zendaya tells Josh O’Connor in the opening moments of the film’s trailer. Neither, it seems, does Challengers.