I was skeptical of No Way Home. Trying to tie a whole series of movies together is usually a recipe for a cinematic disaster. I still have a sour taste from X-Men: Days of Future Past and 007. Then again, Marvel has quite the track records.
No Way Home plot
At the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, Mysterio reveals Peter Parker’s identity to the world. This doesn’t go well for Peter. He can’t show his face without a mob of reporters showing up. Several criminal investigations are opened against him: did he murder Mysterio? Investigations are opened. When he and his friends MJ and Ned apply to MIT, they are all rejected, because the University fears the press.
Peter decides to go to his friend Dr. Strange for help. They did save the universe together, didn’t they? Dr. Strange tries to help by making everybody forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Unfortunately, Peter interrupts the spell several times to have certain people still remember. The spell goes wrong and Strange shuts it down.
Strange is angry, and gets angrier still when he learns Peter did not even try to solve his problems himself. Why didn’t he call MIT, for example? Peter leaves, but it soon turns out the spell did have some unintended side effects. People that knew Peter in alternate universes are pulled across the multiverse to Peter’s reality…
Well, I can talk about Tom Holland, Zendaya, or Jacob Batalon. Or how Benedict Cumberbatch did. I think that’s not the interesting thing about this movie, though.
The interesting thing is how they added the villains from the five movies of the previous Spider-man runs into this movie. That’s right, Green Goblin (Willem Defoe), Dock Ock (Alfred Molena), Electro (Jamie Foxx), Lizard (Rhys Ifans), and Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) are all in this one. As are the previous Spider-mans Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire. And all of them not just with short cameos. All in all, it’s a busy movie.
It’s quite a feat that somehow the writers, the director, and the actors made this movie work. At least, I thought so. Juggling this many characters is hard. But the writing combined with some brilliant acting manages to pull it all together. That alone is quite a feat.
I’ll not spoil the plot, but the way the villains are portrayed, and how we see Peter evolve is some dang good writing, in my opinion. I thought the first two Tom Holland movies were okay, but not great. This one, though… The movie is well set up, and the ending is fitting. Super hero movies tend to pull their punches, but this one really drives its premise to the ultimate conclusion. And I love that.
Is it perfect? No. No movie is. And I think this movie might be hard to follow if you are not familiar with the previous Spider-man movies. That’s a Marvel disease in it’s own right, but dragging in 5 more movies from Sony is quite a daring way to aggravate the problem. Still, because Peter doesn’t know about these other universes either, the movie can take some time to get across who these people all are. That helps. Good save, Marvel. But since I do know all the old movies, I don’t know how much this actually helps for people who don’t.
In short, go see No Way Home if you like superhero movies. And if you haven’t seen any of the old Spider-man movies, please tell me if you still thought it was good.