[Spoiler Review] Finally, Spider-Man: No Way Home Really Makes You FEEL Like Spider-Man

Yes, that was a dunkey reference.

First Impressions

This is the best Holland Spider-Man movie by a LONG shot, it’s not even close if I am being totally honest. The brilliance of making us think that this Peter didn’t need an origin story then pulling the rug out from under us by revealing the entire trilogy was the origin story? Spectacular.
Let’s get it out of the way, half of this movie is fanservice, and I literally do not care, I am all in for the nostalgia baiting, especially when they integrate it into the story. I squeed at the Charlie Cox cameo the loudest and popped along with everyone else over the big reveals

The Action

The action was pretty much what you’d expect from an MCU film, but I will say the standouts are the Doctor Strange vs Spider-Man fight (where he defeats Strange with math) and the apartment complex fight, where I am 99% sure Goblin Batista bombed Peter through 3 floors of concrete, which was awesome.
I will say the final fight could have used a LOT less chaotic cinematography. I could barely follow the action at times and I feel like there should have been way more scenes of the 3 Spider-Men working as a unit. Thankfully, they do the cool shot of the 3 of them swinging together and that kinda just pushed any negative thoughts I had out.

Standout Roles

Andrew Garfield was amazing He was so funny as the “loser” Spider-Man, as in the one most unsure about himself and that couldn’t have been reflected better by the fact that he was asked by MJ to “prove” he was Spider-Man. His apparent improv line of “I love you guys” and hugging them as well was fantastic.
Tobey Maguire plays the role of a wise and experienced Spider-Man incredibly well. He looks tired but content with his life, because, unlike the other two Spider-Men, he was the only one to have actually concluded his story already at that point in time. I also love how he’s subtly darker than the other two, admitting to murdering the man who killed Uncle Ben and showing how it didn’t help him at all.
Holland himself undergoing his *actual* origin story is fantastically done. He does a great job of showing how angry and sad he is at himself for letting Aunt May die. The scene where Ned and MJ hug him without words and he just cries on the rooftop was the only scene in the movie that got close to making me cry. It was too real.

On the villain’s side, Willem Dafoe is obviously a standout. It’s like 20 years didn’t even pass, he feels and acts like the exact same Green Goblin we all knew and loved. Plus, he finally got Spider-Man’s heart after all these years by killing Aunt May.
Generally speaking, ALL the villains got a bit more to their characters for existing in this movie. Electro’s redesign is such a good call, and his character here is much funnier than he was in TASM2.

The Drama

This is the first MCU Spider-Man movie that finally understands what Spider-Man is all about. It no longer feels like an Iron Man Jr. film. It’s also the first movie where Peter undergoes actual consequences from his actions. The loss of Aunt May with the two other Spideys comforting him by sharing their own shames and losses was so good. It reminded me of the exact same scene in Spiderverse where people talk about the people they lost.

Spider-Man was always a hero who stayed idealistic even when he was always in poverty or had to live a double life. The fact that Spider-Man was immediately an Avenger and under Tony Stark’s shadow meant that he never really got to experience the mundane hardships most Spider-Men do. This is a great way to start a new trilogy with Holland where we can finally start exploring Spider-Man things, not vestiges of things that are Tony Stark’s fault.

His choice to make everyone forget who he was to keep the multiverse safe was peak Spider-Man. It’s also done much better than it was in the comics (don’t look it up).

Final Thoughts

I know if I took a magnifying glass to this movie, I could poke the plot full of holes. I know that it does lean a bit too hard into the nostalgia at multiple points when it doesn’t need to. But I really don’t care. This movie was a love letter to all Spider-Man live-action movies and has so much heart, especially compared to Far from Home.

No Way Home honestly makes the Garfield and Maguire movies even better by virtue of existing. Seeing their character arcs come to some form of closure was spectacular.

I’m not a fan of scores, but I’d honestly be willing to give NWH 4/5 stars on the strength of the consequences alone. It’s so close to being Spiderverse tier. If the script had been tighter and the references more subtle (the Raimi villains quoted themselves a tad too much), this really would have been a solid 5/5 movie.

Of course, considering most MCU movies are 3 or 2 stars, this is still pretty good for me.

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