WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Spider-Man: No Way Home. If you haven’t seen the film, I suggest you see the film first, then go back to this review.
Spider-Man has always been my favorite superhero since childhood. I used to watch the Raimi Spider-Man films, I owned some action figures and I even dressed up like him. Spider-Man has always had an impact on me as I was growing up, so of course, I was excited to watch No Way Home. However, there was a part of me that was genuinely scared about the film. That it might be just a cash-in on the nostalgia of the previous Spider-Man franchise. That might be one of the most disappointing films I’ve seen this year. However, upon leaving the theater, I was for the most part satisfied. Spider-Man: No Way Home not only serves as a love letter to the character of Spider-Man, but it also manages to deliver a memorable experience from start to finish.
Picking up where Spider-Man: Far From Home left off, Peter Parker’s identity as Spider-Man has been revealed to the world and is framed for Mysterio’s murder. Desperate for help, Peter asks for Doctor Strange to make his identity as Spider-Man a secret again with magic. However, when the spell goes wrong, the multiverse is shattered and dangerous villains from other worlds begin to appear, forcing Peter to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.
For the most part, I have managed to avoid watching videos that spoiled anything about the film and aside from the first two trailers, I haven’t watched any other promotional material to the film, so I went to this film without much knowledge, even though there were so many leaks that were released online before the movie came out, which ruined the surprise the movie wanted to provide. Anyway, Spider-Man: No Way Home is easily the best MCU Spider-Man film to date. Now, is it as good as Spider-Man 2 or Into The Spider-Verse? Not really, but it still stands there with one one of the best superhero films ever made over the last ten years.
Admittely, the first 30 minutes of the film were some of the film’s weakest points, as there wasn’t much emphasis on Peter going on the run after his identity was revealed and it felt like your typical MCU film. I also wasn’t a fan of the college enrollment subplot, as I felt it went nowhere. Ned is an alright character, but he can be annoying in some scenes. May’s death, while very emotional, wasn’t very well handled and the character of May wasn’t utilized or fleshed out enough in previous movie to make her death believable. Some of the CGI look pretty bad, especially the recycling of Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man scene for Flint and Connors’ recovery and some of the green screen that were very noticeable.
Still, it doesn’t always detract from the film’s quality. Is the film a bit of fan-service meant to please fans of Spider-Man? Yes, but the fan-service was brilliant and helped servicing the story the film was trying to tell. This film manages to understand what it’s like to be Spider-Man, as we see Peter facing the consequences of doing the right thing. I also love that film doesn’t really butcher the villains and managed to stay true to their characters. Williem Dafore as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin was the highlight of the film, as he manages to deliver an incredible performance and we see him challenging Peter both physically and mentally. Alfred Molina still kills it as Dok Ock and I love how the film manages to pay tribute to his original performance in Spider-Man 2 and Jamie Foxx seems to have fun as Electro and delivers a far superior performance than in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Another thing the fans having been waiting for was the return of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as the previous Spider-Men. While I didn’t like that Ned was the one who brought them in this film, their appearances definitely pay off as both Maguire and Garfield deliver great performances and share great chemistry with Holland. I’ve always liked Garfield as Spider-Man, but in this film, he was phenomenal. He was clearly passionate about reprising the role and you can tell he’s having fun. Maguire, on other hand, kinda feels like he was here for a paycheck, but he’s still good nonetheless.
I gotta talk about the ending of the film, because it is perfect. I loved the Liberty Island fight between the three Spider-Men and the three villains, but I especially love the fight between Holland’s Peter and the Goblin. It’s such an intense and brutal fight and it reminded me of the final fight between the Goblin and Spider-Man in the first Spider-Man film. The final scene where Dr. Strange casts the spell to make everyone forget about Peter, it is heartbreaking and it ends Holland’s Spider-Man trilogy on a bittersweet note. We finally get to see Peter growing up to become the hero we all love and the new suit looks spectacular.
Other than the issues that I talked about earlier, another issue I have with the film is some of the editing is a bit off and the film kinda looks ugly from an aesthetic point, but still, Spider-Man: No Way Home does a phenomenal job in paying tribute to the legacy of Spider-Man and it will go on as one of the most memorable superhero films over the last ten years.