Where to begin in a Spider-Man: No Way Home review? I guess I will start with the fact I’m not putting any SPOILERS into this review. Other than that, I might not be quite as in love with the movies as some other reviews I’ve read, but don’t mistake that for me not having a good time watching it.
The days of intravenous nostalgia injections are upon us folks and make no mistake, Spider-Man: No Way Home, in the mold of others like Ghostbusters: Afterlife, or The Force Awakens, is a nostalgia fest. Perhaps the one saving grace, and I hope where Marvel Studios worked their magic, was that despite all this, No Way Home remains a fun, and emotional movie for the majority of the run time. The reason this happens, is because despite all the winks and nods to Spider-Man movies of old, the central story remains focused on Peter, MJ, and Ned. Those three, and how they react to events, grow. and change, is the heart of the movie.
If you are a massive fan girl or fan boy for the previous Spider-Man movies, you’ll get diabetes from the amount of sugar coated nostalgia thrown your way and you’ll love every minute of it like my son did. I on the other hand came from a position of having liked very few of the pre-MCU Spider-Man movies. Therefore the movie had to appeal to me on another level beyond the memberberries trip. Thankfully it did, and that core of Peter, MJ and Ned carried the craziness and actually made for a fairly compelling movie. My worry was always that far too much would be crammed into this movie. However it’s surprising how much exposition they can drop amongst the nostalgia and still have room for the core trio.
The old returning guest stars are all better than I expected with Molina’s Doc Ock, Dafoe’s Osborn, and Foxx’s Electro being the highlights. Dafoe’s Goblin was far better here than the Power Rangers version we got in Spider-Man. This iteration felt more like the Goblin of the comics and cartoons. Crazy, but helpless and not truly evil at heart. Everyone gets to say their most famous lines and that’s what I mean about a potential nostalgia induced coma. And yet, these actors, and the characters they embodied remained compelling and entertaining throughout.
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This may be Holland, Zendaya and Battalon’s best performances as the trio yet. Though overall, I preferred Far From Home as a movie experience. For a movie so stuffed to the brim there are surprising little action scenes in No Way Home other than the ones you have already seen parts of in trailers. That being said, the action scene are all very well executed and varied given the different nature of the antagonists Peter goes up against.
The end of the movie and the post-credits tease a future for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man which I find to be more exciting than what we have had already. But maybe that’s just me.
Overall Spider-Man: No Way Home is a movie that could easily have fallen apart but doesn’t. No Way Home works surprisingly well and I think the majority of fans will go through a range of emotions here and not just pointing at the screen like Leo in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Nostalgia fest, but also fun, and an emotionally honest story. Not My favorite MCU movie, but still very good. Remember to leave your own Spider-Man: No Way Home review below.