“Spider-Man: No Way Home”

“You know what’s cooler than magic? MATH!” [No. Sorry. – your math-stupid eds.]

Story: Spider-Man is having a really bad time of things right now. First, he’s blamed for the “murder” of full-on nutter/con artist supreme Mysterio/Quentin Beck, who then outs Spidey as Peter Parker. So Peter, his Aunt May, girlfriend MJ, and BFF Ned are put through the wringer big-time. Wouldn’t it be great if that name-drop never happened? Wouldn’t it be great if there was, say, a Sorcerer who knew how time could be manipulated? No, and oh gods no. Just…NO. Oops, too late. Hey, what’s that rumbling noise?

Genre I’d put it in: Sequels That Better Their Origin Stories
Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: The third film in the Tom Holland-helmed Spider-Man films. Part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Gotta say: As an immunosuppressed gal who had no access to an early screener for Home, I could barely wait ’til the first week’s moviegoing onslaught died down. But now that I’ve seen this film? I want to see it again. Immediately. Hey Marvel, why not just release the Blu-Ray right now? I need it. And you will too. Home is the very best an MCU film can be, and though there have been a few missteps in Phase 4 – I’m still mad that Black Widow’s movie got dumped in this phase – here’s hoping this is the film that sets the bar for the rest of the films this round.

I love so much about this film. Yes yes, director Jon Watts does the same wonderful job creating both real-life and super-life as he’s done with the first two Holland-Man films. And the CGI, cinematography, and set design is magnifique. (Especially the set design – seriously, Home may rival Cabin in the Woods for free-framing moments in order to check out background stuff, once the Blu-Ray hits.) But what’s worth repeat viewings is the incredible screenplay, that manages to bring together not only three incarnations of the Spider-Man franchise, but the whole of the MCU – including the Disney+ shows – making everything flow as if they were all supposed to be one whole story. One whole story that’s absolutely riveting, and had me glued to the screen. GLUED Y’ALL. Writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, who’ve done similar blends of slapstick humor, gut-punch emotions, and fantastic action sequences in The Lego Batman Movie, bring their A+ game here. And yes, I’m comparing an MCU film to a DC one. I’m not sorry.

So many callbacks from other Spider-Man iterations, and so many tidbits that hint at things to come. Without too much spoilerage? I’m thinking we’ll see more villains from Marvel comic books on the big screen. Let’s just say that I’m sure many MCU and comic book fans are gathering together and hashing out all the possibilities… And to commiserate/cheer/screech about everything that goes on in Home. Because there’s a whole lot that’s wrapped up, and even more that’s sure to come up in future Marvel/Sony films.

The power trio of Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Jacob Batalon are just as much fun together as ever, with hints of an even bigger role for Batalon’s Ned, I say hopefully. Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange is both funny an ominous as a straight man to Holland’s Spidey, and the Happy + May subplot gets a bit more screentime, with Jon Fabreau and Marisa Tomei working well off each other and Holland. And while hot damn Willem Dafoe’s performance as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin is stupendous, the special shout out in this review goes to Andrew Garfield. While all three Spideys not only work well together but get sweet wrapups to many plot moments in earlier films? Garfield gets the best moment of all, and Garfield’s emotions mirrored my own. Yeah I’m crying, and I’m just fine with that. Tobey Maguire also gets a sweet moment that’s incredibly well acted, and dammit, who knew Home would be such a sob-fest? I would have brought tissues. I needed tissues.

I just want to take a moment and thank all the powers that be for putting aside egos and letting this film happen? There must have been a lot of trademark/copyright/whateverall hoop-jumping, and I’m so glad it all worked out and Home came to light. Does Home break new ground in the genre? Well, no. But it does take everything the genre has to offer, and makes it gleam like new. With great cinematic power comes great responsibility to your audience, and Home delivers us all a wonderful bit of storytelling. More, please.

Grade: A

#Protip: The mid-credits scene is definitely worth staying for, but the post-credits scene? It’s just the trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is up on YouTube for your home-viewing pleasure. If your bladder is hounding you after two and half hours of sitting around, feel free to bounce after that mid-credits bit.

About Denise

Professional nerd. Lover of licorice.
This entry was posted in 7 Pieces Of, Movie Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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