Official Art for Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

MOVIE REVIEW — Spider-Man: No Way Home (SPOILER REVIEW)

The MCU Spidey Finds his Home — ★★★★★

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, boy does it feel to be a Spider-Fan! Here we are, at the end of 2021, and we have just gotten the final film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man “Home” Trilogy, and we now know that the beginning of a new trilogy is already in the works with Marvel Studios and Sony, thanks to a NEW interview with Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. It really feels like just yesterday that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man entered the MCU in Captain America: Civil War, and just after that, we got his first film with Spider-Man: Homecoming, and now we’re here. I will save my actual thoughts for the review, but judging from the star rating above, my opinion should be fairly clear. It is overwhelmingly positive, and this is in contention for being my favorite MCU film, fanservice haters be damned!

Everything following this will contain heavy spoilers, so please for the love of god, if you for some reason clicked on this review without seeing the film, bookmark this, go see it, then come back and read!

That is your final warning.

With Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s (Tom Holland) identity now revealed, our friendly neighborhood web-slinger is unmasked and no longer able to separate his normal life as Peter Parker from the high stakes of being a superhero. Entering their Senior Year of High School, Peter, his bestfriend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and girlfriend, Michelle Williams (Zendaya), are all in the midst of trying to plan their futures together, with college admissions and balancing their relationships amidst Peter’s troubled appearance in the court of public opinion, with many viewing him as a war criminal after the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home. When Peter asks Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for help with fixing his situation for the benefit of Ned and MJ, the stakes become even more dangerous, as thanks to an ever indecisive Peter, the spell breaks leading to multiversal beings entering their universe, first in the form of Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe), The Lizard (Rhys Ifans), Electro (Jamie Foxx), and Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), and later, of course, with Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), and, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), in a crazed sentence that I still can barely fathom writing even now.

Alfred Molina in Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Upon its release, Spider-Man: Far From Home was a beloved entry into the MCU for me, and while I have yet to rewatch it, I still feel is a good Marvel Cinematic Universe film, it definitely feels like a lackluster Spider-Man film, despite having one of the best post-credit stings to date. It is with that ending that it is worth noting, it has been quite the time these past few years waiting to see what they were going to follow-up was, and with the reports that it was going to be a Kraven the Hunter-centric film, the surprise of the year came when news broke that the villains of the Maguire and Garfield films would be returning here. So no Kraven, although he did technically appear in the climax as one of the many multiversal beings attempting to come through the dimensional breach, along with the Rhino, Scorpion, Black Cat (now rumored to be played by Anya Taylor-Joy), and surely many more that are still to be found (fingers crossed for THE BIG WHEEL). What we did get, was a shockingly well-crafted narrative about Holland’s Peter learning what it means to be the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man from a homely, content veteran in the form of Tobey Maguire, and a grizzled, damaged hero in Andrew Garfield, while facing the demons of his variants’ past.

Screencap from Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

It is worth noting that neither Homecoming or Far From Home rank in the upper echelon of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for me, though both are totally solid entries into the universe. This trilogy goes out on quite the high note however, as No Way Home blew my own expectations out of the water. Obviously everyone with access to the internet knew of the rumors of Tobey and Andrew reprising their roles, but actually seeing the two former webheads appear on the big-screen in their original roles made for some truly emotional moments. Whether it be Andrew getting to redeem himself in his own eyes for his failure in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with Gwen Stacy’s death, Tobey getting a nice moment with Haden Church’s Sandman in the final battle, or even just seeing the two of them play mentor to Tom Holland’s much younger Peter Parker, the film crafted a number of truly special moments that only an MCU Movie could make happen.

Willem Dafoe once again lights up the screen in the role of Norman Osborne/Green Goblin, delivering another incredibly strong villainous performance for the MCU following Tony Leung’s phenomenal turn in Shang-Chi earlier this year. Dafoe brings new life to the character that he first played two decades ago, playing him in such a fun, interesting way as we get a look at what a good, level-headed Norman Osborne would look like before that devilish grin of the Goblin rears its ugly head again. Similarly, Alfred Molina, in his second turn as Otto Octavius shows why everyone loved him in the first place, feeling as if the character never went away in the first place. Let me also jump in and state how amazing it was to see him interact with Tobey’s Peter once again. Just magnificent. Jamie Foxx even got a second chance and got to play a much less off-putting version of Electro, getting a very nice, memorable moment with Andrew’s Spider-Man in the climax where we got another hint towards an eventual Miles Morales entrance into the MCU.

This film also finally makes Tom Holland’s Spider-Man feel just right, in that he becomes untied to Iron Man (something that needed to happen), he gets the “Great Power” speech, he loses his parental figure, he learns about the issues living two lives and makes the ultimate sacrifice in losing all of his known life, opting to restart in a world that does not remember Peter Parker. With the film closing on him in a freshly hand-made Spider suit going out to fight crime in New York City, this marks the first time since Homecoming that the character truly feels like the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man fans know and love, whose stories will now (hopefully) be less of him having to save the world from cataclysmic events, and more him being young adult doing hero work in the Big Apple… possibly teaming up with a certain lawyer that he now knows or dealing with a certain symbiotic problem…

Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil

Spider-Man: No Way Home crafts a spectacular event movie that wears its heart on its sleeve and brings the past 20 years of Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon, with the long-awaited returns of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in the roles of Peter Parker, as well as some of their most iconic villains, while paving a way for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to stand on his own in a new era of Spidey Flicks that feel more in-line with the character that fans know and love, rather than the webslinger being a stand-in for Tony Stark. In saying goodbye to Michelle and Ned, losing Aunt May and Happy (who is not dead), and his entire life being erased, Peter now looks to become New York’s own defender, playing a more small-time hero role compared to characters like Captain Marvel, Thor, and Doctor Strange, while also likely eventually returning to the spectacle scene when Secret Wars comes knocking.

… Also, now give me Andrew Garfield in the Sonyverse fighting Venom, Kraven, and Morbius, because, that man deserves another chance!

Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man

Spider-Man: No Way Home is playing in theaters NOW and if you feel comfortable going out to a movie theater, then I fully recommended doing so, but also go see other movies like The Matrix: Resurrections, Encanto, West Side Story, Red Rocket, Licorice Pizza, and The Tragedy of Macbeth! Other films need some theater love too!

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NotVeryProfoundFilm

NotVeryProfoundFilm

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Entertainment Writer, Sometimes a Film Critic, Avid Disney Villain Song Connoisseur || Follow me on Twitter @NVProfoundFilm