‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Film Re-Review

Spider-Man: No Way Home finally got a home release yesterday, so I decided to stop down by Fred Meyer to buy the Blu-Ray. I figured it was great enough to add to my movie collection! As most of you know, I really loved No Way Home and consider it to be the best movie of 2021, as well as the best of both the MCU films, and the Spider-Man film franchise. I would have even checked it out again on the big screen if I had the chance (and money). I was especially thinking of writing a spoiler-filled review to talk about the details I could not in my initial review. I am sure that a lot of people have seen it by now, and after giving No Way Home a rewatch, I feel the need to write a re-review, so I can talk about this film in detail!

As I mentioned before, there was a lot of hype built for No Way Home. A lot of said hype had to do with speculation regarding certain characters from different Spider-Man movies making appearances in No Way Home. It was confirmed that Alfred Molina and Willem DaFoe would be returning as Dr. Otto Octavious from Spider-Man 2 and Norman Osborn/Green Goblin from Spider-Man. That didn’t stop there. Other cast members included Jamie Foxx returning as Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (albeit with an updated look), Rhys Ifans as Lizard from The Amazing Spider-Man and Thomas Haden Church as Sandman from Spider-Man 3 . This has caused many fans to suspect the return of both Tobey Maguire from the Sam Raimi films and Andrew Garfield from the Marc Webb films as a way for the franchise to come full circle. Needless to say, all fan expectations were met in the best way possible. We knew that Maguire and Garfield would be back, but we didn’t know when they would show up.

The moment Garfield and Maguire’s Spideys entered through portals conjured up by Jacob Batalon’s Ned Leeds, you could tell that movie theaters were thundering with applause. Needless to say, I found it mind-blowing to see all three Spider-Men in one film. Never would I have imagined a crossover like this to even be possible on film. No Way Home is a fan-service film, but it is fan-service in the best way possible. The interactions between Holland, Garfield, and Maguire are better than everything a fan could possibly imagine. It is clear these three have great chemistry (almost literally) when they are on-screen together, and it is their camaraderie that makes No Way Home such a fulfilling watch. Garfield and Maguire are not just there to provide fan service, but they surprisingly play a major role in the story as they help Holland’s Spider-Man through his hero’s journey while teaching him what it means to be Spider-Man. They are not shoehorned into the climax on the Statue of Liberty and leave, they are on-screen for the majority of the film, which makes their appearances more rewarding. Speaking of appearances, Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock from DareDevil makes a cameo near the beginning as Peter’s lawyer, which in turn, makes the Netflix series officially a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, giving a reason to give that show another chance. Even Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock from Venom gets his chance to shine in a mid-credits sequence after crossing over at the end of Let There Be Carnage, but as funny as that scene is, it is nothing short of a cameo that seems to waste what could have been an opportunity to meet up with Holland in the final battle that Let There Be Carnage teased.

With all its cheer-worthy moments, there are plenty of emotional moments too that solidify No Way Home as the hero’s journey. A lot of them have struck a chord. Starting with the death of Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May and how it affects Peter. As much as I was not a fan of that death, not just for killing off the character herself, but the execution, I felt it added a sense of development for Peter to complete his character arc. In Homecoming, he started off as an energetic kid who wanted to be a hero. In Far From Home, he was dealing with the responsibilities of being a superhero. But in No Way Home, Peter learns the harsh realities of what being a hero means. Eventually, once Peter decides to finally let Doctor Strange (Bendedict Cumberbatch) cast the spell to get others to forget who he is, it is quite a somber, albeit hopeful, ending. I would not be disappointed if the Spidey-arc ended there (Suit looks cool, by the way). As sad as these moments were, no moment could strike me with more emotion than the scene where Garfield’s Spider-Man saves MJ (Zendaya) from falling to her death. As maligned as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is, you would know that Gwen’s death was a real hard hitter. It was truly cathartic seeing the character get a redeeming moment. I have to admit, that scene still nearly makes me tear up, especially seeing it on Garfield’s face.

Upon second watch, No Way Home still makes for an enjoyable watch with its action sequences and chemistry. Though I would say that I wished I had seen it again in theaters. I am, however, looking forward to what Marvel properties become explored in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which was shown as a post-credits scene.

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