6 Thoughts on Spider-Man: No Way Home
Whoo baby, what a movie! I’ll admit to being mostly lukewarm about Marvel’s superhero movies this year, despite liking all of them. But now we have Spider-Man: No Way Home and I’m reminded by Marvel Studios is such a powerhouse of a production company! I’m reminded by Marvel Studios is so damn smart when it comes to utilizing their properties and bringing the very best movies to bear on the big screen. Spider-Man: No Way Home is a superhero movie marvel.
Movie Rating: 10/10 – Fantastic!
I cannot heap enough praise on this film. I have been watching Spider-Man movies all of my adult life. The first Tobey Maguire Spidey movie came out after my freshman year of college, and I haven’t missed a Spider-Man movie in the theaters since. And I’ve enjoyed them all. I even liked the Amazing Spider-Man movies. And I especially loved Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With No Way Home, these filmmakers have done the seemingly impossible. They have taken all of our nostalgia, all of our expectations, all of our hopes and dreams, and have put together a truly spectacular movie, and a truly amazing Spider-Man movie on top of that.
Join me after the jump for my full review and all my thoughts on Spider-Man: No Way Home. Expect FULL SPOILERS for the entire movie and some other Marvel stuff. And please feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments below!
6. The best live action Spider-Man movie*
Oh baby, where do I even begin? No Way Home is amazing. It’s everything I hoped it would be and so much more, exceeding my wildest dreams. First and foremost, it’s a fun movie. The jokes are good, the dialogue and interactions between the characters are better. It feels so damn good to spend time with these characters and the story they’re on. Beyond that, the action is top notch, delivering some truly powerful moments. The emotion is touching, from the big moments to the small. The superheroic adventure is outstanding. This is big superhero stuff, this is fun Spider-Man stuff, and it’s as good as its ever been. I even liked the ending, and the clean slate for Peter Parker as he steps up as a more mature, no-strings-attached Spider-Man.
I don’t have any complaints about this movie. It all worked for me. I liked the college admissions problem. I like the small Easter Eggs. I especially loved the characters, as I’ll talk about more in a bit. I loved the tragedy, I loved the trolling, I loved the CGI and the action. I am amazed that No Way Home also works as an epilogue/continuation of the previous Spider-Man movie franchises, reaching back and making them better or fixing some of their problems. I loved the use of Doctor Strange. I love that Ned Leeds might be magic now.
The only nitpick I have is that unnecessary time Peter wore his Spider-Man costume inside-out. It feels like Marvel needed an excuse for a new action figure and they couldn’t figure out a better reason for a black Spider-Man costume. That internal circuitry looked delicate! He can’t be wearing that on the outside as he’s getting knocked around!
*(The caveat, obviously, is that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is probably better, at least in my opinion.)
5. The Spider-Bros worked so well together
I love, love, LOVE how much time the movie gave to Holland, Maguire and Garfield to just pal around and be buds. Many people thought they might just show up for a quick cameo to save the day in the finale. But the movie gave us soooo much material with these guys! And so much material with them together! From paling around in the science lab to sharing their tragedies to just spitballing as they hung out at the Statue of Liberty waiting for the bad guys, it was all pure gold. That part, in particular, shocked me. Movies don’t usually just have characters hang around shooting the breeze, especially not action-packed superhero movies. But No Way Home pretty much just stopped the story and waited in real time for the villains to show up, letting our heroes just banter and joke and bond in real, meaningful ways. This really made the movie something special.
4. The villains too!
What’s great, is that No Way Home did the same thing for the villains: it gave them time to just talk and be people. There were no origin stories that needed to be set up, and no grand, evil schemes to thwart. All of the characters came into the movie pre-established, with Marvel confident that even Sandman and Lizard would be remembered. And from the very get-go, with everybody in those cells, I loved that the villains were allowed to be people and have conversations. Too often, these sort of characters only ever get to be comic book bad guys. But here they get to be people. They get to compare notes on what happened in their universes. They get to have real personalities and different stories, like when Sandman initially teamed up with Peter to stop Electro. Or then when Sandman and Electro had conversations separate from everybody else in the apartment. All of this was wonderful and really enriched the movie.
3. Bring on more Netflix actors!
Charlie Cox is back as Daredevil. Vincent D’Onofrio is back as Kingpin. Oh man, what a time to be alive. Sadly, both of these appearances were spoiled for me in advance — not necessarily spoiled, so much so that the rumors were so strong and omnipresent that they simply had to be true. So I knew they were coming…but they were still such great additions to the MCU. This is a genius move on Marvel’s part. They still technically own those Netflix shows. And those perfectly cast actors are just sitting there, beloved by the fans. This move is a no-brainer, and they’ve pulled it off superbly. So why not keep doing it? Bring back the whole Netflix Daredevil cast for a new season! Bring back Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and even, dare I say it, Danny Rand! The actors are all right there, and it’s what the fans want!
2. I’m finally torn about the lack of Uncle Ben (but not really)
Back when Spider-Man: Homecoming came out, I made a point of how well I thought it handled Peter’s main credo of great power/great responsibility without having to rehash Uncle Ben’s death. Peter chose to investigate a mysterious explosion instead of going to Liz’s party and earning social points. That was the essence of Spider-Man. I am firmly in the camp that did not want to see Uncle Ben’s death again, because it would have been repetitive. We, as an audience, could understand that Ben’s death happened and Peter was impacted by it the same way he’s always been. Even when Tony Stark became a father figure to Peter, I had no problem with it, because I was confident Ben existed and mattered. It never bothered me.
Until this movie…but only kind of. When the alternate Spider-Bros started name-dropping Uncle Ben directly, I thought for sure Peter 1 would do it as well. I thought this was the moment for Tom Holland to finally, truly acknowledge Uncle Ben. And then he didn’t. And I was kinda bummed.
Then I thought about it more and realized it was OK, because Aunt May fills that role in No Way Home. In fact, No Way Home is a writ large recreation of Spider-Man’s classic origin story. Peter Parker makes a very selfish and personal choice — asking Doctor Strange to erase the memory of the entire world, with some personal exemptions — and it goes horribly wrong. Then his parent-figure dies as a direct result of Peter being selfish and trying to shirk his responsibility. And that parent-figure teaches him the Great Power/Great Responsibility thing. That’s the classic Spider-Man origin story, and it’s the backbone of No Way Home, and I think that’s really neat. It also more than makes up for the lack of direct acknowledgement of Uncle Ben. So in the end, I’m satisfied.
1. I hope Tom Holland sticks around
The big question now is whether or not Tom Holland will return as Spider-Man in future movies. Marvel and Sony have already come out to say that they are indeed hard at work planning the next Spider-Man trilogy. But Holland is going around putting his involvement in question, saying he’s possibly done with the role or wants to go behind-the-camera. Obviously, that’s his choice. He’s still young, and he might not want to be locked into playing Spider-Man forever. But maybe he’s just making these public statements in order to secure a better payload for the next set of films. If that’s the case, by all means! Get that money, Tom Holland! Pay him everything and bring him back!
The Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t going anywhere. A new Avengers is going to arrive one of these days. Surely Tom Holland’s Spider-Man can still be a part of it! He’s got a new lease on life, he’s got a new (old) costume, he’s free to become a Daily Bugle photographer or go to college or date the Black Cat or a million other things. The world has proven that it loves these Spider-Man movies, even after all of these decades. So pay whatever needs to be paid. Accept the mantle. Bring on the greatness that is still to come!
And maybe Amazing Spider-Man 3? Stranger things have happened.
Honorable Mention: Bye Bye Venom!
Oh man, I love the epic trolling that was Tom Hardy’s mid-credits appearance in this movie. It was a work of trolling art! I would have loved to have seen a proper crossover between Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock…but this troll works so much better. This big, much-anticipated crossover is reduced to just a pair of post-credits scenes? Are you kidding me?! He arrives and leaves without ever meeting Spider-Man?! Just to mess with us fans? I love it! They got us good!
Posted on December 22, 2021, in Lists of Six!, Marvel, Movies, Reviews, Spider-Man and tagged Amazing Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield, Doctor Octopus, Electro, Green Goblin, Lizard, Marvel Cinematic Universe, MCU, No Way Home, Sandman, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Tobey Maguire, Tom Hardy, Tom Holland, Venom. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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