Spider-Man: No Way Home is one of the few films Marvel has produced that could be considered exemplary art. I love Marvel as much as any other geeky guy, gal, or non-binary pal, but the films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe tend to be fast-paced and often lack depth. Being the blockbusters they are, Marvel (as well as Star Wars, DC, and other major franchises) are meant to entertain. Besides Shang-Chi, Black Panther, and Black Widow (which were all “first in the franchise” movies), this was the first sequel to really give us a bang for our buck. The emotional journey we see Peter Parker, Dr. Strange, MJ, Happy, and others go through is unmatched in this movie. I truly felt for every side character and even every villain.
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
No Way Home was epic, thought-provoking, emotional, and well structured. Every piece of the soundtrack had a purpose, and every moment gave us something new to consider or something old to reevaluate. This is a must-see film for any comic-book movie connoisseur.
Before seeing this movie, I had never screamed in a movie theater.
Laughed very loud?
Of course, that’s a given!
I was there when the Twilight films and Magic Mike premiered, and I can recall women screaming, but I hadn’t had my moment yet… until now. When I recognized Andrew Garfield’s body and suit, I SCREAMED. The entire theater clapped, and goosebumps prickled my skin as I watched in awe as the amazing Spider-Man who I adored was on the big screen once again before me. When Tobey appeared onscreen, I nearly cried. Tobey’s Spider-Man was such a large part of my childhood, and it was such a wholesome and cathartic experience to see them all working together. Tobey and Andrew’s stories as Spider-Man have always felt incomplete, cut short. This was the beautiful resolution they needed. I needed to see Andrew reconcile for the loss of Gwen. I needed Tobey and Andrew (and Tom!) to choose to rehabilitate all of our favorite villains.
The emotional range we got from Tom Holland in this film was spectacular. I’ve seen every movie he’s ever been in to date, and I think every performance pales in comparison. Zendaya’s performance and characterization of MJ is so likable and relatable. She made me smile and broke my heart all at once. Every actor had such drive and ambition; it felt like all the moving parts were perfectly in sync. I laughed, I cried, I saw Tom Holland in his underwear, and I blushed. This movie defines range.
No Way Home is ultimately a story about second chances—another shot at college admissions, another opportunity to portray Spider-Man, a second chance at LIFE.
Choosing to rehabilitate villains instead of murdering or imprisoning them really resonated with me, and I think our judicial system could use some pointers from the writers. It was beautiful to see the love the characters have for each other and their growth to accomplish. Behind the scenes, you can see how much the cast cares for one another, and it’s been awesome watching the romance bloom between Tom and Zendaya both on-screen and in real life.
“If you expect disappointment, then you can never really be disappointed.” If you expect to be let down by the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rest assured nothing is disappointing about this film!