The extremely long-awaited Spider-Man: No Way Home is finally here and it is a doozy. The MCU built up countless storylines and as some fade, others blossom into the next phase. Where do we go from here? What is next for the MCU? How does everything before No Way Home come into this film and why? I'll try to tackle these questions and give my full thoughts on Spider-Man: No Way Home. I'll begin with the story.
**Massive Spoiler Warning**
The trailers for Spider-Man: No Way Home do a pretty good job of explaining what this film is about. It honestly is a bit predictable as most superhero films are, but that's ok because this film has something that no other MCU film has had so far. We already knew from the trailers that the old Spider-Man films by Sony were going to be involved here. Doctor Octopus, Sandman, The Lizard, Electro, and Green Goblin were all shown, in some fashion, before the release.
Essentially, the story is exactly what the trailers show. Peter Parker is not having a good life after the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home when Mysterio revealed Spider-Man's identity. Everyone in the world knows who Peter really is and he's being bombarded from every aspect of his life. Peter seeks out Doctor Strange to use magic and reverse what happened.
Doctor Strange doesn't possess the time stone any longer after the events of Avengers: Endgame so he attempts a 'forgetful spell' that gets badly damaged when teenage Peter Parker intervenes. The spell opens up the multiverse and the villains from previous films enter the 'Tom Holland universe'. Peter can't live with the fact that the villains he's encountering all die fighting different versions of Spider-Man. They battle, Spidey wins and in the end, Doctor Strange's 'forgetful spell' is completed. This leaves Peter Parker completely alone after MJ and Ned completely forget he even exists.
I loved the storyline here. One of the things I've always pondered when it comes to superheroes is what happens when their secret identity is revealed. This film showed us exactly that and in a modern world with cameras and smartphones everywhere. It was really well done and I thought the execution of the details was great.
Now we get into the fine details of whether or not Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield would make an appearance. If they did, what kind of impact would they have and would they fight alongside Tom Holland's Peter Parker? The answer is yes and they were absolutely awesome! This felt like a huge fan service to the older fans like me that loved the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy. Even though the final film in that trilogy was a total mess and they did my favorite anti-hero wrong in Venom, I still adore those films.
Spider-Man was reset and re-cast completely in 'The Amazing Spider-Man' with Andrew Garfield and it was fun. The two films weren't great but they added many different dimensions to the character and overall story that I appreciated. As a Spidey comic and a cartoon fan, the different versions of Peter Parker were greatly appreciated long before the MCU was in full-throttle.
Seeing the three Peter Parkers on screen together was an absolute blast for me. They have a rapport together that felt so seamless and natural. They poked fun at each other like Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield's amazement that Tobey Maguire actually produces his webs inside his own body. It was funny, creative, and almost broke the fourth wall in a way that acknowledges the differences between the Peter Parkers.
Willem Freakin' Dafoe and the Other Villians
There have been issues with Spider-Man villains before. Take Electro for example. Jamie Foxx does a fine job portraying the character, but why was he blue in 'The Amazing Spider-Man'? Maybe it's just my foggy memory but I always remember Electro as yellow with electricity beaming out of his body. 'No Way Home' corrected that mistake and it looked great. The same thing can be said for Willem Dafoe's 'Green Goblin' in the first Sam Raimi film. He wore a green body-armor suit and rode a purple glider. So they got the color-scheme right but it wasn't perfect.
Willem Dafoe is a fantastic actor and what he brings to the character of Green Goblin is superb. The costume above was a nice sight to see. I enjoyed the fact that he donned the purple(ish) sweater over the green armor. It didn't look exactly like I remembered it from the comics but it made me smile just seeing it look a bit better than a mechanical suit. The Lizard, Sandman, and Doctor Octopus looked pretty spectacular also. I didn't have any issues with their previous versions and they looked pretty similar in this film too.
My final thoughts are as follows: this was an extremely satisfying movie to watch. It's fun and cliché but it's also wonderful and fresh. It's an emotional thrill ride with great acting and a ton of action. I loved this film and I appreciate all the work Sony and Marvel collaborated on to make it happen. Let us know what you think and don't miss out on the post-credits scene breakdown!