No Way Home ‘is an energetic crossover drama with many hearts

The first half of this review is spoiler-free. The spoilers will be clearly marked in the next round.

Sometimes, MCUA forced liner can feel a bit constrained. Not so with Spider-Man, a character and brand with built-in humor. Spider-Man: There’s no way home always funny and at the same time emotionally sincere, like a Spider-Man movie. An impressive feat considering the lengthy runtimes and overwhelming cast, giving it three distinct franchises.

Spider-Man: There’s no way home

Four stars

December 17, 2021
Belonging to the stage
Tom Holland is as charming as ever in Jon Watts’ third Spider-Man film, which features a multiverse crossover with the villains from the previous Spidey franchise. While it suffers from some recurring MCU errors (and compared to ‘Into the Spider-Verse’), No Way Home is a thoroughly enjoyable ride.

After being unmasked by J. Jonah Jameson (JK Simmons, now an Infowars-style TV host), Peter Parker’s life was ruined. In desperation, he asks Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to cast a spell to solve his problem. But the spell was burned wrong, creating a rift between the universes. The villains of other Spider-Man stories begin to appear — and all are eager to suck the blood of Peter Parker.

When the MCU comes in multiverse era, it is inevitable to compare with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. A high bar There is no way home can not meet each other. While Spider-Verse fresh and aesthetically different, There is no way home is quite conservative. Screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers continued the character arcs they established in the final two films, while director Jon Watts stuck to the MCU house style: Flat lighting, a slightly gray color palette, and a murky aura for big CGI action sequences. There’s also an unnecessarily large supporting cast. (Is anyone really demanding more screentime for Lizard?) But despite the predictable flaws, There is no way home is purely entertaining.

Zendaya shines once again as MJ, Peter’s cynical girlfriend, while Jacob Batalon goes a little too far into the back-up area as Peter Ned’s best friend. However, the headliners are actually the villains. Moving on from the two most recent Spidey franchises, we have Norman Osborn/Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe!!), Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina), Electro (Jamie Foxx), Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) and Lizard (Rhys Ifans). ) . Willem Dafoe is a delight as always, switching between manic smirks and his surprisingly vulnerable alter ego as Norman Osborn. Molina literally and figuratively chewed the landscape, tearing through the concrete with her enormous tenta claws.

Inevitable, There is no way home continues some recurring themed issues for the MCU’s Spider-Man. While Tom Holland is charismatic and well-chosen, he’s never fully convinced as an underdog – it’s not his fault. The MCU has provided Peter with a permanent safety net in the form of Stark Industries, along with eradicating his working-class roots (a bad idea!) and too many mentor characters. This franchise couldn’t resist giving Peter another white male dad!

Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) embodies this problem in There is no way home, which gives Peter access to technology and help that the average teenager can’t get. But for the story to work, Happy must also be a useless idiot. Make it meaningful! Tom Holland could be playing Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, but the movie doesn’t really understand what that means.

Warning: The sequel includes some revelations. But not for the ending, for now.

Spider-Man has no way home

When faced with incessant leaks and rumorsMarvel and Sony have denied that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield have been involved in the film for the past year. But guess what! The boys are back. Middle-aged boys. Their roles as Peter Parker, Maguire and Garfield played a key role, partnering with Tom Holland’s Spidey in the final third of the film.

Your enjoyment of this crossover depends a lot on your affection for Maguire and Garfield’s Spider-Man. To put it bluntly, these people are mainly here for fanservice reasons. They don’t get the new storyline like Han Solo in Divine Power Awakens. They provide joking and nostalgic callbacks and help Young Peter defeat the bad guys. Even their mentoring role is a bit redundant because Peter already has many mentors and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). All that being said: They are fun! Tobey Maguire’s temper (he’s mostly a producer these days) works in his favor, since we last saw his Peter Parker back in 2007. Since then he’s felt normal. a little quieter. Meanwhile, Andrew Garfield brings a little more excitement and emotional change to his version of the character. You get the impression that the past years have been difficult for him.

My praise for There is no way home comes with a lot of caveats, but it’s inevitable when diving into the franchise. These days, there’s a growing sense of MCU fatigue, both in terms of mediocre output and growing audiences wise to overused tricks. It’s a testament to the cast’s watchability Spider-Man: There’s no way home works as well as it doesn’t. Spinning at a fast pace, it’s hard to say no to Tom Holland’s energetic appeal or Willem Dafoe’s eerie vibe. And Jon Watts leaves things in an intriguing spot for future movies, when Holland’s Peter Parker will finally emerge from his teenage years.

*First published: December 15, 2021, 1:50 p.m. CST

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer for the Daily Dot, about wacky culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi and superhero films, she has also appeared as a film and television critic on the BBC. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor

https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/spider-man-no-way-home-review/ No Way Home ‘is an energetic crossover drama with many hearts

Mike Sullivan

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