4 out of 5 stars
All seems to be getting back to a level of normalcy when the world is getting multiple Marvel projects in one year. Despite the various COVID-related issues throughout 2021, this has not deterred the studios from giving audiences stories of their favourite superheroes. In a world that has been redefined by the Avengers: Endgame blip and the various Marvel television series, the MCU seems ready for a reset.
This installment of Spider-man swings right back into things where they concluded in his Far From Home adventure with Peter Parker (Tom Holland) being outed as your friendly neighbourhood hero. An announcement that divides the world's population since he is accused of murdering Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) in London. The public and media weigh in on the debate of his role as a hero or a villain. This attention leads to turmoil for his friends and family that becomes unbearable. In amongst all of the societal tension, Peter decides that he is left with only one choice to turn to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for a bit of magic. What seems like a simple spell to make people forget that he is Spider-man turns into a debacle that rips holes into the multiverse.
Reminiscent of the events in Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse, Peter is suddenly confronted with villains from the various wallcrawler narratives throughout the years. Within moments of his request, the city comes under siege by Doctor Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) and Electro (Jamie Foxx). Peter must determine how to combat these new enemies and see about getting them back to their own worlds is worth the effort. All the time trying to do his best to make things right in the lives of his girlfriend MJ (Zendaya), his friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). Also, if these villains from other worlds are arriving, does that mean other visitors are coming into Peter’s life?
What will surely be one of this year's most anticipated movies; many may wonder if they have seen everything in the promotional trailers? Even though many of the surprises have been some of the worst-kept industry secrets, some significant events will catch audiences out. These will keep people watching through until the end of the credits. Yet, these elements are not the key reasons people will return to theatres for this Spider-man adventure. What will make fans want to come back for more is how Marvel has come back to what makes their films great. As they get back to effective character development, humour, surreal action and fun, director Jon Watts has righted the ship after the misstep of Eternals.
Writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers add enough twists into this multiverse adventure to keep viewers guessing without losing them along the way. With a massive cast and multiple storylines converging on themselves, it would be easy to become confused about the purpose of this film. Yet, they manage to balance the emotional and visceral elements to make this the film fans have been waiting for this year. Surprisingly for all of the budget that Marvel has at their disposal, they cannot find a practical wig for Benedict Cumberbatch, but this is one of the only flaws within the storyline. Since his chemistry with Tom Holland does provide the mentor role left behind by Ironman’s death.
Ultimately, Spider-man: No Way Home seems to clear the MCU slate to some degree. All things lead to a transition to the new world of Avengers and different heroes. Also, this film will need to be viewed multiple times to fully appreciate all it has to say and may reveal about the future.
Reel Dialogue: Consequences
Even though this film may lead many to talk about purpose and family, the real message behind the story comes down to consequences for our actions. Spider-man: No Way Home shows us that each positive or negative move impacts people need to consider from the beginning to the end.
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7
The notion of reaping what you sow is a biblical concept. Yet, one thing to consider is that all actions have consequences and sometimes even positive actions can lead to negative responses. It should not deter people from doing the right thing, but they need to be aware of it as they make their decisions.