All of this review is going to contain spoilers. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. It’s almost impossible to talk about this movie without spoiling anything. I think we let one fly in like the first five minutes of the podcast about this movie.
This movie’s entire existence is basically a spoiler. It’s been the most talked about thing in entertainment since it was announced. And now it’s probably the most talked about thing in the world.
And there is a good reason for that. Spider-Man: No Way Home, BANGS!
I wish I had a better word to describe it but it’s difficult to be eloquent when talking about 66-year-old Willem Dafoe power-bombing Tom Holland through three stories of an apartment complex.
This movie is fan service to the highest degree.
From day one when it was announced that the next Spider-Man movie would explore the multiverse, the one thing every fan wanted was to see three generations of Spider-Men fighting side by side. And those evil geniuses at Marvel (and I guess SONY too) found a way to make it work!
There seems to be a fine line you have to toe with fan service. I believe fan service is fine, as my friend Dex would say, as long as you just make a good movie!
With these huge event films, Marvel has some how perfected the ratio of fan services to good story telling like no major film studio or franchise has ever done before.
We saw a couple years ago with Rise of Skywalker that even Star Wars can’t manage the fan service to good story telling ratio like Marvel can.
Before the film came out I was hedging my bets. I was talking myself out of the hype that I originally had after the first trailer released. Because if we are being completely honest, there was so much going on with this film that it felt almost impossible to manage. Three generations of Spider-Men, five villains from previous movies, Doctor Strange, the multiverse, Marvel AND Sony having to come together after initially splitting up in 2019. There is a universe where this film was a mess.
I think this speaks to the abilities of Director Jon Watts, who I don’t think is getting enough credit in all of this. He was able to not only stick the landing with a third Spider-Man film (which we have seen is hard to do) but he was able to manage the expectations of two studios and Marvel fans. Oh, and somehow save movie theaters, but that’s an entirely different conversation.
The success of this film will be credited to how big of an event and spectacle it is seeing three generations of the same superheroes together on screen, but I can’t say enough about the draw of the main Spider-Man, Tom Holland.
This man has also had to battle major expectations as a crossover superhero and the most likeable and noticeable superhero in some of the biggest movies of all time. And for him to stick the landing with this character six times and with three solo films is a balancing act of the highest difficulty.
He was able to carry this film not only through the emotional beats, but also by making you believe that this now 25-year-old man is a dumb teenager that just wants to get into college with his friends. The story hinges on his believability and he mostly nails it.
There are some leaps in logic you have to take with the multiverse concept and who can actually come through the portals and dimensions. A lot of it is hand wavy “because Doctor Strange said so”. And if you can just take that at face value then you will have an incredible ride.
The people who come from other dimensions almost steal the show for me. Willem Dafoe picked up the Green Goblin mantle like he never left. Dare I say that he was even better in this than he was nearly 20 years ago. He was even more sinister and a type of outright evil that we haven’t seen in the Holland Spider-Man films.
Also the fact that he put a Bautista spinebuster on Tom Holland. I haven’t stopped thinking about it.
The winner of the film however is Andrew Garfield. He got a chance at redemption for his version of Spider-Man and he didn’t miss. He said “if I’m coming out of retirement, I’m playing DH and swinging for the fences.” He was funny, emotional and somehow completely sincere. This film is exactly what his version of the character needed because I always felt he was hard done by those films.
Garfield was always a very good Spider-Man just surrounded by bad storytelling and overstuffed movies. Well he got his chance to shine in this film he took them and I applaud him for putting in that effort for this character. As a side note, I was stunned how much my theater erupted for him when he came out of the portal and the mild cheers for Tobey Maguire. It was like Steph Curry and Harrison Barnes hit back-to-back threes.
I could go on and on about mow much this movie rocked and how cool it was to see old Tobey Maguire on screen again, but I think you know how I feel at this point. Go see it for yourself.
I’d really be surprised if you haven’t seen it already.
And listen to us wherever you get your podcasts.
Our latest episode our Top 5 movies and TV shows of 2021. No Way Home may or may not make all of our lists.
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