May 25, 2022

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Spider-Man: No Way Home Review

The final script I am posting today is on Spider-Man: No Way Home. The review you can watch on my YouTube channel. For some reaon prior Spider-Man reviews have always rated very highly on this blog. Anyway, you know the drill by know. Please like the video if you want to, that will help my channel out a lot. Subscribing to my channel is even better. Enjoy the Spider-Man content!

Introduction

Tom Holland as Spider-Man

Ever since 2016 with the release of Civil War have I enjoyed Tom Holland’s portrayal as Peter Parker A.K.A Spider-Man. The actor has a great deal of charm and wonderful chemistry with fellow actors such as Zendaya. Yet the official Trilogy, completely directed by Jon Watts, did get off to a somewhat bumpy start. It began with the off-putting title Homecoming and the fact the story did not make much use of its Avengers pedigree. What we got in return was wonderful character development and a much smaller scale of story – not unlike Ant-Man. Basically, this trilogy, which continued with Far Away From Home in 2019 and now ends with No Way Home was the story of a young man growing up in the world. I think it would still be a great story even if there was no Spider-Man.

Background

Spider-Man No Way Home is the direct sequel to the second movie Far Away From Home. At the end of that movie Peter Parker is outed as Spider-Man by the villain, Mysterio. As can be imagined, he doesn’t seem to get a break when the announcement is made. Mysterio’s last broadcast and the subsequent fake news distortion make it seem Peter is also the villain. So yet again, Peter’s world is turned upside down, with friends MJ and Ned and aunt May being those that are supportive. Instead of wading out the scandal and let it die down, which does seem to happen after a while Peter desires to undo the damage completely. He enlists the help of Doctor Strange. Through a spell gone awry every villain that knows Spider-Man in the multiverse is sent to this universe. As may be guessed this leads to Spider-Man to be overwhelmed. What follows is a lengthy movie in which Peter Parker once again attempts to undo his own damage.

Zendaya at Spider-Man No Way Home Premiere

A Good Spider-Man Movie

For the most part this works. It is interesting to note that some of the villains end up helping Peter after they realize the futility of their attempts. This is especially true for Alfred Molina’s Dr Octavius. But Peter’s journey is a long one with many surprising twists. Not the least are the sudden appearance of two more Spider-Man’s, Tobey McGuire and Andrew Garfield. Their interplay really shows how similar and different their respective adaptations were and the shame we only got to see Andrew Garfield once in 2014. I will also give a shout out to Willem Dafoe for his portrayal as the Green Goblin. It is absolutely epic, with his alternate personalities you are left guessing on whose side he is on.

No Way Home is a dark story, there is a difficult to death to deal with that is permanent. Once again Peter’s good natured naiveite causes him and those around him no small amount of grief. However, Aunt May does encourage him to stay true to his believes. When given the chance to undo the multiverse damage with the press of a button he refuses because most of the villains would end being dead. Remember, they were drawn to this universe by the failed spell of Doctor Strange because they knew Peter was Spider-Man. They figured that out usually just before the final act of their respective stories. And the final act usually ends with their defeat and death. It is a clever piece of writing.

SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME, from left: Tom Holland as Spider-Man, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, 2021. ph: Matt Kennedy / © Sony Pictures Releasing / © Marvel Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

Negatives to Spider-Man: No Way Home

That said, this Spider-Man movie does give me mixed feelings. It can be overly dramatic at times, perhaps even melodramatic. While I enjoyed the fact so many familiar faces returned, I also felt they should not, better let some things be kept in the past. The story recognizes that to some degree. The other two Spider-Man’s are not that important, nor are the villains. Instead, it is all about Peter’s journey, his need to see he made a mistake trying to undo the fallout from the previous movie. Fallout that should not have been undone anyway. It is rewarding to see this journey completed and Peter maturing even more, but the middle and the final act of the movie were to a degree weak and relied too much on the return of fan favorites.

Benedict Cumberbatch at Spider-Man No Way Home Premiere

Final scene

I enjoyed the final scene of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Doctor Strange finally cast the spell correctly, but at the cost of everybody forgetting Peter Parker is Spider-Man. As such neither MJ and Ned remember who he is. They are not even acquaintances. For Peter it is hard considering he and MJ had only just become an item. Peter tries to undo the damage by introducing himself to MJ. What follows is a scene that in the donut store where she works that is both sad and hilarious. We all knew he was going to fail. But it was a Peter that showed more awareness of those around him. Perhaps Ned and MJ were a bit too much of a comic relief in this movie. While they were always there for Peter most of the action, they were in felt shoehorned into the story. No Way Home did feel somewhat bloated, unlike the first movie of the trilogy Homecoming.

Zendaya as MJ

Spider-Man: No Way Home ends with Peter moving to an apartment of his own. With absolutely no connection to anyone, not the Avengers, MJ, Ned, Pepper Potts or Happy Hogan. That is perhaps a little bit depressing, but Peter appears resolved to remain the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Outro to Spider-Man: No Way Home

There was some doubt as to whether Tom Holland would continue to portray Spider-Man. Avengers: endgame changed a lot in that sense. But Tom has signed on for three more movies. I believe Zendaya will also return.

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No Way Home poster