Spider-Man No Way Home Review
The moment webheads have been waiting for is finally here. Spider-man No Way Home is finally out in theaters now and the internet can finally put to rest all their speculations, fan theories, and most importantly, give Andrew Garfield some peace.
Spider-Man No Way Home picks up right where Far From Home's cliffhanger left off. Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has just been outed to the whole world that he is the true identity behind the famous web-slinger Spider-man. But not only that, he is a murderer. At least, that's what Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) told everyone right before he died. So even though Parker has helped save the world from an alien threat alongside the Avengers, everyone turns against him because of the revelation of a superhero who has been around for like a week. To me, this is not a believable storyline in the slightest and only seems to be used as a launchpad for the movie's eventual plot to happen.
Heartbroken, he and his friends don't get into their college of choice. Peter shows up at Dr. Strange's (Benedict Cumberbatch) house one day begging him to help. Strange comes up with the idea that the whole world must forget that Peter is Spider-man, but during the spell, Peter keeps remembering people he wants to remember his secret. Why Strange didn't just make a spell that the world would never remember Mysterio I'm not quite sure...but due to all of Peter's interruptions, Strange's spell goes wrong and Peter soon learns of the disastrous consequences. These consequences come in the form of Spider-man's greatest villains dropping into his life...from other multiverses that is; planes of existence that are different than the one Peter was living in and aware of (for audiences: the villains from the previous movies not starring Tom Holland). If it all sounds pretty convoluted, it's because it is. It's all just a way to pay homage to the many of the Spider-man movies that came before. The plot here only exists just to make what needs to happen, happen. The question is, does that gamble pay off for the movie? The answer is mostly!
Prior to these villains appearing, the first half of the film is a bit weak, and as I mentioned before, convoluted. It's hard to buy into this reality and Parker's sob story about not getting into college feels a bit weak. But life is injected into the film once Alfred Molina as Doc Ock appears with Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin not too far behind. Dafoe, in particular, slips back into the role effortlessly and makes it seem as though he was just playing this role yesterday. He's one of the strongest aspects of the film and he does an incredible job.
The second half is where the film really gets good. Tom Holland gives his best performance as Peter here and you really start to feel some stakes for him. I've never particularly cared for Zendaya in these films, but this was her best outing here as well. I still think they fumbled their setup as a couple in the previous films, but they had some nice scenes together here. Overall though, I can't help feeling that if this film was in a better director's hands it would have been an all-time great. The action sequences are all fine, but they should be stellar given the tools he's been given access to in his toolbox.
Spider-Man No Way Home works because of the camaraderie between the entire cast, both heroes and villains alike. As a lover of Raimi's trilogy and as someone who finds the Amazing Spider-man movies as underrated (albeit flawed) gems, this movie was filled with moments that were absolute treats. While it could have been better as a whole, I still really appreciate what they got right.