It’s harder to identify one who has never seen a Spider-Man movie or read an old comic book. And the latest Spider-Man film is an unexpectedly nostalgic journey. Wild experimentation has characterized Phase 4 of the MCU thus far. The results of these efforts have ranged from spectacular to insignificant. The final major MCU film of a jam-packed 2021 is Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: No Way Home.
No Way Home is a lively, often congested experiment in expanding a media monopoly’s (sometimes unpleasant) IP reach. While it might be hard to differentiate between the obvious nostalgia bait and the meat and potatoes of the plot, the story and characters ultimately shine through.
No Way Home tries to avoid the flaws of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and other franchise) films. It transforms the entire situation into a form of treatment for the characters. The ultimate result resembles a classic Spider-Man narrative in which Peter is forced to confront some of life’s hardest realities.
Release date: December 17, 2021 (USA) Trending
Director: Jon Watts
Music by: Michael Giacchino
Production companies: Columbia Pictures; Marvel Studios; Pascal Pictures
Produced by: Kevin Feige; Amy Pascal
Based on: Spider-Man; by Stan Lee; Steve Ditko
The stories go through in their nostalgic way. How Peter got his all power. Later Beck pulled the plug on Peter’s secret identity, framing him for murder. And later stoking the fire of conspiracy-peddling muckraking journalist J. Jonah Jameson. With no more secret identity to hide behind, Peter and his friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and girlfriend MJ (Zendaya) are suffering the consequences of the media frenzy. Eventually, things come to a head and Peter takes a step only logical to a superheroic teenager: Going to a wizard (Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange) to functionally brainwash the world into forgetting that he is Peter Parker.
No Way Home is the final film in the new Spider-Man trilogy. The film will also see the return of Jamie Foxx’s Electro, Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman and Rhys Ifans’ Lizard. Zendaya returns as MJ, Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds, Marisa Tomei as May Parker, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan and Benedict Wong as Wong.
In the MCU’s long and complicated history, No Way Home is one of the all-time outstanding and most unusual attempts. In terms of sheer, unrestrained exploration and possibilities, it reflects exactly what Phase 4 has been aiming for. However, more than one of those emotional beats necessitates the audience’s familiarity with and fond nostalgia for the older Spider-Man films.