Editor’s note: Here is a review by our friend Ruricolus.
I’m so far outside the target audience for Spider-Man: No Way Home that I’m probably not a great person to judge it, not having seen any other Marvel movies except for the first Tobey Maguire Spider-Man. So take this review for what it’s worth. I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum, but if you’ve seen a trailer, you probably know about anything I’ll mention.
I went in braced for poz and stupidity, and was pleasantly surprised how little there was. Right off the bat, Spiderman had a fairly plain, brown girlfriend and a goofy, fat, Asian best friend. Is that new? I didn’t know, except that I remember his girl in the Tobey movie was white and hot. So I was already sighing. But that was the only nod to diversity, and while it’s annoying, it’s sort of justified in the plot. But after that, there was no more. No homos, lesbians, or trannies anywhere, which really surprised me. I thought those were required now.
The first half-hour or so was fairly dumb and seemed to be catering to the shortest attention spans. Lots of running around and jerky cuts from scene to scene, with some lame quipping. Maybe that was designed to pull in the standard Marvel audience, I dunno. Since this wasn’t a standard origin story or sequel, they had to establish quite a bit up front. Once they got past that and started telling a story, it got better and I started enjoying it.
I can’t judge the effects. I guess they were fine, but they don’t do anything for me. Heights give me vertigo, and scenes with heights in older movies, like when Neo goes out on the ledge and drops his phone in The Matrix, get to me. In this movie, it’s just stuff flying around on the screen without any weight or feel of danger to it. I guess they have to put it in there for the fanboys, but I could do without it. It’s the same way with the fights: the characters all seem indestructible, so they just smash into each other forever until they stop.
It’s not deep. There’s no real theme to it other than the traditional Spiderman theme of “Don’t let your powers turn you into a dick.” But that’s okay, it wasn’t trying to be deep. It’s mainly a nostalgia trip through the previous movies, with in-jokes and references (some of which I understood) and a fair bit of self-deprecation. It just tries to be fun, and pulls that off pretty well.
It’s not going to convince me to break my 20-year habit of not buying movie tickets. As far as I can tell, this was an outlier. And it’s not like there was anything very original here, so it only proves they can take a bunch of mostly pre-formed movie parts and assemble them into a fun movie without smacking you in the face with SJW crap, if they really want to. Of course, the flip side of that is: when they make subversive crap nine times out of ten, they’re doing it on purpose. Hollywood still is what it is.