Directed By: Jon Watts Released: December 17, 2021
SPOILER-FREE! Spoiler Talk will be up on Monday, Dec. 20
To say this Spiderman film has a lot to live up to would be a massive understatement. Easily the biggest film of 2021, in a year of other Marvel films and Dune, the hype and anticipation is sky high. The marketing was designed to leave us with as many questions as possible, and we had to wait for the moment we could sit down at our local theaters and see the spectacular ride to begin. With that, I will not be talking about major plot points within the film itself in accordance with the marketing. I will only be talking about plot points and characters we saw from the first two trailers. Seeing this film as blind as possible is the best way to experience it, but if you want to know if this is going to be worth your hard earned money, rest assured that this is a safe space. My Spoiler Talk article will be posted on Monday, so come back for that once you have seen the film for yourself. And really, if you wait till after the weekend to see this then it is your own fault. That’s just your friendly neighborhood warning from me to you.
When we last last our wall crawling hero, the mad Mysterio had broadcasted his identity as Peter Parker (Tom Holland) to the entire world. Now everyone knows that this kid from Queens is the Spiderman. That is huge, while other hero’s such as Iron Man/Tony Stark were glad to tell anyone and everyone their secret, Peter is just a kid who would rather live his life normally while also saving others from behind a mask. His school and personal life are thrown into the public eye and the stress is getting to him. So he turns to someone he knows he can trust, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). However, just as Strange is getting ready to right what wrongs there are in his life, Peter has second thought about who all should know about his double life and the spell starts to go sour. Thus villains from all over the multi-verse, including other Spiderman films, start to converge to take on our Avenger.
Tom Holland slays in this installment, easily his best outting as Spiderman. Which makes sense, No Way Home is about self reflection seems finding what it means to truly be a hero. The previous two MCU Spiderman films were deeply ingrained into the continuing narrative of the MCU, how events from films such as Civil War and Endgame would affect out web slinging hero. Here it’s more focused on the internal struggles and identity of Peter, not how Iron Man will see him and his actions. This is still an MCU film, but now is taking steps to forge its own style. All fot the better, and Tom Holland can show off his range as an actor.
His co-stars are more of a mixed bag. MJ (Zendaya) is also at her best here, her chemistry with Holland shines through in every scene they are in together, it makes sense that they grew closer during production. It’s necessary as they are the emotional core of the film. With that, and it truly pains me to say this, Ned (Jacob Batalon) is the weakest he’s been this trilogy. In Homecoming I loved his antics and dry humor, bounced seamlessly off Holland. In Far from Home his side plot with his new girlfriend during the trip was endearing and sweet. Here he’s a third wheel and the film knows it. Ned is mostly there for quips, but Spiderman is a quip-machine. The two can barely share screen time and Ned is left behind.
But we know why we came to this, the villains. No Way Home is a red carpet showcase of actors across multiple Spiderman franchises, and above all odds they feel like they were pulled straight from their films. I can’t talk too much about specific characters, that will be saved for after the weekend when (hopefully) you all have seen this. Willem Dafoe is an easy standout, as anyone who saw the original Soiderman from 2002 would expect. Yet somehow here he is truly unhinged, he is in his element. In a film with standout performances, he shines among them. Doc Oc (Alfred Molina) is a joy on screen, after 17 years he can still be called a true villain. Something even the space traveling, alien fighting, world saving hero hasn’t faced before.
I would love to sit here and over analyze every little aspect of this movie, but I know seeing this with as little beforehand knowledge is just the best way to experience this. Even with the few problems I could see, I can safely say this is the best MCU Spiderman yet. Is it the best MCU film? That is harder to judge off one viewing, which means I will be seeing this again. I want everyone to see this movie, then come back Monday when I post my final review. I will be on stream on twitch.tv/JimmyLegendz and will talk in much greater detail with all the beautiful people.
Have you seen Spiderman: No Way Home? What did you think? Remember, the embargo for talking spoilers will be lifted (just a code of honor for reviewers) on Monday, but feel free to talk about how much you loved/hated the film down in the comments!