No Way Home

Caution: this post contains words of a spoilery nature for Spider-Man: No Way Home. I saw the film this week and will now write my thoughts on it. This is me getting some use out of my film studies degree, writing something on here that I won’t be getting paid for. I blame the editor.

In preparation for watching the new film, I watched the Amazing Spider-Man 2 for the first time as it was the only live-action Spider-Man film I’d not seen. I didn’t really enjoy it or feel any connection with the characters, but it wasn’t as bad as the general consensus suggested. It was just sort of there. One of my biggest problems with these films is that all the people with superpowers all get them from the one Oscorp tower.

Anyway, onto the newest film. I saw it on the day it came out after work. It was the first time I have watched a Spider-Man film in the cinema when I’ve been wearing a mask for longer than the main character. It was also probably the loudest an audience has been in terms of responses to what’s happening on the screen. I’ve been in audiences where people clap and cheer before in the cinema, normally in the midnight screening, but this definitely had the most audible responses.

I mentioned spoilers at the start of this. And I had already had many of the film’s surprise cameos spoiled for me before seeing the final film due to the uncharacteristic levels of leaks there were. All of them turned out to be right, at least the ones I saw.

My biggest concerns were that the film would be bloated or would be over-reliant on nostalgia from the films of the past. But everything worked. Seeing Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina reprise their roles after the better part of 20 years just reminded me of why those first two Raimi films were so good. And particularly Dafoe here was even better than in 2002. The other villains all have something to do, and Jamie Foxx’s Electro is much better this time around.

But why I was most excited to see this film was the strongly rumoured appearance of one Tobey Maguire. He will always be my favourite Spider-Man. And it turns out he is in it, with Andrew Garfield. And despite my allegiances to Tobey, Andrew’s performance is the best of the two here. He looks like he’s actually enjoying himself and that the weight’s been lifted off his shoulders that was weighing him down in his two films.

One thing I would have changed about the film was the entrances of both Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire. It should have been a little grander than just walking through a portal. I am willing to offer my editing services for future MCU content if needed.

But this is definitely Tom Holland’s film. The ghosts of Spider-Man past don’t overshadow him and he gives his strongest performance to date for the character.

It was a lot of fun seeing all three cinematic Spideys together on screen. For me, this film and the one before it are like Avengers Infinity and Endgame. As with Infinity War, Far From Home is a better film. But like Endgame, No Way Home has those memorable moments that I know I’ll be watching crowd reactions to repeatedly.

And the ending was spot-on, effectively rebooting Tom Holland’s take on the character. He now patches up his suits with a sewing machine and has none of the fancy Stark tech to get him out of trouble, which is one thing that was slightly jarring in the previous films.

It’s always a good sign when you want to watch the sequel straight away and I am looking forward to seeing what they do with the character. Provided the ‘they’ are Marvel and not Sony, that is.

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