Spider-Man: No Way Home had its theatrical release in the USA and other regions on December 17, 2021. Directed by John Watts and starring more A-list actors than we can squeeze in one paragraph, No Way Home is easily the MCU’s most ambitious superhero movie since Endgame. However, following its digital release, the movie has come under renewed criticism. Let’s countdown some of the lamest things we spotted in No Way Home which left the spider-sense of fans tingling.
A Leaking Spell
Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and his friends are in a bind. ‘In light of a recent controversy,’ they can’t get into their dream college probably because more than one person at MIT admissions is a Mysterio fan :D. Peter meets with fellow Avenger, Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for help. He suggests using time travel to fix things but Doctor Strange doesn’t have the time stone any longer (which is code for we already did time travel in Endgame). Strange tells him about a forgetting spell called “The Runes of Kof Kol” which can make the entire world forget that Peter is Spider-Man. During mid-casting, the spell becomes unstable because Peter keeps changing its details. The spell is eventually contained by Strange but not until some colorful characters slip through. It starts to pull into the MCU everyone from the multiverse who knows Peter is Spider-Man.
Going by this, the problem is, that not everyone who gets through should be there. Max Dillon aka Electro (Jamie Foxx) from The Amazing Spider-Man (TASM) didn’t know Spidey’s true identity before his short-circuit-demise last we saw him. In Electro’s stead, TASM Goblin, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) who knew Peter’s secret and was also in that movie would have been a far better fit. Some other characters who are equally (if not better) qualified candidates for this multiversal kidnapping are Raimiverse Harry Osbourne (James Franco) and Mary Jane (Kristen Dunst), TASM George Stacey (Denis Leary) and Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone). Combined, they knew the secret identity before half of the others who got pulled in but for some reason, the movie seems to suggest only villains and the Spider-Men of their respective universes should get a cameo in NWH.
“Call me sir”
After a brief tango with Lizard in the sewers, Doctor Strange realizes that more freaks snuck into his universe thanks to his reckless almost cast spell. He commented that “this shouldn’t even be possible” but that makes no sense considering Wong had earlier warned him that that spell was too dangerous because it ‘travels the borders between known and UNKNOWN reality’. This literally meant that ANYTHING was possible once the spell was cast. Also, what made even less sense was Wong’s indifference to the forgetting spell situation. Being the current Sorcerer Supreme, it is his responsibility to ensure that reality itself is protected from tampering by anyone, even Strange. I speak for many when I say I prefer NWH trailer Wong better who forbade Doctor Strange from casting the spell before reshoots nerfed him.
In order to track down the villains currently exploring a whole new world, Peter enlists the Spider squad to help. Ned (Jacob Batalon) is important, he’s the ‘guy in the chair’. But why ask Michelle (Zendaya) to tag along? What’s that crucial thing she can do that makes her an invaluable member of the team for this mission? I don’t think being out of Peter’s league counts as a valid skill-set. She may be there to provide moral support, but all that could have been arranged via Facetime. Having Michelle guard the magic box was an after-thought. Ned was doing just fine handling ‘Spidey stuff’ long before she came along. Also, speaking of Ned. I get that he’s a protégé of the Mystic Arts or whatever, but how could he open his first portal using the correct hand gesture and the sling ring thingy in under 2 seconds after discovering he could do magic? There’s little evidence to suggest that he had seen Strange or any other Sorcerer open a portal that way before.
Now that all the otherworldly villains are cozy and captured in the Undercroft, Strange returns from a side quest with the Machina di Kadavus (we’d just call it magic box) which is an ancient relic that reverses spells. It will send the villains to their respective universes and since some of them die while fighting Spider-Man, this means they perish. Peter and his squad don’t like this new plan so he attempts to flee with the magic box until he can work out a way the villains don’t die when they’re sent back. This sets up a Doctor Strange Vs Spider-Man brawl which you’d expect should be a win for the Sorcerer but when have things been that simple in the MCU?
An Astral form projection and some web swings later, the chase takes a new dimension (get it?). In the Mirror Dimension where Doctor Strange is supposedly in control, he still can’t keep up with Spider-Man. But just when he manages to separate Spidey from the magic box, the good Doctor gets stuck by geometry. Doctor Strange; former Sorcerer Supreme, Master of the Mystic Arts, who knows a plethora of spells, tortured the mighty Dormammu using his charming personality and the time stone and went mano-a-mano against the mad Titan Thanos, gets beat by a sticky highschooler with a math formula! Maybe Mysterio was a better Sorcerer after all.
With Great Power Come Great Consequences
Peter Parker is coming from a good place when he tries to force a cure on some of the craziest villains from the Spider-Verse and trusts that they help him do it. But good doesn’t always mean right. What began the snowballing mess was Peter trusting Mysterio – a stranger who claimed to be from another dimension. You’d think he’d learn his lesson and become more mistrusting like Michelle armed with bread. Curing some villain a$$ with a view to changing their fate doesn’t guarantee they won’t villain up again when they get back. It would seem Peter cares more about villains (literally some of the worst people) than the implications his actions may have on another universe or his own for that matter. Oh well, guess the TVA sure has a lot on its plate when/if ever they decide to show up outside the Loki series.
The new and improved Statue of Liberty
I’m just going to rip the band-aid off. Rebuilding the Statue of Liberty to include Cap’s shield makes zero sense. He already has an entire museum to himself. Other Avengers should get their time in the light too and I’m not talking about some monolith tombstone thingy in the center of NY (Hawkeye Series). Let’s not forget the real heroes here. The Hulk, Iron-Man and Black Widow who sacrificed themselves so that countless lives were saved. They all should be immortalized properly; an Avengers Mount Rushmore might do it.
Also, you’d expect the Statue of Liberty to be crawling with security operatives and the media after Peter disclosed the location of the magic box on live TV. A bunch of deadly villains and Spider-Man scrapping on the Statue of Liberty is the kind of situation organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D was created for, but those Helicarrier loving snubs are nowhere to be found and neither are the police or press who constantly hunted Peter at the start of the movie.
A Simple Final Spell That Complicates Everything
It looks like it’s about to rain villains on the Statue of Liberty. In a last-ditch attempt to save their universe, Peter suggests Strange casts a new spell to make everyone forget him. Sounds simple enough right? Wrong! First, this new spell has to wipe the memories of millions of people who know Peter on earth and in space (e.g. Captain Marvel who loves chilling anywhere else but her home planet). Anyone close to Peter gets the family and friends special because the spell also has to fill the blanks with fake memories so it actually works. Next, the spell will have to delete all evidence of Peter’s existence namely public records, blog posts, comments, chat, videos, audio and even that corny Spidey shrine at his high school. But while it does all this, it needs to be careful to exempt the important stuff like personal identification so Peter can get a job or apply for a GED or even rent a place. And you thought time travel was convoluted.
Does the final spell where everyone forgets Peter Parker apply to the multiverse or just the present MCU continuity? Will the Spider-Men from Raimiverse and TASM remember this? At what point do the villains who snuck through return to their universe? At the point where they last battled their Spider-Man or earlier?
These questions still keep some of us up at night. Hopefully, Doctor Strange dissects these issues in the Multiverse of Madness come May 6. In the meantime, if you found other things you thought lame in NWH, do well to tell us in the comments below.
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