Thursday, December 16, 2021

Spider-Man: No Way Home


In the aftermath of Mysterio’s death and his frame-up thereof, Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) life will never be the same as he and his girlfriend MJ (Zendaya) as well as best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) deal with the repercussions of such accusation as well as his identity being made public. Desperate for a quick fix, the webslinger seeks the help of Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) who has lost his title as Sorcerer Supreme to Wong (Benedict Wong) after being blipped out of existence for half a decade. Miscasting a spell, the sorcerer inadvertently leaves a dent on the fabric of time and space. Soon enough, an unsuspecting Spider-Man is attacked by Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) on a bridge, with both of them realizing after a heated battle that they are not from the same universe. As more villains from different worlds start to emerge, the web crawler attempts to reverse the consequences of his wish before it’s too late.

Oh my fawking gawd, I think I want to cry. But you know who will be crying buckets of tears of joy as they laugh their way to the bank when all this media frenzy is over? Sony. Remember when Spider-Man peaked with Tobey Maguire and immediately went downhill with Andrew Garfield? Send Feige and Friends some flowers and a thank-you note, Sony. You hit the jackpot with this one. This will most likely have a spillover effect on every Spiderverse related title you release from now on. Franchise resurrected!

I didn’t expect to be this amused hearing Tagalog being spoken in an MCU movie. At first, I thought Marvel was just Pinoy-baiting. However, we’re not talking about trivial two-to-three-word utterances here, but rather full lines delivered by an actual character. Since I saw this film in Spanish-speaking Honduras and those lines were not subtitled, I probably looked like a crazy person in the cinema laughing my head off because I was basically the only one understanding what was being said. Scene stealer much!

The ending is rather strange, pun not intended. It does make you scratch your head and think where Sony is trying to bring the franchise after this plot twist they have just pulled off here. Given the circumstances, the storyline ends on a rather vague note. Is this Holland’s final appearance as the webslinger? Is there going to be a Spider-Man 4? If so, how are they going to reverse this particular subplot? Spending an entire movie trying to undo what has already been done would simply end up being a drag. In any case, it does emphasize the No Way Home title. If this is indeed the end, at least they went out with a bang. It does feel like a fresh start, though, like a return to the classic Spider-Man storyline kind of thing.

The mid credits scene introduces another Spider-Man property TO THE MCU. As to who and how in particular is up in the air, but the seeds have been planted for a future appearance. They did a clever job with that one, to be honest, but I won’t go into details. The end credits scene is not a scene but rather the first full trailer of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. From the looks of it, it is Wandavision and What If... that serve as prequels to that film, not No Way Home. If anything, this conclusion to the Holland trilogy just gives you some sort of a teaser for the potential of multiversal chaos, but doesn't appear to have directly caused it, as widely speculated.

Spider-Man: No Way Home accomplishes what the last Star Wars trilogy tried and got mixed to negative reactions doing so. Uniting three different generations in one cinematic offering. With characters popping up from previous reiterations of the franchise, this movie can serve as a great bonding popcorn flick for parents who grew up with the 2002 or 2012 version and their children who claim the 2017 reboot as their own, for example. Not only does it neatly tie up all three Spiderverses together, it also encourages the rediscovery of the first two.

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