The film starts strong – dead in the middle of the adventure and taking up seconds after the last installment from a couple years back - Spider-Man Far From Home.
For those who haven't seen it - during the opening Marvel symbol sequence there is a fill in for those unfamiliar with the Tom Holland Spider-Man world and catches everyone back.
People do forget that the crossover was coming with the J. Jonah actor showing up – so I always took it from there the others could drop in.
However a multiverse catalyst scene early on with Dr. Strange is likely the weakest part of the entire ensemble here. The ending of Superman I plus some lame plot points around the students. It’s like they never had Cliff Robertson tell them that with great power comes great responsibility.
At some point 25 minutes in I flashed on the classic Spider-Man meme of two of them pointing at each other – I thought that would be a great way to catch all three (Holland, Garfield, Maguire) in one shot.
Not much later Doc Ock from Tobey universe shows up – I thought this could be a great universe to have Ock be the superhero and Spider-Man the villain for the story. However a chance missed.
The movie seems to be a couple giant set pieces when some of the Sinister Six show up and then chat scenes and exposition.
The next round of Marvel same characters different movie into one could be the Hulk. They don’t own the IP on film but the Ed Norton, Eric Bana and Ruffalo versions could all guest in a la Ragnarok. Throw in the new She-Hulk and some more, and away we go. Sign me up to write that one – I could polish it off in a couple weekends.
The potential here of the Rogues Gallery, along with Batman’s are the strongest in comics and their respective universes A quick cameo by another potential member of the sinister six before the already known Jamie Foxx hits.
The multi-verse seems to hinge upon every new person to the Tom Holland Spider-verse immediately accepting the multi-verse concept and knowing Spider-Man’s identity.
With four of the Sinister Six seen, a couple more referenced, who else could drop in here? Scorpion? Kraven? I always was partial to Mole Man.
By the time Willem Dafoe comes in with a character turn almost halfway through – the film picks up. There are some veteran actors bouncing off each other and their histories.
I like how Doc Ock picks on Holland’s way of lifestyle - yet he is easily the most well off of the three Spideys that may be in this. Imagine them jammed in with Tobey and the Russian neighbour?
So there is a bit of a Cliff Robertson scene. And once Dafoe goes back into Goblin form – the film does get very similar to the Spider-Man cartoon.
A couple characters show up to clearly tell Tom Holland not to turn into a brooding Bruce Wayne type with the loss of family. The story telling does pick up and the more Avengers like plotting and shout outs do come across.
The second half of the movie is almost everyone you’ve been looking for Spidey and more take on a Sinister Six like crew and one pretty much thinks even the X-Man or two could show up.
We are at the point where a lot of the Marvel flicks are relying on simple variations the old chestnuts from Superman I and II; turn back time; or magically make characters forget certain facts.
Beyond this – No Way Home is the cinematic real life version of Into the Spiderverse