No Way Home Early Reviews Praise Holland’s Spidey Threequel

Kimberly A. Parker

The Spider-Man: No Way Home movie reviews praise its emotional core and performances, but some criticize its stuffed plot and excessive fan service.

The Spider-Man: No Way Home movie reviews are finally in. Directed by Jon Watts, the latest Marvel Studios and Sony collaboration will be the culmination of Tom Holland’s first MCU trilogy as the wall-crawler. But aside from that, Spider-Man: No Way Home will also tie together all three generations of Spider-Man movies with characters from Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy and Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man movies appearing in the threequel.

Picking up after the game-changing ending of Spider-Man: Far From Home, Spider-Man: No Way Home will see Peter Parker deal with the ramifications of his secret identity being revealed to the world. But, the movie doesn’t dwell much on his personal dilemma, as the arrival of multiversal threats such as Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock and Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin keep Peter and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) occupied. There’s so much to be excited for in the threequel, including the rumored returns of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as previous incarnations of Spider-Man. While fans will have to wait a few more days to see the film, the Spider-Man: No Way Home movie reviews offer some insight as to what they can expect from the blockbuster.

Related: Original Spider-Man: No Way Home Set Photos Hint At The Film’s Ending

Unlike other MCU movies that have an earlier embargo lift for non-spoiler social media reactions, Marvel Studios and Sony instead opted to roll out full reviews on the heels of the movie’s global premiere event and mere days before its full theatrical debut. This is to preserve the secrecy of its plot, preventing inadvertent leaks from ruining the theatrical experience for the general viewing public. Check out what the critics had to say in excerpts from Spider-Man: No Way Home movie reviews below:

Mae Abdulbaki, Screen Rant

Thanks to Peter finally taking matters into his own hands, No Way Home is able to fly higher than any of the previous Spider-Man entries in the MCU. The film ponders what kind of hero Spider-Man is and who he aspires to be — is he someone who takes ownership over his choices? Does he help people who are in need or does he leave them behind? These questions play heavily into his storyline, adding gravitas to his journey as a hero who is trying to forge a path for himself. No Way Home feels more like a Spider-Man movie. It’s a bit corny yet endearing, heartfelt and incredibly fun — which is as it should be.

Kate Erbland, IndieWire

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is not always willing to get really risky — particularly in standalone features that will undoubtedly impact the rest of the slate — but “No Way Home” isn’t scared of throwing down an entirely new gauntlet, with a truly reverential eye to the past, and hoping for a new future worth fighting for. The road to the closing moments of “No Way Home” — both warm-hearted and heartbreaking — might have hit a few bumps, but the darkness is worth it.

John Defore, THR

Some of the fan service plays fairly well here; some is unsubtle enough you expect an actor to look into the camera and wink at you after delivering his line. But in the end, No Way Home does use its multiversal mayhem to address the only real problem with the Holland-era webslinger: the Iron Man-ification of the character, in which his already amazing powers keep getting overshadowed by the gadgets given to him by billionaire jerk-hero Tony Stark. This is the least fun of the Watts/Holland pictures by a wide margin (intentionally so, to some extent), but it’s a hell of a lot better than the last Spidey threequel, Sam Raimi’s overstuffed and ill-conceived Spider-Man 3.

Matt Singer, Screen Crush

No Way Home understands that the key to Spider-Man’s appeal is not his amazing powers or cool costume, or that he’s a shy nerd who blossoms into a hard-bodied heartthrob after a radioactive spider bite. We like Spider-Man because he’s a screwup. Peter Parker fails — repeatedly.

Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

The most superheroic feat on display might be the film’s ability to keep human-sized emotions and relationships front and center even as the very fabric of time and space twists itself into knots.

Tessa Smith, Mama’s Geeky

Spider-Man: No Way Home will have long time fans cheering, crying, laughing, and jumping out of their seats. This movie is insane, and an emotional roller coaster (but in the best way possible). The score, the acting, the cinematography, the visuals, and the heart all come together to create something truly epic. This is easily the best live action Spider-Man movie, and what the fans have always wanted to see.

Amelia Emberwing, IGN

Spider-Man: No Way Home hits all the right notes as the MCU’s latest entry. Its impact on the universe as a whole, as well as the overall emotional beats, all feel earned. Stellar performances meet what feels like a Saturday morning cartoon rife with all the devastating punches we’ve come to expect from this sneaky universe. Though it struggles with some tired superhero tropes, everything else about it will leave fans grinning ear-to-ear.

David Fear, Rolling Stone

No Way Home is a perfectly fine superhero movie. It has a couple of great set pieces — the initial fight between Ock and Holland’s Spider-Man is proof that director Jon Watts has gotten increasingly better at staging these kinds of things; there’s a dizzying chase through Escher-like cityscapes that echo a similar sequences in the first Doctor Strange movie, yet still feels inventive — plus some tragedy, some sacrifices, Easter eggs for the heads (someone’s been tagging graffiti under the name Ditko), a battle royale, post-credits sequences and the feeling that this has been a set-up for the next film, which will set up the film after that, on and on ad infinitum.

Don Kaye, Den of Geek

No Way Home features Holland’s best work as Peter and Spidey to date, with the film driving him toward emotional extremes he has never previously touched. His chemistry with Zendaya and Batalon is also real (Zendaya exudes a lot of warmth here while she and Batalon also provide gentle comic relief).

Hoai-Tran Bui, /Film

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” is at its best and its worst when it’s recalling other movies. Not only does it adopt many, many lines of dialogue from the Raimi films, it also dips into the trippy visuals of “Doctor Strange,” giving its (admittedly still flat and uneven) aesthetic a pop of excitement.


Spider-Man No Way Home Doctor Strange Peter Parker Astral Project Box

Based on the review roundup, it sounds like Spider-Man: No Way Home is a blast to see. There’s an emphasis on exciting and inventive action set pieces – most of which have been teased in the movie’s marketing. However, while there’s so much anticipation for the film’s ties to the MCU’s multiverse resulting in the appearance of villains from previous Spider-Man movies, elements of it may have made the movie too complicated for casual moviegoers. Similarly, the abundance of Easter eggs and references would be great for fans of the character who are fully invested in the wall-crawler’s journey. However, they could be overwhelming and confusing for the general public.

The biggest win for Spider-Man: No Way Home, however, sounds like its ability to keep its focus on Holland’s Peter. With so much going on, some were concerned that the movie’s lead character would be cast aside to focus on the movie’s storytelling tricks. Luckily, it seems based on these Spider-Man: No Way Home reviews that the threequel didn’t lose sight that the focus should be on Holland’s Spider-Man.

More: Marvel Might’ve Just Spoiled Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Ending

Source: Various (see links)

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