Spider-Man: No Way Home is one of the most discussed films on the internet this year considering the trailer features villains from Sony's five Spider-Man films and of course because of the multiverse hype that has been leaked through several MCU series such as WandaVision and What if. .? . Unfortunately the Spider-Man: No Way Home movie is a bit underwhelming as it tends to feel more like a setup for other future MCU films with the bonus of nostalgia.
Before I get mad at the hardcore MCU fans, I'll give you some reasons why the No Way Home movie is unsatisfactory in my opinion ( in case you forget that all film reviews are subjective) before giving things that I like about this film.
Sinopsis film Spider-Man: No Way Home
Set after Perer Parker's success in defeating Mysterio, his true identity as Spider-Man is revealed. Peter's teenage life, which was already quite complicated, became even more complicated because he failed to enter MIT . Studying at MIT with Ned and MJ was very important to Peter, more important than the global problems that could arise from playing magic to get into MIT.
Yes, Peter asked Doctor Strange for help to erase everyone's memory of his identity as Spider-Man so he could study at MIT with Ned and MJ. Unfortunately, it was this spell that became a source of trouble as it brought forth a dangerous enemy he had never fought before.
Destroyed by leaks and fan theories
Okay, the first reason why the Spider-Man: No Way Home movie was less than satisfactory is the photo leaks and fan theories that turned out to be very accurate. Since the trailer was released, fans have been spreading their leaked photos and theories on various social media sporadically. The leaked photos were considered edited and fan theories were often inaccurate (call it the Star Wars theory). But this time both proved to be very accurate and arguably the same as spoilers.
Either these leaks and theories are part of Marvel's promotional gimmick because it has contributed to increasing the hype of the film, or it's purely from fans. What is clear is that the spread of "spoilers" makes the film No Way Home lose its element of surprise. So lucky for those of you who are not exposed to spoilers from these "fans".
Just a setup for another movie
What is the reason you like a film? Of course the answer varies and of course subjective. It could be because of plot twists, color palettes, symbolism, social issues, dialogue, cinematography, or maybe easter eggs, jokes, cameos, continuation of the story from a franchise, and others.
Marvel Cinematic Universe films, especially post-End Game, tend to be more concerned with the setup for the continuation of the franchise than the films themselves, including the Spider-Man: No Way Home films. This film feels more like a setup for MCU films like the new Spider-Man trilogy and Doctor Strange 2 movies. Aside from being a setup for these films, No Way Home arguably doesn't have much else to offer.
In recent years, the MCU has felt like playing it safe in order to maintain the continuity of its franchise rather than experimenting with new things. Maybe the film Eternals made by Chloe Zhao is arguably a bit bold and has its own "voice". Apart from that, MCU films are starting to feel repetitive: superheroes save the world with easter eggs, nostalgia, cameos, and jokes.
Because movies are starting to feel repetitive, right now the reason I watch MCU movies is so I don't miss the story of the Marvel universe and to see who the cameos will be. If you want to watch a solid Marvel movie, I'd choose to watch Winter Soldier again. If you want to feel blue, there is Infinity War and End Game.
Indeed, the multiverse concept in No Way Home which presents a "cameo" that exudes a feeling of nostalgia can be a mainstay weapon to entertain the audience. But what if you already know who the cameos will be (thanks for the spoilers)? It's even worse if you don't know the context of the cameo at all. Of course, what will make you enjoy the film are things like acting, cinematography, action, plot, and others which unfortunately don't really stand out, because Marvel is more busy preparing for the franchise, not the film itself.
So far, the Spider-Man "Home" series does feel less powerful than other superhero series in the MCU because it's like a "trial" film from a deal made by Sony and Marvel Studios. More likely to be a setup for another film because Spider-Man's standing in the MCU is still weak. He could be turned into ashes if the deal between Sony and Marvel ended in a stalemate.
On the one hand, the three Spider-Man Marvel Cinematic Universe films are not really special for Peter and his friends. Every film always juxtaposes Peter with a mentor figure. This time with Stephen Strange. The combination of the two is fun to watch, although Strange's presence erodes the spotlight that would otherwise be devoted to either Peter or Spider-Man.
However, with the ending of No Way Home like "that," it looks like Marvel Studios and Sony will be more "serious" about making a new Spider-Man trilogy which is reportedly being developed to continue Tom Holland's adventures as Peter Parker.
Film superhero “coming of age”
Even though I mention flaws, it doesn't mean I don't enjoy the Spider-Man: No Way Home films. There are several things that stand out in this film.
No Way Home is still as entertaining as most Marvel movies. One of the things I like is that this film is (perhaps) the closing story of Peter Parker's coming of age as a superhero.
Since Homecoming, Peter is described as a teenager who is still trying to find his identity as a superhero. He is still innocent, needs a role model, and likes to make small mistakes that lead to big problems. Peter has not realized that behind great power there is also a great responsibility.
It's a shame that Tom Holland's version of Peter's parents didn't give him this advice in the first two films. As a result, he always gets into trouble.
In No Way Home, conflict occurs over Peter's "trivial" mistakes. He prefers an instant way, not a legal way to get into MIT. These small mistakes lead to big problems with fatal consequences that ultimately make him understand more about what it means to be a hero.
With the end of Peter Parker's High School story, hopefully the new trilogy that is being developed will take on a more mature and exciting theme when he goes to college while working a side job.
The acting and the duration of the appearance of the characters are also right
Another thing that stands out in this film is the acting of the stars in the film Spider-Man: No Way Home which feels more slick. The chemistry of the actors is great. Perhaps this is because their interactions are clearly visible on the screen.
Unlike some Marvel films whose stars often shoot separately (in order to maintain the confidentiality of the story) the results actually make interactions in some scenes feel awkward.
In No Way Home it's barely noticeable. The chemistry of Peter, MJ, and Ned is excellent. Then what also stole the attention was the cameo interaction with Peter, which was funny and full of nostalgia in quite a lot and fitting portion.
In addition, even though this film is full of action scenes from Spider-Man's fight against the villains, the supporting actors still get the right time to appear, especially Ned and MJ. This time, Zendaya's charm not only helped Marvel through the promotion of the Spider-Man film in YouTube interviews, but also through the sufficient duration of appearances in the film.
For a standalone film, Spider-Man: No Way Home is not as strong as Marvel films or other superhero films, but it has significant points as part of the MCU continuity. What is the strength of this film is the interaction of the characters which is better than some other marvel films. Coupled with the Spider-Man's history and popularity, No Way Home is a must-see.
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