Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) Review

Alfred Molina in Spider-Man: No Way Home

It has been more than a month. Movie’s already made $1.6+ bil. So spoilers.

The anticipation levels for this thing were beyond comprehension. Fans who closely followed the marketing knew something big would go down. While some may have been annoyed by the constant leaks and news surrounding the mystery of the veteran players’ appearance, I cannot help but commend the strategy.

It is no accident, that should have been obvious. We were meant to hear those rumors. We were supposed to go over the teasers and trailers with a fine tooth-comb and judge whether they were going to appear or not. We were supposed to anticipate.

And boy we did.

You may or may not think this movie hit all the right notes when it comes to fulfilling expectations. But when it comes to judging the wait as a whole, the terrible teaser posters and constant denial did their job. It is a wonderful lesson in marketing. There will be case studies…

Or am I being to generous?

The Jon Watts-led Spider-Man: No Way Home hit theaters last year Christmas. And here I am, more than a month later, re-watching, allowing myself to soak in the performances and ask myself – why don’t I like this as much as I should? I, too, had been anticipating the wall-crawler’s return since ages. Like many others in my generation, I grew up with the original Spider-Man. I remember being that age when Dunst snogging an upside down Maguire would send us all into fits of giggles. And yet, sitting in the cheering hall, watching Tobey walk through that portal gets me only *mildly* pleased. Why? Is it because Andrew entering a couple minutes earlier kind of killed my anticipation? Or I’m sort of halfway convinced it will not lead to much?

One can never live up

Whatever my reservations are, I cannot discount the amazing feat Marvel Studios has achieved once again. Spider-Man: No Way Home continues right after the Far From Home’s first post credit scene. While I’m disappointed it actually doesn’t simply start with an “-UCK”, continuity is the one area this movie excels in; even though you can tell certain reactions, action set-pieces and dialogues have been trimmed and edited to shreds. Keep what you need, explain the rules quickly and get to work – that’s all the bare bones plot needs and what this movie does very well.

And therein lies the problem

It must be quite difficult for the film makers to know what to cut and what to keep in. One aspect of the involvement of the other Spider-Men in this adventure has still bothered me to this day. In spite of their appearance buoying my inner nine-year old’s spirits, at the end of the day, I can’t help question the necessity of their involvement. Not just from a story-line perspective, because that is a valid chance happenstance in the plot, but from an end-goal one. Aside from assisting our youngest Avenger and making meme references, Peter 2 and Peter 3’s involvement desperately reeks of studio suits testing the waters, surveying the masses for future projects. There was nothing in Iron Boys Jr.’s arsenal that wouldn’t have resolved the final conflict.

But that hardly assists in eliciting ear-splitting cheers and a good story, does it?

Final word

An origin story is been there, done that. Veteran villains such as Dafoe’s scene chewing Goblin, Foxx’s trigger-happy Electro and Molina’s nuanced Doc Ock make Spider-Man: No Way Home the gimmick that was worth it, concluding Tom Holland’s Peter 1 origin trilogy with a well-deserved bang.

My ass, he’s not gonna do this till his 30s.

Rating

Rating: 3 out of 5.


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