James Jay Edwards reviews Spider-Man: No Way Home, a new Spider-Man superhero film in the MCU, directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland. (Sony Pictures)
Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps plugging along. Although, this time, it’s with a more familiar face. This episode is Spider-Man: No Way Home.
(Spider-Man: No Way Home, theatrical release poster, courtesy Sony Pictures)
Spider-Man: No Way Home takes place right after the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, with Mysterio having outed Peter Parker (Tom Holland reprising his Avengers saga role) as Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson (Whiplash’s J.K. Simmons) of the tabloid Daily Bugle running with it. So, Peter goes to his friend Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch from The Imitation Game) to help him cast a spell to make the world forget he is Spidey. The Doctor reluctantly agrees … but the spell doesn’t quite go as planned.
There’s a big push to not spoil anything about Spider-Man: No Way Home for the masses, and that’s why that synopsis is vague. There’s way more to the plot of the movie than that, but those surprises are best left to be discovered organically. It’s best to not even look at IMDB or watch a trailer for maximum enjoyment. In fact, try to stay off of social media altogether to avoid spoilers.
(Spider-Man: No Way Home, photo by Matt Kennedy, courtesy Sony Pictures)
Sure, a lot of the spoilers can probably be guessed. That doesn’t make them any less exciting, though. Director Jon Watts (who helmed the last two Spidey movies) and co-writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers (the duo who wrote them) take influence from and pay tribute to the last twenty years of Marvel movies, but not quite in the way one might expect. It’s almost like they’ve taken all of the jokes from toxic internet fanboys and made a serious movie about them.
Well, as serious as a superhero movie can be. It’s got all of the action and excitement of an Avengers movie mixed with the heart and humor that fans have come to expect from Spider-Man. And there’s fan service left and right, from sneaky little easter eggs to full-blown reveals. Like all of these movies, knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the previous Spider-Man movies is helpful for maximum enjoyment, but not entirely necessary. Spider-Man: No Way Home fits into the MCU while still being its own movie. Some might say it … transcends the MCU.
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- Black Widow Is a Bold New Direction for the Marvel Cinematic Universe
But that’s getting dangerously close to spoiler territory. It’s actually difficult to talk about Spider-Man: No Way Home without spoiling it but rest assured that Spidey fans and Marvel fans alike will love it. They’ll laugh, they’ll cry, and they’ll cheer. It’s the perfect combination of Spidey’s webslinging and Doctor Strange’s mindbending, with Peter’s pals MJ (Dune’s Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon from Reginald the Vampire) stepping in to keep the events grounded.
Oh, and the villain. Or, as is often the case with Spider-Man movies, villains. That’s where you should stay off the internet. Of course, Doctor Octopus is on the poster, so he’s clearly there, but there’s so much more. But that’s for you true believers to find out for yourselves.
(Spider-Man: No Way Home, courtesy Sony Pictures)
In summary, try not to learn anything about Spider-Man: No Way Home beforehand and just go see it. You’ll thank me later.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters everywhere.
Check out the podcast Eye On Horror for more with James Jay Edwards, and also features Jonathan Correia and Jacob Davison.