The MCU is back with another entry in this ever-growing, ever-expanding cinematic-connected universe. To say my hype was high for Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) would be an understatement. However, I have also grown weary of the countless fan theories and the hopes of what this film could be. For the sake of all, I will keep my topics to what has been revealed prior to release via official marketing only. Thus, unless you have seen no trailers – this review is spoiler-free.
After the events of Far from Home, Spider-Man’s true identity of Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has been revealed to the world. Parker finds himself, Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), MJ (Zendaya), Ned (Jacob Batalon), and Happy (Jon Favreau) the most wanted people on the planet. Desperate for normalcy for at least his friends, Parker turns to Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to erase this knowledge from the world…but things don’t work out exactly as planned, and new enemies – at least to this Parker – start showing up in New York.
The MCU Spider-Man movies have been among my favorite – not just in the connected movies, but of all comic book movies. I’ve gone on record many times touting Holland as my Spider-Man, despite being an initial fan of both McGuire and Garfield. My love of the character goes back to the animated series I grew up watching, and then the comics I would read between issues of Batman. Spidey is my number two comic character in almost all regards, and this version has been a blast to watch. My love of coming-of-age stories is also well documented on this site, and the combining of two things I love has also been a blast to watch. I was very apprehensive about this film and the direction it could go, but I have to say, I loved everything this movie did. There are some significant choices made here- and while it truly delivers a lot of content, it never felt overstuffed to me. It also concludes this trilogy in a satisfying way without closing the book on what the future of Spider-Man could be.
The trailer for the film shows Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina), Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), and Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) from the Rami-verse and Lizard (Rhys Ifans) and Electro (Jamie Foxx) from The Amazing Spider-Man movies. There are a ton of villains, and if Spider-Man 3 (2007) taught us anything, it was that more is not always better. Despite this, the way these characters are introduced and utilized clicked. While it does lean a little on the assumption that the audience has seen the other films, and thus knows enough about the villains to at least grasp what is happening – the film offers a little information for those whose Spidey knowledge is restricted to the MCU.
I really enjoyed the overall plot of the film, and I was surprised at some of the directions it went in. There were things that played out as one may expect based on the trailer, but there are a few things that I had not anticipated being the direction the film would go. There were a number of emotions stirred up, and while the laughs associated with the character came in solid waves, so does the tragedy that Peter Parker is always forced to endure. I feel confident in saying fans will not be disappointed.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is a fitting end to the trilogy. For me, the MCU rarely misses, so there is definitely some fandom bias creeping into my thoughts. I love what they have done bringing so many elements of my youth to the format which I love most. To say Marvel isn’t a cinematic experience seems crazy to me, but take that for what it is. Spider-Man No Way Home earns the Must See rating.