Movie Review – ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’

SPOILERS ALERT!!!

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ and I’m Tim Bradley!

Well, I can see why this movie was released at Christmas time, because it has everything in it! All the hype that had been building up to the release of the movie has been worth it. I was afraid this movie wouldn’t live up to the expectations of everybody, including me. But it exceeded those expectations.

If you’ve been following my reviews on the ‘Spider-Man’ movies on ‘Bradley’s Basement’, you’re probably aware I’m not a fan of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’, the first two films of the ‘MCU’s version of Spidey. I found them very underwhelming and unsatisfying. 😦

Now I understand there are fans of the ‘MCU’s version of Spider-Man out there and if you like ‘Homecoming’ and ‘Far From Home’ more than me, then that’s okay. I don’t wish to discourage your encouragement of those films. But me personally, they weren’t very fulfilling for me as a Spidey fan.

So when it came to the third instalment of the ‘MCU’s version of Spider-Man, I had doubts whether this film would work and whether it would meet my expectations. Even from watching the trailers beforehand, I had doubts. But I was willing to be open-minded when it came to seeing the third film.

And after seeing ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ at the cinema recently, I think it’s fair for me to say…this is the best ‘Spider-Man’ movie I’ve ever seen! I’m not even joking! ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ was a joy for me to see, since it satisfied my nostalgia and my current love of the webslinger.

Does that mean this is better than ‘Spider-Man 2’? No, I wouldn’t be that generous. There are a few issues I have with this particular film. But if I were to choose a contender for the second best ‘Spider-Man’ movie ever made, then I’d be happy to pick ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ to be in that position.

Dare I say it, this movie is better than ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’. I know that people won’t agree with me on that, but I honestly feel ‘No Way Home’ features the best team-up of current and past Spider-Men fighting against past villains from previous ‘Spider-Man’ movies. It’s so amazing! 🙂

I find it incredible that Sony and Marvel Studios went all the way to getting back as many past ‘Spider-Man’ actors and characters to appear in this ‘MCU Spider-Man’ movie with Tom Holland. I didn’t think they’d live up to the promise, but they did. I commend the production team for doing it.

The film follows directly after the events of ‘Far From Home’ where Mysterious posthumously revealed to the world that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Feeling the pressure from everyone who knows he’s Spider-Man, Peter seeks help from Dr. Stephen Strange in order to erase people’s memories. 😐

Dr. Strange conducts a spell, but it goes wrong when Peter interferes with it. Very soon, past Spider-Man villains from other universes pop into the MCU and Peter has to deal with them. With the help of his friends Ned and Michelle (MJ) and two former Spider-Men, Peter seeks out to save the day. 🙂

Remember when I said in my ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ and ‘Far From Home’ reviews that I wanted a meeting between Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to happen? Well, it’s actually happens in ‘No Way Home’. I’m so over-the-moon about it.

I’m so pleased that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield said ‘yes’ to coming back to play their Spider-Men alongside Tom Holland. It was great to see these two again and I love the chemistry formed between the three actors, especially when they worked together to defeat five deadly Spidey foes. 🙂

There are lots of good scenes featured between Tobey’s Spidey, Andrew’s Spidey and Tom’s Spidey when they interacted with each other. I couldn’t help think of ‘Doctor Who’s ‘The Three Doctors’ when seeing the three Spider-Men interact with each other and I want to watch this movie again. 😀

I’ve pre-ordered the movie on download from Google as well as the Blu-ray from Amazon already to check out those scenes between Tobey’s Spidey, Andrew’s Spidey and Tom’s Spidey in the film. The journeys for Tobey’s Spidey and Andrew’s Spidey also have some closure from their own film series.

This is especially when Tobey’s Spidey and Andrew’s Spidey share their grief and loss of losing their Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacey to Tom’s Spidey when he loses his Aunt May in this (more later). I liked the moment when Tobey’s Spidey stopped Tom’s Spidey from killing the Green Goblin for revenge. 🙂

I also liked it when Andrew’s Spidey managed to save Michelle (MJ), echoing when he couldn’t save Gwen Stacey from the end of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’. The moment where Andrew’s Spidey said “I love you, guys!” and Tobey’s Spidey and Tom’s Spidey said “Thank you” was a joy to watch here. 🙂

If there’s a disappointment I have about this film is that we don’t get to see Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane and Emma Stone’s Gwen in this film. Now with Gwen, I can understand that, since she got killed off at the end of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ and it’d be unfair if it was just Kirsten Dusnt’s MJ here.

But surely a little cameo of Kirsten Dunst’s MJ and Emma Stone’s Gwen to Tobey’s Spidey and Andrew’s Spidey wouldn’t have hurt much. It was intriguing to hear how things have turned out lately for Tobey’s Spidey and Kirsten’s MJ, as it’s currently ‘complicated’ but they are making it work.

However, top marks must go to Tom Holland’s excellent performance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. For a while, I struggled to get into his character and how Peter’s journey as Spidey developed with so many ‘MCU’ elements getting in the way. But here, I feel Tom’s Spidey has developed significantly. 🙂

This is especially when Tom’s Spidey tries to help the five Spidey villains from other universes, despite one of them making things worse; how his Aunt May tragically dies in this film; and how he comes to learn “With great power comes great responsibility”, which I’m pleased gets said in this film.

For a while, the message of “With great power comes great responsibility” had been absent in the previous two ‘MCU Spider-Man’ films. Here, its place is found, and it comes from Aunt May saying it to Peter rather than Uncle Ben saying it to Peter, which I found a nice touch when seeing the movie.

The rest of the cast includes Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn/the Green Goblin, Alfred Molina as Dr. Otto Octavius/Doc Ock, Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Electro, Thomas Haden Church as Flint Mark/Sandman and Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors/the Lizard. It was great to see these villains again.

The villains are well-handled in ‘No Way Home’, and I enjoyed how their stories concluded in a manner where the three Spider-Men tackled them during the film’s final fight. This is especially when Tom Holland’s Spider-Man wanted to cure the five villains before their demises in the other movies.

Zendaya also returns as Michelle ‘MJ’ Jones (or as it turns out Michelle Jones-Watson). Hmm. How come it wasn’t Mary Jane Watson this whole time? Actually, to be fair, I found the relationship between Peter and Michelle better handled in this movie compared to the previous two instalments.

In no way am I going back out on my criticisms of how their relationship was developed in ‘Homecoming’ and ‘Far From Home’, but I did feel for Peter and Michelle’s relationship here and I enjoyed seeing them together. This is especially as Michelle was supportive towards Peter in his Spidey endeavours.

Jacob Batalon is also very good as Ned Leeds. I enjoyed how Peter, Michelle and Ned formed a trio of friends to sort out the Spidey foes, much like the trio of Luke, Han and Leia in the original ‘Star Wars’ films. I wish more of it was between Peter, MJ and Harry in the original ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy. 🙂

I enjoyed Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange in the film. Here, I feel Dr. Strange served a proper purpose in Spider-Man’s story in ‘No Way Home’ compared to Tony Stark in ‘Homecoming’ and ‘Nick Fury’ in ‘Far From Home’. And of course, Dr. Strange was in an episode of the 1990s series.

The film also features Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson (who I found annoying in this 😀 ), Marisa Tomei as Aunt May (it was so sad when she got killed off in this) and Angourie Rice as Betty Brant (and she’s like in only one scene of this movie 😡 ).

There’s also Martin Starr as Mr. Harrington and J. B. Smoove as Mr. Dell (whilst these two teachers are annoying as in the second film, at least they supported Tom’s Spidey) and there’s Hannibal Buress as Coach Wilson (who was in ‘Homecoming’ and is very mean-spirited towards Tom’s Spidey).

It was great to see J. K. Simmons back as J. Jonah Jameson in this movie. He’s still the same Jameson as I remember him from the original ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy. 😀 I’m disappointed Jameson didn’t see all three Spider-Men together in this film. Imagine what his reaction to the three Spideys would be like!

Charlie Cox also appears as Matt Murdock! Wow! Matt Murdock from the ‘Daredevil’ Netflix series in this! First it was the Kingpin in ‘Hawkeye’, now it’s Matt Murdock in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’. I must check out the ‘Daredevil’ Netflix series soon, as I happen to own Season 1 on Blu-ray already!

I’m surprised Happy Hogan didn’t comment that Charlie Cox looked nothing like Matt Murdock. After all, Jon Favreau played Foggy Nelson in the ‘Daredevil’ movie with Ben Affleck. How come an in-joke reference wasn’t made about that fact in the movie? Maybe I missed it when seeing the film.

I like how that nod is made to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker being defended by Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock in the film. It links nicely to what I’ve seen in the ‘Framed’/’The Man Without Fear’ two-parter in the 1990s animated series of ‘Spider-Man’. It’s still a cameo, but it’s an enjoyable cameo. 🙂

The film concludes with everyone forgetting about Tom Holland’s Peter being Spidey, including his friends Michelle (MJ) and Ned. I feel sad about this, as Peter doesn’t have any friends to confide in, especially with Aunt May now gone. Hopefully, Peter might have a friend in Happy Hogan somehow.

I like how the film ends with it being set at Christmas and Tom Holland’s Peter making his own Spider-Man suit to fight crime. I hope things will turn out okay for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in his next ‘MCU’ appearance. Who knows what will happen to Peter as we see him next in his fourth film?

There’s also a mid-credits scene where Tom Hardy returns as Eddie Brock/Venom. (groans) Oh yeah, he had to be in this film, didn’t he? And what does he do in the film? Well, he’s in a bar and then he’s sent back to Sony’s Spider-Man universe. Yep, he was put in the ‘MCU’…only to be taken out. 😐

Then what was the point of putting him in the ‘MCU’ in ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’? Oh it’s because a piece of the Venom symbiote got left behind in the ‘MCU’ once Tom Hardy’s Eddie/Venom got sent back. I’m not certain if this will make the Venom story in the ‘MCU’ better. 😐

I hope the Venom story in the ‘MCU’ will be handled better with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. I’m guessing a different actor will play Eddie Brock/Venom in the ‘MCU’ compared to Tom Hardy. There’s also a trailer for the next ‘MCU’ film ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ for 2022.

With Sam Raimi directing that movie, I wonder if Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man will make an appearance in that film. 😀 I’m looking forward to how Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Strange meets up with Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, especially from watching her in the ‘WandaVision’ series.

I’ve said a lot about this film, haven’t I? 😀 Hopefully I’ll say more about it when it comes to reviewing the film again based on its Blu-ray release or something. Simply put, ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ has been a worthwhile movie to see this year, especially at Christmas time before the end of 2021. 🙂

I’ve never felt this excited about a ‘Spider-Man’ movie like this since…well, ‘Spider-Man 3’ really. The film exceeded my expectations, especially with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man teaming up with Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man fighting against five past ‘Spider-Man’ movie villains.

From watching the ‘MCU Spider-Man’ films in order, it does feel like watching the reboot ‘Star Trek’ trilogy with the first one being okay, the second one being…pretty meh and the third one being the best one out of the trilogy. It’s pretty ironic how that’s turned out for me with these ‘Spider-Man’ movies.

I find myself amazed to be praising the efforts of this ‘MCU Spider-Man’ film, especially after finding the first two instalments underwhelming efforts on my part. I hope this will be the beginning of many good things, not just with ‘MCU’s Spider-Man, but for other live-action incarnations of Spider-Man. 🙂

Hopefully, we’ll be getting ‘Spider-Man 4’ with Tobey Maguire and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 3’ with Andrew Garfield before we know it!

Thanks for reading and…

Wait a minute! What’s this?

Tim finds something nearby.

A Christmas present? For me! Let’s have a look.

Tim unwaraps the Christmas present.

Wow! It’s a painting of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man from ‘No Way Home’! Who sent me this?

Tim checks the note.

Why, it’s from…

Timelord007: “Happy Christmas, Tim. Done this illustration of Spider-Man for you for Christmas! Feel free to post it on your ‘Bradley’s Basement’. You’re a good man and I appreciate your support during my year of hell.”

(touched) “Why, thank you, Timelord. That’s very kind of you. I appreciate the tough year you’ve had. Merry Christmas!”

(to audience) “2021 hasn’t been the greatest year for many of us, but I’d like to think there have been some good things to take away from it compared to 2020. For me, it was attending ‘Bedford Who Charity Con’ this year as well as seeing ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ at the cinema. I hope you’ve had some good things to take away from 2021.

Enjoy your break! We all deserve it!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Movie Review – ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’

  1. Timelord 007

    Thank you Spider-Man, this film was a joy from start to finish, from great action and fight scenes to drama & emotion, Tom Holland became Spider-Man in this movie & gave his best performance, Aunt May death was brutal & i cried as it reminded me of losing my dad in January to covid.

    The three Spider-Man was superbly done, not just cameos but they actually get involved with the action & drama, Garfield Spider-Man saving MJ i teared up that was erm amazing.

    My only gripe Sandman wasn’t used great or Lizard, thankfuly we have new Venom for Spider-Man to battle as i can’t stand Tom Hardy’s Venom movies, hopefully we’ll get the secret wars set up for a new trilogy of films.

    Fantastic review Tim you summed up this amazing film perfectly, this film reminded me why i love movies & definitely my second favourite Spider-Man film & favourite film of 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’. I greatly enjoyed the film and want to see it again soon. Tom Holland is excellent in the movie as well as Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. I’m looking forward to what’s to come next for Spider-Man, including ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One)’ and the fourth ‘MCU Spider-Man’ film with Tom Holland. I hope it won’t be long before Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield get another Spidey movie of their own. I’ve heard rumours that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield might be wanted back for an ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ film. 😀

      Many thanks for your comments.

      P.S. Looking forward to doing a review with you on ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ soon. 😀

      Tim 🙂

      Like

      Reply

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