Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

spider-man no way home poster 2021 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Good throwback to the earlier Spider-Man movies

Fuzzy logic regarding the central plotline

Movie Info

Movie Name: Spider-Man:  No Way Home

Studio:  Columbia Pictures/Pascal Pictures/Marvel Studios

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  December 13, 2021 (Premiere)/December 15, 2021 (UK)/December 17, 2021 (UK)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

spider-man no way home armor iron spider costume

When Armor Spider-Man is useful, it’s useful…if not just kind of forget about it

Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has been outed by Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) and now the world knows his secret and the debate if Spider-Man is a criminal is ramping up thanks to online media personality J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons).  As Peter, MJ (Zendaya), and Ned (Jacob Batalon) try to get back to their lives and prepare for college, the danger of having their identities known cause Peter to take a drastic measure.  Calling on Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Peter wants to erase the world’s knowledge that he is Spider-Man…but a mistake releases a whole new threat to reality that has Spider-Man facing all his old enemies…even the ones he’s never met.

Directed by Jon Watts, Spider-Man:  No Way Home is a Marvel Comics MCU movie.  Following Eternals in 2021, it is the twenty-seventh film in the MCU series and the third entry in the Spider-Man series following Spider-Man:  Far from Home in 2019.  The movie was released to positive reviews and one of the strongest box office returns following the COVID-19 outbreak.

spider-man no way home dr strange benedict cumberbatch

When Peter points out that it really is kind of all Dr. Strange’s fault

I waited upon the release of Spider-Man:  No Way Home to go see it due to the Omicron surge of COVID-19 that was starting.  I finally went to see it two weeks later in an empty theater, but sat on reviewing it for a long time simply because I got distracted.  Thinking back on the movie, I enjoyed it but in many ways the same as other Marvel movies.

What stands out in Spider-Man:  No Way Home is that it acknowledges previous Spider-Man movies.  While the plot borrows from the much maligned Spider-Man:  One More Day storyline, the real meat involves Spider-Man meeting his inter-dimensional counterparts and battling their enemies (that ended up facing death at the hands of the Spider-Man character).  The resurrections are rather random (no Dane DeHaan Green Goblin or Topher Grace Venom), and it only resurrects villains who know his identity and no other people.  It all seems to use dismissive “it’s magic” as an excuse for any pro-or-con criticisms (but in the same vein it is also a movie about a guy who has spider abilities…so it isn’t meant to be realistic).

spider-man no way home dr octopus alfred moline

Sorry, kid…my Spider-Man movie is still better

The team-up of “Spider-Man” from the dimension is also a series high point.  It serves as both a finale for both the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and a bit of resolution for Andrew Garfield Amazing Spider-Man series.  Both Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire really add to the plot and help expand the film in a way that other entries in Tom Holland series haven’t had.

In general in addition to Maguire, Garfield, and Holland, the cast is great.  It is good to see the return of the supporting cast of Holland films return (both Zendaya and Jacob Batalon get a lot of screentime), but it is also good to see more resolution (and sometime better designs) for characters from the Maguire and Garfield series (plus a resurrection of the Netflix Daredevil series).  There is such a good collection of characters that it rivals some of the bigger Avengers films.

The special effects are rather in line with the standard MCU movies.  Much of the reality bending stuff feels like it was done to the same level in movies like Doctor Strange which had similar visuals.  The film has a lot of fun with the three Spider-Mans and their appearances show the absurdity and comic book nature of the film which is still a thrill as a fan of comics.

spider-man no way home three spidermen

The moment Spider-Mans waited for (plus the later released live action meme)

Spider-Man:  No Way Home is a really fun superhero movie.  It is everything you’d like in a Spider-Man film even if the logic gets a little slippery.  The idea of “erasing” a person raises a bunch of questions that doesn’t get answers in this movie like how does Peter even get around without identification or any record of existing and is there just giant blank holes in the memories of people like Doctor Strange where Peter was unmasked in front of them (since Spider-Man’s existence wasn’t erased).  A sequel might answer some of these questions, but it might also prove to be much less satisfying than we hoped (though it does leave me wishing more for an Andrew Garfield Amazing Spider-Man 3).  Spider-Man:  No Way Home was followed by Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in 2022 the MCU but by Morbius in 2022 in Sony’s Spider-Man universe.

Related Links:

Spider-Man:  Homecoming (2016)

Spider-Man:  Far from Home (2019)

Spider-Man (2002)

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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