Monday With Mildred: “Spider-Man: No Way Home”

Spider-Man: No Way Home movie poster

Spider-Man: No Way Home

I just want to begin with admitting that I am that person who isn’t terribly enamored of the whole Spider-Man thing. Yes, I occasionally get the 1960s Spider-Man theme song stuck in my head (most of the words, anyway), but it’s never been a story that means a lot to me or speaks to me personally. It’s simply a kinda fun comic that has had a thousand films made with the character.

Everyone in the world knows the basics of the Spider-Man story, where regular teenager Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider and becomes a superhero imbued with the powers of a spider, like crawling up walls and on ceilings, throwing webs, swinging along an urban landscape using skyscrapers. In 2002 the barrage of Spider-Man movies began, and I went to see it at the theater because I’ve been a fan of the director Sam Raimi since The Evil Dead II and Xena: Warrior Princess. I thought it was okay, but never saw any of the next four films because I had better things to do.

Then the MCU (Marvel Comics Universe) came along, and eventually that juggernaut swallowed the Spider-Man story and began spitting it up, beginning with a brief appearance in Captain America: Civil War in 2016. I thought it was pretty cute at the time, and liked how snarky and humorous they made the new Spider-Man. He kept appearing in larger and larger roles and then got his own juggernaut-backed movies, and if you’re even a little bit of a fan of the MCU (which I am, a little bit of an MCU fan) then you began getting stuck in the Spider-Man web.

Curious, I watched the latest film without bothering to find out anything about it beforehand. Here’s the hard part: I can’t really say a lot about it without spoiling the film quite a bit. The MCU went to a lot of effort to keep things secret during production, and I understand why. Here’s my condensed opinion: there are too many themes and plot lines and nostalgic moments, making the film way too long because it tries to do too much.

Past this point, there are spoilers for more than one film, so stop now unless you don’t care.

In Spider-Man: Far From Home at the very end, Parker is outed as Spider-Man and also accused of terroristic murder. Sorry, but this is how No Way Home begins. Parker is now on the run and it’s affecting his friends and family so he goes to Dr. Strange to create an Everclear cocktail so everyone will forget who he is. Things go wrong, the multiverse is cracked, bad guys form a queue to mess up Spider-Man.

The biggest problem with this film is that you could, and should, make three movies about all that. One is about Parker being outed as Spider-Man and a murderer. That’s a lot. Two is Parker’s shenanigans opening the multiverse and inviting in a ton of his antagonists from the old movies. Oops! There’s a big spoiler right there, and the makings of an overly long movie by itself. Three is saying goodbye to old hurts (and all the Spider-Mans have had a lot of hurts over the decades), to people you love, to your life as you know it, to your plans for the future. There’s a whole nuther long movie in itself. Here’s a bonus plotline that is the biggest spoiler, of learning to trust yourself – or those people who are your multiverse doppelgangers.

This version of Spider-Man is chock full of non-MCU Spider-Mans and nemeses. Since I’ve only seen the first Sam Raimi one I recognized Tobey Maquire but not the other guy and had no idea about his story. I didn’t recognize most of the bad guys, either. This was okay, because bad guys in the MCU are fairly similar. They’re loud and say mean things and take a lot of getting hit with bone crushing fists to be subdued. It was a bit of a shock to see such an old Spider-Man, but I liked it. Because it’s the MCU, there’s a lot of humor to be mined with three Spider-Mans. My favorite is the somewhat meta joke of only the first Spider-Man being able to sling web without mechanical intervention.

There’s a lot of cgi going on, of course. All the baddies have to be digitally aided, at the least, and it’s a cool group to work with. What I didn’t notice was some of the actors being digitally de-aged. I’ve wondered for decades how computers would affect acting. Would they end up replaced by 1s and 0s? Would we have a renaissance of long-dead actors showing up alive and well on screen? We’ve had dead actors showing up for years now, but I think this movie might show an option I hadn’t considered. Big name actors, character actors and a few others could end up having a thriving career for a lot longer than they would have expected before. Want to use this actor but she’s about forty years too old for the part? De-age her! The down side to this is when they start de-aging old men so the traditional squicky romantic age gap can be expanded, and all women past thirty years old will be de-aged to make her suitably young for romantic roles. You heard it here first.

This movie is not bad, but it is way too long because it tries to do too much. The neverending gigantic fight scenes go on and on, but anyone getting this kind of movie knows that’s going to happen so it’s a non issue. The humor is good, and there are some actual touching emotional moments. The mid-credits scene was hilarious and actually made me look forward to another movie in this huge franchise. See this if you like Spider-Man or Marvel movies, but be prepared to take a bathroom break. And possibly a nap.

LINKS:

CFR: In Addition: Now I do love the MCU way more than Mildred. Probably way more then most people. I did enjoy this movie a bit more than Mildred, however, Spider-man is not always my flavor of latte. I LOVE Tom Holland as Spider-man! LOVE Zendaya as MJ. She is MY MJ and always will be. Love her! I love the wide variety of color and characters in the Spider-man movies. Way superior to lots of other movies.

My problem is that Spider-man, Peter Parker, is treated like an adult and expected to act like one. People, HE IS NOT AN ADULT! He is a teenager and expecting him to act like a full grown adult is WRONG! I do not see adults in his movies try to protect him or help him. It is always on his shoulders. *RASPBERRY*

However yes I did enjoy this movie very much. Cheered with the other MCU and Spider-man fans when our fave characters came on screen and I volunteer to play Peter’s adopted aunt who helps him rather than throw responsibility on him he cannot yet bear. 🙂

Did you hear that, Marvel?

In short, I need another 3-4 Spider-man movies with this line up.

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