*There will be minor spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home in this review. If you’re like me and you still haven’t caught it and you have somehow managed to avoid being spoiled, turn back now. Go stream the movie or catch it in a theater, if it’s still in those.*
Alright. Here we are. At long last. It’s time to see if this movie lives up to the hype. And thanks to the last few months of Spidey marathoning, I’m well-prepared!
At least… I hope I am.
The whole world knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Not only is his life utterly ruined, but so are the lives of all those he cares about. In a desperate attempt to fix it, he turns to Doctor Strange, who offers a spell that will make everyone forget the truth. But when Peter accidentally sabotages the spell, Spidey villains from movies old- I mean other dimensions start to wreak havoc. Peter stretches himself, trying to find the best solution for everyone. But he’ll soon learn the hard way that he can’t have everything he wants.
This movie is pure Spider-Man movie fan-service! It is filled to the brim with hints and nods at all the previous live-action efforts of the character. Some of them subtle, such as iconic lines of dialogue. Others… a bit more obvious.
Guys. I don’t know if you knew this, but the actors who played past Spideys and villains came back for this movie as their characters. I know. It’s mind boggling.
Seriously, though, seeing all these actors come back as their characters is the coolest god damn thing ever! Getting Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield to come back was crazy enough (and their dynamic with Tom Holland is a treat to say the least), but seeing Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, Thomas-Haden Church, Rhys Ifans, and Jamie Foxx all return is amazing! Twenty years worth of Spider-Man heroes and villains are all brought together here! They even managed to slip Tom Hardy as Eddy Brock in there for the mid-credits scene!
The results of which likely mean we’re going to get yet another attempt at the Symbiote storyline. Which… will be exhausting.
Now, fanservice in it of itself, purely for the sake of fanservice, is annoying. Luckily, all of it is actually incorporated into the story really well. This isn’t just a story of the MCU Spider-Man meeting all the past versions because the MCU has developed a boner for the multiverse. Rather, it’s a tale of a young Peter Parker making progressively worse and learning valuable life lessons from his predecessors.
Which leads to the ending. It’s a fairly tragic offering for a Marvel movie. But it isn’t just out to make you feel bad. There is a tinge of hope to it. It’s more like a new beginning rather than a heart-breaking ending.
And that new beginning fixes a lot of issues people have had with Tom Holland’s version of the character. All his high-tech gadgets? All his superhero friends? Gone. Now it’s just Peter, a run-down apartment, and whatever precious resources he can manage to procure.
My only real problems with the writing all boil down to nitpicks. Small things that feel a bit forced or jokes that didn’t quite land. None of them are especially huge problems that detract from the story.
It’s a high-quality Spider-Man story. It may not be the most artistically impactful thing ever. But it’s engaging, fun, and memorable.
Visually speaking, it isn’t the most impressive thing ever. Most of the shots are pretty flat, and most conversations boil down to repetitive shot-reverse-shot. It’s never amatuerish or bad. Still, most of it isn’t all that impactful.
Keyword being most. There are some truly impressive shots in this movie. And it helps that the special effects are good. I know, a Marvel movie has good special effects. Shocker, I know.
One thing that really impressed me is the music. MCU movies have rarely had a very impressive score. But this one is actually really solid! There are some tracks that legit go hard in this movie! Although you probably won’t be humming any of them to yourself in the shower.
Sadly, the MCU Spider-Man theme is still pretty weak. I’m willing to bet that you forgot there even was an MCU Spider-Man theme.
Did Spider-Man: No Way Home live up to the hype? Yes. Absolutely. It is easily the best of the MCU Spidey trilogy and one of the best live-action Spider-Man movies to date. Anyone fan of the movies, older and newer, should check this one out.
Question is: how are they going to follow this one up? Because you know they’re gonna make another one. Who knows? Maybe we’ll finally get Scorpion, like they teased in the post-credits scene of Homecoming.
Or they could pick a more interesting villain. That would be nice.