So, it’s the one all Marvel fans have all been waiting for, Spider-Man: No Way Home. As is the case with all Marvel movies now they aren’t just confined to their own film's story but instead are part of the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and Spider-Man: No Way Home is not only a culmination of the currently established MCU but also draws on various elements and characters from previous interpretations of the friendly neighbourhood hero. The biggest question going into this film for myself and a lot of people was how they were going to manage and respect the properties and characters they were introducing as whilst it is a lot of these characters first time in the MCU, each and every one of them comes with a heavy level of already established viewer-charcter connection. So, how did Marvel and Sony fair?
This film is packed with character and heart. Not only is the personal story of Peter Parker compelling and emotional it also presents a beautifully new yet familiar story for our protagonist. On top of this fantastic story is an immensely talented and respected cast including returning villains such as Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Doc Ock (Alfred Molina) and Electro (Jamie Foxx). Each and every character brings a special sense of energy to the scene and for fans of the Tobey Maguire era of Spider-Man, you’ll be happy to know they still hold on to their cheesy yet heartwarming and at times downright sinister performances.
I think it’s almost safe to say at this point that Marvel’s CGI is amazing (you might even say spectacular) but this film’s CGI really shows what the studio is capable of and apart from one short scene during the film I was never once dragged out of the moment by the amazing level of detail this film has. Scenes involving Doctor Strange and all the weird CGI elements that come with the cosmic element of Marvel were by far some of my favourite scenes and it’s definitely something you get a good look at in this film.
Marvel has seen both ends of the spectrum when it comes to incorporating a lot of recognizable characters into one film. They mastered that collaboration perfectly in Infinity War and have catastrophically failed at multi-character stories in films like Eternals. This film’s attempt at juggling multiple well-known characters lies somewhere in the middle. It’s definitely a fun and entertaining film but at times can feel rushed with some pacing issues and rushed character arcs near the beginning and middle of the film.
Whilst it’s well known at this stage that if you want to get the most out of MCU films you’re going to need at least some prior knowledge of the MCU films that came before them. Spider-Man: No Way Home requires even more knowledge of Marvel as a whole including a least a passing knowledge of the previous film adaptions of Spider-Man including the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield films. For the most part, this isn’t really the fault of Marvel but it is something to be wary of if you’re expecting a completely new story that stands on its own within the two hours and 30 minute runtime.
To sum up, Spider-Man: No Way Home is a very fun time and is definitely worth going to see whether you’re a greater fan of the MCU or just looking for a one-off superhero flick. Whilst a lack of prior knowledge of Marvel material might leave you a little lost at times to references and characters it’s overall an amazing spectacle of a film and at the very least it’s an entertaining film to see with friends.
If you’d like to discuss Spider-Man: No Way Home with me a little bit more and talk some spoilers, you can do so over on my Twitter @OdhranJohnson! If you’re interested in indie based games news, reviews and more you can check me and the team at Gaming Sandbox out over on gaming-sandbox.com
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