“Spider-Man: No Way Home” movie review

Alex Jackson, [email protected], Multimedia team

I thoroughly enjoyed the film the most out of the new trilogy and its praise is well-earned. Don’t go into the movie expecting a strong plot, and you’ll have a great time.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is a collaboration once deemed impossible, one between Disney, Sony, and Marvel Studios. Director Jon Watts has made sure his Spider-Man trilogy remains revered and remembered by audiences around the world. The 148-minute-long film is sparse with fan service, but does its best to make sure your laughs, smiles and tears are well-earned. 

Spider-Man: No Way Home picks up right where its predecessor (Far From Home) left off. Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is named public enemy number one, and to make matters worse, his secret identity has been revealed to the public. This, in standard Peter Parker fashion, holds disastrous consequences for those close to him, namely MJ (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon). In an effort to bring a sense of normalcy and balance back to his life, Peter enlists the help of Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). This goes about as well as you would expect, and Peter and his friends are left to pick up the pieces of a fractured multiverse. 

Writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers did an excellent job of tying up the Watts trilogy while returning the franchise to its roots in more ways than one. A common theme in the Spider-Man comics and film franchises is Peter Parker’s dilemma of balancing his two lives and this film leans into that heavily. Despite some pitfalls with the plot, Sommers and McKenna give Spider-Man fans everything that they’ve ever wanted in a contemporary Superhero movie.


[Major Spoiler Warning Ahead]


Spider-Man: No Way Home offers character growth not only for Holland’s Spider-Man, but for the Spider-Men of the past. Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man) and Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man) are offered a chance at redemption, a second chance to right the mistakes that their characters felt they made in the past.

 Spider-Man: No Way Home ties up its own franchise with a pretty little knot and also gives audiences a chance to see the Spider-Men from the past interact with each other and fight one more time. Seeing Garfield and Maguire on the screen was worth every penny that I paid to view this movie. The nostalgic feeling I got made me feel like I was seeing an old friend for the first time in a long time. 

The movie is filled with laughter, as if the writers wanted to get as many multi-Peter Parker jokes out as they could in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It should be said that while the writing of the jokes was obviously a big part of the humor of the movie, the delivery of their lines was just as important as the lines themselves. Electro (Jamie Foxx) has great delivery and easily steals the show every time he is on the screen. Additionally, Green Goblin (William Dafoe) puts on a despicable performance with his iconic, maniacal laughter and diabolical facial expressions.

No Way Home’s visuals and cinematography are top-notch, with Cinematographer Mauro Fiore (Training Day, Avatar) delivering great kinetic action scenes throughout the entire movie. The movie had multiple stand out scenes, and like most Marvel movies, Spider-Man is a delight for the eye.
As much as I enjoyed the movie, I can’t say it was perfect. On my second viewing of the film, I thought the first half was exceptionally boring, although it didn’t bother me that much when I watched it the first time. Around halfway through the movie, the pacing picks up and you start to get what you paid for. The writing of the movie, although it hit on all the right heart strings, was also borderline awful at times. The way that our heroes cure their villains seemed like a cop out. I mean, they turned Sand-Man (Thomas Haden Church) back to normal with some sort of light grenade. Additionally, the two Spider-Men just fade away as if they were in Back to the Future, which felt like a disservice, as if they were trying to find a way to quickly wrap the movie up in that final scene with Green Goblin. With a run time of 148 minutes, I felt a little let down with how they resolved the story. 

Despite this, I felt satisfied with the way they handled all three of the Spider-Men’s regrets and it was a delight to see Maguire hold his own against mega-star Holland and underdog Garfield. In both of my viewings, Garfield got audience cheers and stole the show multiple times in the short period that he is in the movie. I hope that he’s given another shot at another Spider-Man movie in the future, as he’s proven himself in my eyes to deserve to hold the mantle of Spider-Man. 

At the end of the day, the movie itself is an entertaining story about second chances. A second chance for our idols of the past, a second chance for the heroes to do things right and a second chance for the villains in the story to go down a different path. I thoroughly enjoyed the film the most out of the new trilogy and its praise is well-earned. Don’t go into the movie expecting a strong plot, and you’ll have a great time.

RATING: 4.2/5