Finally, after three viewings, I think I’m ready to write down my thoughts on perhaps the strongest MCU showing ever.
With Spider-Man’s identity now revealed, Peter asks Doctor Strange for help. When a spell goes wrong, dangerous foes from other worlds start to appear, forcing Peter to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.
Spider-Man has been apart of my life for as long as I can remember. To this very day, I remember when I saw the first ever trailer for Spider-Man on my TV. You know, a time before Youtube, Twitter or any real sense of social media. A trailer and part of the movie that was later removed from marketing, because it involved Spider-Man catching some robbers by getting them caught in a web that is strung up between the World Trade Centres. I remember sitting there, thinking, this is going to be the coolest thing ever. Unlike most heroes, Spider-Man is easily the most accessible to the younger audience because, well, he’s a kid. I’ve never missed a Spider-Man movie in theatres, hell, I waited in line for 4 hours just to see Spider-Man 3 at midnight. So to say I was just a wee bit excited to see the cumulation of 20 years of Spider-Man lore in one movie is an understatement.
For me, the MCU Spider-Man has been such a mixed bag. His relationship with Tony Stark was honestly one of the strongest, most impactful and emotional relationships we had seen in the Marvel Universe. But his solo outings have felt so John Hughes and immature, that it felt so disconnected from why I fell in love with this character. He felt more Spider-Boy/Iron-Spider than Spider-Man. You know the loner, broke kid from Queens, who has a hard dealing with the balance of being Peter Parker and his alter ego. I’ve just wanted this iteration of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to finally grow up you know? Well ask and you shall receive because the newest addition to the MCU is arguably the strongest movie yet and something every single Spider-Man fan will remember for the rest of their lives.
This movie is very hard to talk about because of spoiler type stuff, but seeing how I’m writing this review on Monday, after the second biggest weekend in the history of cinema, safe to say, most people reading this will have seen the movie. After the events of Far From Home, the entire world, thanks to Mysterio now knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, and it quickly turns is life upside down. When he goes to Doctor Strange for some help, at first, their plan seems simple enough, but when they unleash the power of the mulitverse, all hell breaks loose. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is about to get a crash course on what it truly means to be Spider-Man and how being a hero means that sacrificing certain important elements in your life and protecting those closest to you is the most important thing. He’s about to learn that with great power, comes great responsibility……
I won’t go full blown spoilers, but we all know the return of 5 previous Spidey villains, each from one of the previous 5 Spider-Man movies. William Dafoe’s Green Goblin (Spider-Man), Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock (Spider-Man 2), Thomas Hayden Church’s Sandman (Spider-Man 3), Rhys Ifans Lizard (The Amazing Spider-Man) and Jamie Foxx’s Electro (The Amazing Spider-Man 2). They are all back and a little confused, and with that comes so much previous baggage, and the worst kept secret in all of Hollywood, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. It’s funny, that the previous Spider-Man movies suffered because of “too many villains” but here it works so well. They are the ones at the forefront of this movie. All realizing that their fate is to die by the hands of Spider-Man in their respective universes, but in this reality, every life is worth saving. That’s all I’m going to say about this stuff, because it’s fun experience when you know as little as possible.
Peter’s relationships, every single one of them is being push to the breaking point. These characters finally feel like they are shedding their skin and becoming full grown adults. Making this feel like the end of the ‘Homecoming’ trilogy. The themes about fully recognizing your responsibilities in this world, and knowing that your life can’t be perfect when you’re a superhero is something Peter hasn’t realized yet. Tom Holland gives without a doubt his best performance to date, in fact, it’s one of the best superhero performances I have ever seen. He’s fantastic and he’s on an emotional rollercoaster the entire film, that ends with him finally bitting the bullet and accepting his fate and his future. Even Zendaya and Jacob Batalon give their strongest performances as well. Their entire dynamic is what holds these movies together and it’s certainly at it’s strongest in No Way Home.
There is a moment in this when a certain character flips a switch and from that point on the movie doesn’t stop. Hit after hit keeps coming and you are fully emerged in this joyous ride that will make you cheer out loud depending on how you feel about that sort of thing. The fan service throughout works because it’s actually part of the plot. Not something they just felt the need to put in the movie. So seeing certain things transpire is almost rewarding because you know it’s coming, you’re just trying to figure out how they were going to implement it. Seeing closure and almost a rediscovery for Tobey and Andrew was so wonderful to see. Andrew Garfield is the best part of this entire movie, he crushes it and we need him back in some capacity going forward.
Peter is literally learning how to become Spider-Man from Spider-Men and I thought that was interesting to see. Little does he know, every feeling he has and every mistake he has made, these two strangers that stand in front of him, know exactly how he is feeling. It’s a beautiful dynamic that shifts the tone of the movie and it makes the 3rd act of this movie feel heavy. How the movie ends makes you wonder where exactly they are going to take this character going forward. He throws on the best looking Spider-Man suit in the history of film and webs out to be the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.
The piece of Venom left behind at the bar in the MCU means one thing. We are getting a brand new Venom in the MCU and honestly that was one of the most important things in this entire movie. Tom Hardy was great, but Venom getting the MCU treatment and a fresh start sets up a new trilogy for this Spider-Man and I can’t wait to see the next step for this franchise. Tom Holland is now Spider-Man, and his world is small and that’s just the way I like it.
Spider-Man: No Way Home = 97/100