Does ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Live Up to the Hype We as a Fandom Have Put On It?
Let’s get the important information out of the way. There are TWO extra scenes to this movie. One mid credits. One post credits. Don’t be one of those malcriados who gets up and walks out of the theater of a Marvel movie when the credits barely started rolling. Kevin Feige has been our collective nerd-dad for more than a decade. He raised you better than that.
All right, now that we’ve established that you need to keep your nalgas planted in your seats for the entire two hour and twenty-eight minute duration, let’s talk about this movie. “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
Me, sprinting to the bathroom after the movie
Full transparency as we go on this pretty much spoiler-free review journey together — I am a huge nerd. A Latinerd, if you will. I’m going into this with an established love for Spider-Man. We go way back.
Like 2007. That far back.
The basics: Peter Parker, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man gets a pow-pow from society when his secret identity gets wiki-leaked and he recruits the help of local brujo Doctor Strange to cast an amnesia spell straight of out of a novela to try and get his secret ID back — which goes horribly awry and breaks the multiiverse, causing villains from alternate Spidey franchises to come pouring into our universe. That’s what we call a premise, baby.
¡Acuario… Tauro… Piscis!
Now — do you have to have seen the other Spider-Man movies and the MCU catalogue prior to this movie to enjoy it? No, but in the same sense that you don’t have to add cebolla, cilantro, chile, and limón to your tacos when you eat them. Is it still enjoyable? Yeah, sure. Are you going to enjoy it a hell of a lot more with those added ingredients? YES.
And being a nerd, I can tell you the hype was REAL for this movie. We’ve had years of speculation, conspiracy theories, CSI level forensic analysis of every trailer. Almost an impossible level of hype to live up to. So for any nerd out there wondering — does this movie live up to the unrealistic expectations we as a fandom have put on it?
“There’s two red pixels in this frame. Mephisto confirmed.”
YES. Shockingly so. I could go on about how surprisingly nostalgic I felt seeing the villains from my favorite classic Spidey movies coming to life again on screen. I could detail the barrage of emotional gut punches and Tom Holland’s heart-wrenching performance that had me crying in my seat like your drunk tío at your last family gathering. I could focus on how awesome it was to see a first gen minority kid (Jacob Batalon’s Ned) and a woman of color (Zendaya’s MJ) front and center as key players in the most epic superhero movie this year. I could even talk about how despite this movie being the climactic emotional payoff for FIVE YEARS of rampant nerd speculation, they still managed to leave me excited for what’s to come. But instead, here are some memes to properly illustrate how I felt watching this movie:
In the end, I’ll sum it up like this.
Part of the fun of being into nerdy franchises is the speculation — deciphering all the clues leading up to the big event, trying to figure out what’s going to happen and who’s going to show up, etc. But the better part of it all is when the moment arrives, all of that speculation falls away, and you get to watch everything unfold in front of your eyes.
And when they get it right, you get to experience the full unbridled joy of fandom. It’s the kind of joy that feels like electricity in your body, that has you screaming and clapping in public like a little kid (despite the fact that you’re a 34 year old Mexican dude at a press screening), the kind of joy you feel in your soul. That’s what it feels like when fandom gets it right. And this movie? They got it right.