Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

#MRFLIXTER

It finally happened. I watched Spider-Man: No Way Home. With all the anticipation, the biggest film of 2021 needs no explanation. This is a SPOILER-FREE review...for now. Like they say, with great power comes great responsibility. I understand many may not have seen the film, they deserve that respect. Fun fact: this is the 2nd Spider-Man 3 and Far From Home was the 3rd Spider-Man 2. Confused yet? It will all make sense in time. So does the newest MCU film get my spidey-sense tingling?

It starts where Far From Home (2019) left off, Spider-Man just had his secret identity exposed by Mysterio. They hit the ground running and don't look back. I love the attention to detail. The continuity is incredible. It's amazing how they tied everything together. Spider-Man is by far the most complex and storied hero attached to the MCU! I'm surprised certain characters didn't show up but I understand there was no room in the narrative. I get how director Jon Watts wanted to focus on, essentially 3 Spider-Man universes but wanted Tom Holland's Spider-Man to interact with THOSE villains. I love how they weren't forcing a Sinister 6 film either.

Written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, they craft a story so surreal to behold and shouldn't make sense on paper but I loved it. They managed to dive into the entire Spider-Man Multiverse. Similar to Into the Spider-verse, the animated film, but they tie up loose ends together nicely from the live-action films. The storytelling is progressively getting better!

The previews showed the villains so I can discuss them next. Alfred Molina as Doc Ock is the first to arrive at the party. That fight on the bridge is a delightful highlight. After he died in Spider-Man 2 (2004) I never thought I'd see him reprise the role again so it fills me with glee to see him again. He's still convincing as both the monster and the brilliant scientist, which is integral to the character. He performs with the same ferocity yet as eloquently as ever.

Jamie Foxx also returns as Maxwell Dillon. I love how Electro quit the blue man group. A much-needed, more comic-accurate costume change is welcome. His motivation is made clear early on, which leads to temptation later. Have you ever wondered what would happen if he got his hands on a Stark arc reactor? He performs out of character compared to Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) which isn't explained nor did it bother me because it's another welcome change. I never did like his portrayal in his previous film. I also love how he was saying that he was sure Spider-Man was black! Automatically thought about the other reference in Homecoming (2017).

Thomas Haden Church is back as Flint Marko aka Sandman. I like how he was nice to Peter at first because they made peace at the end of Spider-Man 3 (2007). It's attention to little details that improve the storytelling. Again, his motivation is made clear early on when his trust issues arise because he's in a new place with someone claiming to be Peter Parker but he doesn't know him. An intriguing angle with a great performance makes for an interesting story arc.

Rhys Ifans returns as the Lizard from Amazing Spider-Man (2012) but unfortunately, he doesn't have much to do which is a shame because Dr. Curtis Conners was a brilliant scientist, respectively, and had personal ties to Peter in the comics. It could have been developed more but that's a minor discrepancy. It's nice to see him back too. The film wouldn't feel the same without him.

Willem Dafoe is back too as Norman Osborn. Best of all, Green Goblin finally ditches the awful Power Rangers mask and wore a purple hood! He's much scarier without the mask on anyway. He plays the archenemy with his most off-the-rails performance with maniacally eccentric lunacy to steal the show. It's so stunning to see him back after dying in Spider-man (2002) and only making cameos in the sequels. His performance is worth the price of admission alone. His fight scenes are the most brutal in the MCU so far. On top of that, I love how ALL the actors really tried to do a good job. It shows.

Overall, how lucky are we Marvel fans to get 4 MCU films in 1 year? Not to mention the 5 Disney Plus shows available too. The way they set things up now, Tom Holland could continue to play Spider-Man and he could be involved in storylines with any of his comic book nemeses! Outstanding writing by McKenna and Sommers. Director Watts had a vision I didn't even realize until this film and gave me a new appreciation for the other Spider-Man films. It felt like a combination of Into the Spider-Verse and End Game but it takes a new approach to tell a different story. I appreciate how they didn't try to copy those films. It's not time travel or anything scientific, it's magic. Just like this film is. I highly recommend seeing this in theatres because it's truly a mind-blowing spectacle to behold. Do I suddenly have a new favourite Spider-Man film? Make sure to stick around for both after-credits scenes. And remember, with great writing and directing comes great responsibility to live up to fan expectations and they more than exceeded them with my favourite superhero. My spidey sense exploded!!! GO SEE IT!!!

Grade: A+++

And now my SPOILER RANT about in-depth details on what makes this film so AMAZING.

HAVE YOU SEEN IT YET?

WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?

FINAL SPOILER WARNING

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I loved how Spider-Man tried to help the villains because THAT is what he does. I love how the villains didn't have cameos but actual roles were written for them with stories from the films they come from to tie up loose ends. I never thought I'd see the day a film like this would get made. I didn't believe anything online until I saw it for myself.

I love how the other Spider-Men are supporting characters too. There was character development and interaction between Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire. The fact that they had entire scenes where they got to compare science notes and talk about their respective worlds and lives was impressively written!

I love how they did science together, it showed each of their intellectual strengths. I liked how each Peter Parker is very intelligent in his own way. I liked when Tom Holland realized how effective geometry works against Doctor Strange. I also enjoyed how Garfield and Holland were disgusted, amazed, confused and intrigued by Maguire's natural webbing. They had great chemistry...pun entirely intended.

I loved how Maguire "Dressed as a youth pastor" called Garfield AMAZING…. Just saying.

I loved how Holland had to step up to show the other two Spider-Men how to work as a team. It was so inspired. I didn't think they would kill Aunt May but they earned that pain Holland felt because his first two films had established a loving relationship. In a way, she's his Uncle Ben now. I also enjoyed Garfield's redemptive moment saving MJ. Same with Maguires redemptive moment catching the glider. The film is emotionally satisfying in that way.

Another part of the story I loved was the ending because Holland knew it was the RIGHT thing to do. Although it was tragic, he had to do it. It was perfection!

I love how Charlie Cox aka Matt Murdock aka Daredevil entered the MCU to have a cameo. I wish he had more of a role but with Kingpin now on the Hawkeye show, it's a very exciting time to be a Marvel fan.

I love how Marvel duped me again. I thought they skipped the origin story but the WHOLE TRILOGY has been Holland's origin story the WHOLE TIME! Absolutely brilliant!

In the end most of all I love how ALL the other Sony Marvel films are now Variants of the MCU according to the Loki Show, thusly giving me a new appreciation for ALL the past films. Did I blow your mind yet?

Grade: Extra Extra Extra Large Popcorn

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MR. FLIXTER

MR. FLIXTER

Hello world! I'm MR FLIXTER!!! And I just love motion pictures! I'm a film critic for Horror Buzz but I love ALL films genres. That's why I'm here!