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Spider-Man: No Way Home; Grade: C

You can say Christmas has arrived a bit early this year: A Brand New Spider-Man film is here just in time for the holidays!! What better way to cap off a dysfunctional year like 2021, than bringing us one of our beloved favorite super hero’s of our time, right back on the big screen?! I wouldn’t say this was my most anticipated film of the week, however I was fairly excited as I actually took off work an hour early to go ahead and see it in the later afternoon, avoiding an overly big crowd filled with obnoxious man children. So let’s jump right in it folks: SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME!

Spider-Man: No Way Home continues along the end credit scene of the previous Spider-Man film, as Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) real identity is now revealed to the general public thanks to his arch nemesis and a newscaster whom is overly obsessed and hates Spider-Man none other than J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons). In the words of Drake: You can say Peter Parker has got a lot of enemies, as everyone and their mom hates him and accuses him of being a murderer, despite Peter Parker/Spider-Man doing good deeds in the past preventing crime in the city.

Peter Parker and his friends are now treated with the upmost disrespect, their life is far from normal and worst it’s preventing them from achieving their goal of going to college. Peter then goes to Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) hoping he can use his magic, to go back in time and reverse everything that has happen. Dr. Strange can’t do that, however he can create a spell in which nobody knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Dr. Strange attempts to do the spell, but because Peter Parker is an annoying little prick, he tampered with the spell multiple times as Dr. Strange couldn’t proceed due to a disaster waiting to happen of the spell commenced. Though Dr. Strange prevented the spell… However not everything was prevented, as Spider-Man will be facing off some brand new enemies from different dimensions.

When it comes to the current Spider-Man series, there’s really only one word to describe them: Disposable. These films do not offend me thus far I would say are recommendable films at least, however they are films in which you watch once, never want to watch ever again, and can be easily be forgotten… That’s how I feel about most MCU properties, I would say Spider-Man though slightly a bit better than some entries however on par with being forgettable.

I feel this new entry brought in a lot of excitement from fans not because of getting a new Spider-Man film, but more so how it was marketed. The marketing team pretty much led everyone to their anticipation that they’ll get what they’ve always wanted and that’s to revisit old friends and foes, so they can relive the glory days and hope to achieve the magical experience they were given when they were younger. At first they were going to keep the reveal of potentially revisiting friends/foes a secret, but since super hero fans do not enjoy surprises as they want everything to be told before hand so they know exactly what will happen from beginning to end… They figure why not?! You don’t even need to watch a trailer, the poster reveals it right away.

Though I’m not a fan of this current film series, I did have fair excitement for it, as I was looking forward to revisiting a friend/foe, as I hoped they delivered a knock out that I’ve been desperately craving for in a Spider-Man film. Spider-Man: No Way Home…. This is perhaps the second worst Spider-Man film I’ve seen, just edging out The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

There are a few things I did like in this film. I felt the humor in the first twenty minutes was actually kind of funny. Some gags, exaggerations from people especially when the Peter Parker/Spider-Man reveal news broke out, and some jokes were actually getting me to laugh out loud. Willem Dafoe reviving his role as The Green Goblin honestly stole the show for me, as he delivered a great performance. By far The Green Goblin is still Top 5 Villains of all time, the man truly gets under your skin and truly disturbs the living hell out of you, Willem Dafoe still brings almost the same energy as he did in the original Spider-Man film. There’s also a couple actions scenes I did actually enjoy, one scene in particular actually attempted violence that can be unsettling, which I’m surprised considering the violence in the MCU is suitable to three year olds. I actually did like the fighting sequence between Spider-Man and Green Goblin at the end, t’was very brutal.

Spider-Man: No Way Home from a story standpoint is a mess. Let’s all start with the main problem: Peter Parker in the main universe. Peter Parker without a doubt maybe the worst character in this entire film, in the past this character has been an obnoxious annoying twerp, but holy shit in this film I wanted to choke the living hell out of him. Dr. Strange is trying to do a really big favor for Peter, a favor in which needs Dr. Strange’s full concentration and no distractions, as the details in the favor SHOULD be planned out so nothing goes wrong. What does Peter Parker do?! Interrupts Dr. Strange like a kid interrupting a mother on the phone, seven freaking times and keeps adding more requests in this spell… If I was Dr. Strange I would’ve punched him in the face. With everything Peter Parker has gone through not only this moment, but especially when Iron Man died, you would figure this character would mature?! This character took steps back instead of forward, it reminds me of the first film and I really don’t understand why the worst quality of Peter Parker is now revisited yet again.

There’s also a time where Peter Parker yet again becomes a baffling buffoon. It’s a moment in which Dr. Strange was bound to set everything back to the way it was, as Peter Parker could move forward freely and hopefully get a rare second chance at college and perhaps life in general with no major changes needed. The fate of some characters will not be in a great position, however Spider-Man is solely responsible for their fates because let’s not forget: Spider-Man brought safety and justice to their cities from these villains, whom have endangered and killed many innocents lives. Peter Parker goes against… Spider-Man and prevents Dr. Strange from giving Peter Parker the best option possible?! You understand Peter Parker’s good intentions of it all, especially given the circumstance he was in hoping to achieve a second chance. However: These people killed innocent people on purpose with evil intentions, do not compare yourself with your situation with these people, the fact you would take the villains side over Spider-Man is beyond stupidity. Not only are you risking your own future, but you are also risking the lives of others as well, these people are not to be trusted and there is a reason Spider-Man put them all away, why the hell would you endanger others for?! I believe you can completely reconstruct that sequence to where Peter Parker is not a complete brain dead moron.

The story at hand has quite a bit of plot holes, especially the whole concept of the whole Multi Universe or what happens at the finale. A lot of things don’t add up or make any sense, more so after the finale… Can’t spoil it, but it’s quite obvious if he helped him help meet her, how does he not know who the real he is?! They would’ve never met if he didn’t know the real him.

This film feels more heavily fan serviced than it is creating an entirely original narrative, in fact I would consider this to not really be real film at all if we’re being honest. This is the same problem with Modern Day Hollywood: They don’t attempt original ideas as much as they used to, they just recycle older films and concepts and tweak just a little bit, as they how I felt while watching this… You understand why I’m a big indie guy, at least indie films actually makes original stories.

It also doesn’t help your film where you don’t feel any kind of emotions during the crucial emotional moments of the story and what happens with our characters. Throughout the years the film series has developed weak supporting characters, to the point you could care less about any of them, as you feel no sense of connection with any of them. There are a couple moments that happen with characters that were suppose to make me sad, but I could care less because none of them made much an impact through this entire trilogy. Speaking of emotional moments: What the hell happened in the third act, involving a character being stabbed?! Like the character gets stabbed as their no sense of fear or feeling worried at all, as the film indicates they’ll be fine in a couple minutes…. Might as well not have him stabbed if there is no stakes at hand.

Can we at least all agree: That Flash (Tony Revolori) is the worst character in this entire trilogy?! Why does this film keep reminding us that this character exists?! No one likes this character, he’s not at all a convincing bully, he butchered every single comedic bit, just seeing him in few scenes… Where is the Green Goblin’s grenade balls when you need it?! Maybe then I would understand why Peter Parker wants to give these villains a second chance at life, if they make a next movie: KILL OFF FLASH BEFORE YOU KILL OFF ANYONE ELSE, STOP TRYING TO MAKE FLASH WORK!

Other than the first fifteen-twenty minutes: The comedy died down fir me when Dr. Strange attempts standup comedy. Dr. Strange’s comedic bits were dreadful, the dude is serious wizard, I don’t think he practices comedy too often. Other than the couple action scenes I liked, the rest of the action was so-so, especially the grand finale with everyone fighting… I was honestly quite bored with it.

This film felt very self aware, as one point Dr. Strange attempts in creating a spell in which everyone will forget about Spider-Man… The film knows damn well we will soon forget about it years to come. This film will only be remembered solely on First Week Box Office numbers as it’ll be the record holder post pandemic of 2021 and could perhaps achieve highest grossing film of 2021, but other than that not a single thing we’ll be remembered, possibly one fan service dream finally achieved but the plot or particular moments… No one will remember any of it, I don’t think the film makers care other than making money so it won’t affect them. In my opinion: The original trilogy will be talked about more than this trilogy, matter of fact each entry alone of the original trilogy will be talked about more than this trilogy.

Overall, Spider-Man: No Way Home was just ok. I don’t recommend this film, even if I got to revisit a couple characters I’ve loved as a child, still wasn’t enough for me to convince one to go see this. -Mitch Smietana

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