Last weekend came the release of one of the most anticipated movies of the year, Spiderman: No Way Home. The reviews were outstanding. The box office sales were phenomenal for the opening weekend making it the sixth highest-grossing film of 2021 as of December 20. This was more than a movie it was an event.

The hype behind this Spiderman movie was so grandiose that fanboys and fangirls were drooling with anticipation of what was to come. The speculation, the rumors, the possibilities, the mystery was the reason the tickets sold out so quickly for opening day. When tickets went on sale, I brought my usual Sunday morning tickets and had no problem getting the seats I wanted. That is why I see the first show on a Sunday morning because it makes life easier.

One of the hardest tricks to seeing this movie was to stay away from the internet. Even before the movie was released here in the United States there were countless theories and leaks. Were any of these supposed leaks true or not was the question. Some of us did not even want to look at the official trailers because people would go online and read into the trailer and possibly spoil the movie.

After the new installation of the Spiderman franchise was released in the theater, then you really had to stay off social media and the internet completely. You feared spoilers from inconsiderate fans who saw the movie opening night if you did not.

Now that the movie is nearly a week old, I would like to tell you I will give no spoilers, but I cannot guarantee. I will try but be warned from this point on there might be a spoiler or two …..or three or four.

I am going to open with a very unpopular opinion. Spiderman: No Way Home is a fantastic movie that is a must-see, however, the hype around the movie left me underwhelmed. As much as I loved this movie I walked away still expecting and wanting more because the buildup to the film was over the top.

Being exposed to the rumors, theories and even the official trailers gave me too much. A lot of the rumors ended up being true. The actor’s denial of being involved turning out to be true was little of a surprise. Rumors of returning characters we thought we would never see in those roles again popping up was a surprise but a little less of a surprise because of the rumors. Then again, when the head of the studio says that the character will eventually rear his head that cuts down on the surprise.

Once again, in my opinion, this was a great movie. Though it is all about the hype for me.

One thing that did not need hype was the performance of the actors. Tom Holland as Peter Parker, Zendaya as MJ Jones-Watson, and Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds stepped up their already perfect portrayal of their characters. They have a bond and work together as a unit which makes their on-screen friendship extremely believable. Benedict Cumberbatch is Dr Stephen Strange and there is no challenging that fact. Also reprising their Marvel characters in great form was Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, and Marisa Tomei as Aunt May. Tomei brought new meaning and life to the character of Aunt May that should warrant a nomination at someone’s award show.

We knew going in that we would be seeing some villains from previous Spiderman movies that did not feature the Tom Holland Spiderman. We saw the trailers so that was not really a big surprise. Jamie Fox returned as Electro, Willem Defoe returned as Green Goblin, Alfred Molina returned as Dr Octopus, Rhys Ifans returned as Lizard, and Thomas Haden Church returned as Sandman. Breathing new life into their past roles these actors brought their A-game. As villains given a second chance for redemption, the characterization and motivation behind the villains were believable and worthy of the story. This was a little bit of a deep dive into their psyche which was written with a payoff.

Of course, you cannot call on these villains from past Spiderman movies without calling on the versions of Spiderman they fought. So, yes, we see Toby Maguire’s Spiderman along with Andrew Garfield’s Spiderman, and the chemistry between all three Spidermen, when they shared the screen, was magic.

You could not ask for a better cast.

So, the last we saw Spiderman, J. Jonah Jameson was broadcasting a story in which the deceased Mysterio used his last breath to reveal the identity of Spiderman. The whole world now knew that Spiderman and Peter Parker were one and the same. We spend the first part of the film learning the consequences of the big reveal and how it affects everyone’s life around Peter Parker. With the final straw being that MJ, Ned, and Peter, himself not being accepted in any college, Peter decides to take matters into his own hands and seek the help of Dr Strange to put some magic on the whole situation to fix his secret identity problem.

Amid fixing this situation, things get botched up and that is how all the worlds collide. Dr Strange wants to simply send everyone back to where they came from, and Peter decides that he wants to save them all and cure them before he sends them back. Once a villain always a villain as most of them turn on Peter and cause death and destruction.

At the end of the day, this was my main problem with this movie. There was no big bad that wanted to rule the world or anything for that matter. The villain was an internal act of selfishness to get into a college. The easy way out. There were so many other ways to fix this problem, but they choose to go with that one.

As much as I loved this movie, I realize that we went through 2 hours of film for Marvel to accomplish its own goal: make Peter Parker a loner like he was in the other franchises and predominately like the book. To this end, Marvel set out to do what it wanted to do.

The hype around the special appearances and action of this movie lived up to itself but the plot was the part that did not do it for me. With all the hype and the many plot holes is it now time to ask ourselves are the Marvel studios taking us for granted? Are they now under the impression that they can throw big Hollywood names at us in flashy costumes and great action sequences without a good plot? Is a complete storyline no longer important as long as they give the fans a little taste of their best comic book fantasies come to life?

At the end of this movie, our hero makes a sacrifice in order to redeem all the villains, but we see no fruits of this labor. The experience also undoubtedly changes the lives of our other Spidermen, but we see no aftereffect of how.

In addition to these plot holes, they are not even remotely patched up with decent post-credit scenes for which Marvel is known.

Go check out Spiderman: No Way Home because as long as you do not mind the plot holes and love the special appearances and action, you can enjoy this movie like the majority of the population. In the comments, let us know what you think about Spiderman: No Way Home.

Kenny Walker Jr

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