Okay, so my intention is to write a non-spoiler review, but I will talk about things that we already know from the trailer and indeed the poster above, so if you are fine with that, go ahead, if not, go find a spell that lets you forget everything you know, HOW’S THAT FOR A SEGUE??? *drops mike*
Holy sh!t, Spider-Man : No Way Home is pure cinematic serotonin, remember that feeling you used to get clutching your popcorn and entering a whole new world? I got it here, moments made me catch my breath and others had the cinema cheering and “Whaaaaaa?” before cheering again. It’s an absolute joy. And simultaneously very clever, as well as the web spinning and explosions (man, I imagine if you see this in IMAX, you’d just die from the magic), it questions how you see yourself in the universe, how you see others, how your actions count and whether you have a responsibility to save others or just those you love. As a great man (and now a great woman) once said “With great power comes great responsibility.”
So when we left Peter Parker, Mysterio had revealed his true identity and in a social media / cell phone obsessed world, it causes chaos. Is there a way to change things? If only he had a friend who could do such things…Yes, Parker turns to Dr. Strange “Call me Steven. Well, that’s weird” to make people forget his true identity, but when he tries to alter this as the spell is being cast, all hell breaks loose and all bets are off as to who can come through the portal of the multiverse that now exists. As you can see from the poster, there is a beautiful scene where Dr Ock, one of the finest Spidey villains ever makes a dramatic entrance and the whole cinema cheered. Amazing. “Who are you?” “I’m Peter Parker.” “No, you’re not.” Fvcking incredible.
And from this point, all bets are off. Things that were facts before have been bent out of time and anything can happen and anyone can appear. Not in an Avengers “Look who it is!” way, there is a logic to the madness and nobody who appears is just thrown in for a cheap laugh or a five second gasp. Trust me, some of these had me almost choking on my own excitement, look, I’m not going to talk about it but I have spent two days wondering whether I dreamt this whole fvcking movie which is why I did not write this instantly, stamp five stars on it and just scream SEE IT. But two days later, I am still catching my breath at some of the things they pulled off here, things that Spidey fans can only have dreamt of with their action figures and a huge dose of pure imagination. Yes, that reference to Wonka magic was intentional. Remember that feeling when Wonka revealed the main room and the colours and the magic were utterly intoxicating? That. That is the level of cinema magic that we are dealing with here. A dream on celluloid. Instead of a door opening, it is the aforementioned portal and what comes through…Nope, can’t talk about it but I hope my excitement is palpable and comes across here.
How does it rank in the MCU chart? The last time I was this excited by such a movie was the first Guardians Of The Galaxy and, well, this is better. Iron Man and The Winter Soldier are my favourites and this is in that arena. Just looked at my top MCU movies which I ranked two years ago (thanks Internet!) and I had Age Of Ultron and the aforementioned films in the top five. (thanks High Fidelity) as well as Homecoming. So, there is already Spidey, but now No Way Home might be right at the top of the tree. I need to see it again, before it knocks off The Winter Soldier but, by god, I will see it again. As I have all eight Spidey films. And the Nicholas Hammond ones before that. Yes, I’m that old that all we used to have were VHS tapes to rent, but that same feeling that I had of watching a man spin webs and fly through the city came back to life when I saw Tom Holland taking on all kinds of trouble here.
“Downers, Kenny, there’s always downers?” Well, Ned. What is the point of this character. Don’t @ me for not researching his history. *looks at history* Okay, I see where they may be going a few films down the line, but here he is simply annoying. Not quite to the point of Podcast in the recent Ghostbusters, but a very similar character. Every time Peter and MJ are about to have a moment together, he bumbles into view. Yeah, I have a problem with the overly comedic in these movies. Except Rocket, obvs. The only other downer is story related and so I cannot tell you, but there are some heartbreaking scenes deep in this movie that made me incredibly sad. So that’s not a bad downer, more a literal downer. Nope, Ned is my only fault in this two and a half hour masterpiece.
“Masterpiece, Kenny?” – for what it is, yes. As a comic book movie, it is a masterpiece. As a piece of popcorn cinema, it is a masterpiece. As a reflection of love and how it changes everything in your world and gives you a place to escape to, it’s a masterpiece. As a Spider-Man movie, it is everything a long time fan could want. And boy, you’re gonna love…*SNIP*