Spider-Man: Far From Home ended with the worst way to end a movie; with a damn cliffhanger. That’s like a giant F-U from the people behind the film to the audience, a way to tell them, ‘Thanks for watching the movie, see you next time for the second part dumbass!’. Spider-Man: No Way Home thankfully sets things right, picking up right at the end of the last movie.
With a lot of hype riding behind the movie, does Spider-Man: No Way Home manage to meet expectations? The short answer? Yes and No. The long answer?
You’ll have to read on to find out.
What is Spider-Man: No Way Home?
Spider-Man: No Way Home is the last entry in the current Homecoming trilogy. Directed by Jon Watts (who also directed the last two Spider-Man movies), it’s meant to close the current chapter of Spider-Man’s story arc.
Here’s the majority of the cast, taken direct from the movie’s page on IMDB.
I have to admit, I went into the movie with expectations pretty high.
While I haven’t been keeping a hardcore watch on the movie, I’ve seen the trailers and heard the rumors. I’m not going to say whether the rumors are true, but I will say that the movie does hit the mark most of the time, but fails miserably in areas that it should’ve excelled.
It’s certainly decent.
Nothing mind-blowing but as a stepping stone for further Multiverse hijinks down the line, it suffices.
If you’re still ignorant about it, Spider-Man: No Way Home has Spidey screwed by Mysterio’s deathbed revelation that the masked vigilante is Peter Parker. Life in shambles, and those closest to him affected by the fallout, Parker heads on over to Doctor Strange to try to resolve the issue.
Their solution? To wipe the memory of everybody who knows Spidey’s secret identity.
Due to Spidey’s constantly trying to change who’s affected by the spell, Dr Strange loses control of the incantation, which causes a minor rift in the Multiverse. Strange is able to contain the rift but too late to completely stop all multiversal incursions. From that rift, foes of Spider-Man from other universes are drawn to the MCU 616.
The Lizard, Doc Ock, the Green Goblin, Electro and Sandman all make the leap to the MCU, and it’s up to Spidey to return them to their rightful place in the Multiverse. I honestly don’t know why they didn’t just have the MCU’s Vulture hook up with them and make it a proper Sinister Six movie. Seems like a damn waste to me.
Of the returning baddies, Doc Ock and the Green Goblin get the most screen time and focus. It’s understandable, both are the most interesting characters from past Spider-Man movies anyways. Tragic figures, both come to the 616 hellbent on taking out Spider-Man, before realizing this Spider-Man isn’t their Spider-Man.
True to character, Peter actually tries to help out the villains, before their inevitable betrayal. I actually thought it was cool to see Spidey and the villains work together for a bit. Very strange, but the novelty of it was intriguing enough that I was a bit sad when the alliance dissolved in a particularly explosive way.
One thing the movie does have an issue with is pacing.
The beginning dragged, parts of the middle dragged and the final act had some draggy parts too. That’s because most of it is just retreading familiar territory; how Spidey’s secret identity being revealed affects those around him and Spidey feeling sorry for himself. Come on bro! Get a grip and man up!
The death of a pivotal character to close the second act was certainly meant to shock, but if you’re a gamer who’s played Marvel’s Spider-Man on the Playstation 4/5, it loses much of its punch.
In that respect, the movie completely fails to capitalize on Peter’s anguish.
Just a few minutes of him feeling sorry for himself (in a movie filled with similar scenes), some pep talk from the supporting cast and then Parker is good to go again.
Peter’s willingness to murder at the end of the big final fight is a surprise though it’s quickly walked back into PG territory. I guess having Spidey become a murderer won’t sit well with parents who buy Spider-Man toys.
Speaking of the final fight, it’s a massive disappointment.
Spidey taking on the baddies isn’t as exciting as it should be. Fight choreography is a mess, with rapid cuts that confuse rather than titillate. It doesn’t help the location for the final fight is boring, with no threat of casualties or destruction on a massive scale.
In fact, I kind of felt that it ended too quickly. That’s something I feel also applies to most of the fights in the movie. The only satisfying one was the first, when Peter squared off against Doc Ock on the bridge. The rest all ended too soon.
While the plot might be a disappointment, there’s at least some hope for the acting.
Alfred Molina and Willem Dafoe clearly stole the show for me. I’ve always loved the Green Goblin and Doc Ock from Sam Raimi’s trilogy and they were just as awesome in this movie. I don’t remember the Green Goblin being so damn strong though! Even Jamie Foxx’s Electro’s not as crappy as he was in the Amazing Spider-Man 2.
The Bottom Line:
As the bookend to the Homecoming trilogy, Spider-Man: No Way Home closes this chapter of Spidey’s adventures capably, though perhaps with a bit of a step backwards. There are tons of unanswered questions left after the ending. The biggest one being, what happens to the villains? Nobody knows.
Other issues like plot pacing, a distinct lack of memorable action scenes (despite having 5 villains!), plot twists that kind of fell flat and some questionable character development mar the experience as well.
Despite that, the movie is still a decent romp and fans of Spidey will get a kick out of it. It’s not as witty as Homecoming, or as trippy as Far From Home, but Spider-Man: No Way Home does manage to stand on its own merits, flaws notwithstanding.
Good but with flaws and unanswered questions left hanging at the end.
- Lots of villains!
- Decent acting.
- Some cool surprises.
- Not enough fights.
- Final battle anti-climatic.
- Needless supporting character death.