Spider-Man: No Way Home – No Way Getting Me to The Theater

With great power, comes making a film that, based on the marketing somehow, looks worse than Captain Marvel. Of all the top entertainment icons, Spider-Man has always been the character that I can’t say ever resonated with me. I don’t hate him or his movi- or SOME of his movies. For a long time, I did my best to watch the newest blockbuster, whether or not it looked good.

As I look back at those experiences, I feel nothing but regret. I went into something like The Rise of Skywalker, with the mindset that it was going to be bad. It seems a bit hypocritical of me to allow that, yet the point of my article on The Last of Us Part II was that you should experience an entire story before making assumptions about how themes and story beats are presented. I don’t hate everything about Skywalker, I think there’s a lot in it that is good, whether or not it makes sense from a story perspective. 

As the 3rd film, in the 3rd reboot of Spider-Man approached I was conflicted in this regard. I have no desire to see this film on nearly any level, but it’s going to be such a big movie event I feel like I should. After much thought and consideration, my decision is final; Spider-Man: No Way Home looks really bad, so I’m simply not going to watch it.

Let’s start off with looking back at Spider-Man in the MCU, starting with 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. The film struggles to maintain the initial impact It held 5 years ago, when watching it today, but the treatment of Spider-Man was a definite highlight. Seeing this character interact with Iron Man, or Falcon was very surreal, but unfortunately, it wasn’t all good. The next time we saw the web-slinger was in his first MCU solo outing, and it was not very good. 

While Homecoming is a solid film to put on in the background, it lacks substance and relies too much on other characters in the MCU to drive the story forward. Its biggest crime though is how nearly every good aspect about it, is taken from the previous Spider-Man movies. The most obvious case of this is that the way Vulture discovers Peter Parker is Spider-Man is the same way Green Goblin does in the 2002 film. This ties into my first problem with the new one, it will literally be using villains from the previous movies. What bothers me so much about this choice is how lazy and more importantly, greasy it is from a screenwriting perspective. 

It’s genius to bring all these villains back because you make fans happy to see their favorite characters again, which brings in a ton of money, but it’s also incredibly easy to write the script. Because Spider-Man is such a popular franchise, other than maybe one or two lines of exposition, you don’t need scenes introducing these characters. How lazy is that? This will be the 3rd time a Spider-Man film has had an abundance of villains, and so far we are 0-2 in regards to those films’ quality. 

There won’t just be too much going on in terms of villains, but storylines overall. Now I want to state here that I have not seen Far From Home, and never plan on it as it looks to have as much depth as a sheet of paper after being burnt. I’m not in any way trying to discuss the quality of that film just how the story told there is problematic to continue. Home ends with Spider-Man’s identity being revealed to the world, cool idea. Here’s the problem, based on how quickly this plot element has been brushed over in the new one’s trailers, I would say it will act as nothing more than the inciting incident for No Way Home

It seems pretty clear to me that the theme of fate will be surrounding the plot of No Way Home. Having Peter try to change his fate of the world knowing his secret, while also trying to save the villains because they’re going to die if they get sent back to their universes; It’s going to be about the repercussions of our choices. Why do you need 5 villains, with the rumored possibility of Mysterio’s return, in order to tell this story? 

This film had the unique opportunity to be something more than a pile of action scenes. If they’re going with the idea that Spider-Man’s identity being revealed splits New York, maybe that in itself could be the “villain.” It could use this story to discuss themes of miscommunication, false narratives, and how even something like a teenager trying to help his fellow New Yorkers can be politicized. 

If you’re going to do something different with the character, DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. We’ve already seen more than one villain go after Spider-Man, we’ve even briefly seen what would happen if people knew Spider-Man’s identity. It feels like this film only exists to set up other things happening in the MCU, which was something like Thor: The Dark World’s biggest mistake. It also feels like they don’t really know what they’re doing with this film as it was reported by multiple sources that they were rewriting the script as they were filming. Not a good sign. 

Tom Holland as Spider-Man totally, definitely not in front of a green screen. Photo courtesy of Sony.

Although maybe not as bad of a mistake as the production quality of the film, mainly the terrible CGI, man oh man. I really hope it looks better when the movie comes out, I mean look at the photo I put above, who is being fooled by that shot? But as of this article being written, it was also reported the final VFX shots are not complete.

After Avengers: Endgame, my interest in the MCU has practically been non-existent, and Spider-Man: No Way Home will not be the film that brings me back into the fold. For many, it seems this newest entry in Peter Parker’s journey is a major positive, giving the internet great reason to find something to look forward to, and for that, I am happy this film is bringing people joy. My biggest problem is that no one is really caring about why the things in this film are happening, like the return of favorite villains, people just want to see the movie whether or not it looks good. 

I’m getting really tired of writing about how with each new year, cinema is seemingly only getting worse. I hope I’m wrong with this one, as if they pull it off, this could be an awesome theater event and remind people that movies can mean more than the $20 they’ve become to rent.

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