Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Spider-Man: No Way Home.

My history with the MCU’s Spider-Man is complicated well not complicated at all because I love Tom Holland, I love Tom Holland as Peter Parker, it’s the Spider-Man part that always felt off to me but with No Way Home, Jon Watts has made me into a believer of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. There’s something they do here with the character that I absolutely loved, the focus on Peter’s moral struggles throughout the film is good and only to heightened that during the final battle is something I never thought I’d get in an MCU film, I mean they double down and go for the thematic and emotional aspects of the character and less on the big fight. I mean yay, right?

The film is packed with lots of information, and it easily could have become messy and incoherent, and lean too much into fan service and not character service but here both those things are handled well. The writing and direction really shine, and my god I loved the pacing, this film really moves but it’s not too quick that you’re hit with too much and too soon, but everything is just right.

I really liked that the poignancy (finally might I add) outweighs the hollow MCU humour and becomes something special, it’s a film that’s familiar (I mean it is a Marvel Cinematic Universe film… hello) but it’s done so well, the message of “with great power comes great responsibility” is driven home in this. The morality battle is placed front and centre and not with just Peter but with other characters as well, and it really cuts deep like it did with the Tobey and Andrew films.

As seen from the trailers and other promo material, No Way Home features characters from previous Spider-Man films that aren’t MCU, and this is because Peter Parker essentially breaks reality by interrupting Doctor Strange’ spell which was meant to help Peter cope with the messy cliffhanger-ish ending of Far From Home. This allows for No Way Home to do some fan service and give some characters proper send offs and just all out cool moments.

And funnily enough No Way Home doesn’t collapse under the immense pressure of having multiple villains like how Spider-Man 3 did, here every villain is pivotal, the play a part in reminding Peter about who he is. However, I will say that I do wish that certain moments had breathing room. The film moves so quickly that powerful moments aren’t allowed to linger, we’re forced to move right along and on to the next one, but it isn’t such an issue that it diminishes the films quality or essence.

Some will say the film has a muddled narrative and that maybe it’s too much, but I disagree. Unlike Mehvengers: Flopgame, this film can tap into fan service and nostalgia without losing focus on the narrative and core characters, here it uses all of that to not only flesh out returning characters but to also progress the Tom Holland character, and the next phase of Marvel Cinematic Universe. It closes loose ends and establishes a bigger, stranger (pun?) multiverse.

Overall, it’s an MCU film, it has a formula and personally I’m over wanting them to do something different but here it works for them, No Way Home is ambitious and could have easily been crushed by its ambition, but it remained true to itself by servicing fans and keeping the story going. Even if you do notice flaws, Jon Watts guides you along the journey quickly enough that you’re always on your toes and smiling because you’re having a blast. No Way Home is a satisfying conclusion to the Peter Parker trilogy of the MCU and now they’re ready to fully throw him out into the world as Spider-Man and set the stage for a new trilogy. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker had a coherent arc and coupled with the previous two films, this irritation of the character shines above those who came before him.

Compelling, Heartfelt and Pleasing… that’s what it is and those are my final thoughts.