An excerpt from my script review for Spider-Man: No Way Home which will be available 01/31/22:
2.) Plot Stability
First and foremost, let me start by saying I enjoyed this film.
All the “fan service” twists and Easter Eggs worked for me.
However, my concern, that seems unfounded based on the above box office numbers, is will all audiences enjoy this installment as much as the previous two?
I’m thinking about two different groups, the first being my children who are too young for the previous franchises and the second being viewers like my mother who see the occasional stand alone MCU film, but aren’t up to date on them all.
This third installment relies not only on knowing the current MCU, but the two previous Sony universes with their Spider-Men and villains.
Was I excited for this multiverse angle in the film? Absolutely.
Were my kids? Not so much.
On several occasions we were asked who the villains were, and why are there two new Spider-Men.
To me that’s a bit of an issue affecting a large segment of your customers.
(For viewers like my mom, she didn’t see this, but I know I’d have to watch it with her and she’d tire of me explaining what’s what.)
Did it overall work? For me yes, and the numbers would also argue to the affirmative…
…but my suggestion here, when writing your own story, is to make sure there’s either:
- A large enough existing audience who’s familiar with the source material.
- Not an overwhelming prior knowledge required to enjoy the story.
Did my kids still like it? Yes, although it’s admittedly not their favorite, and we could sense their frustration on the car ride home as questions were being asked.
Love Matt Murdock’s cameo.
Tobey Maguire was good, but I think Andrew Garfield really redeemed himself as Spider-Man, both with the bit of self-deprecation and when he saves MJ.
For me, that was the highlight of the film, even knowing it was coming.
He did for MJ what he wasn’t able to do for Gwen, and reacts emotionally right after.
Truly powerful moment there, but for the full impact you have to know his back-story.
There was even the unexpected (for me at least) twist of May dying instead of Ben with the whole “great responsibility” line.
Two things that really didn’t make sense for me though…
First, why was it initially people forgetting Peter Parker was Spider-Man, but in the end we had to go to people forgetting Peter Parker altogether.
That part really bothered me, both initially watching the film and reading the script.
It presents all sorts of problems, most of which result from the fact that there’d be no known record of him in any government database.
You can’t do shit without that!
Let alone all the superhero help he’s come to rely on.
Plus it felt like a sort of cop out with the whole “magic” angle. We can do literally anything we want because…magic…except this.
We need to take the spell a step further to avoid complete multiverse destruction!
…well that and we kind of want to take the story this way.
Second, why were MJ and Ned chastised by universities like MIT, but Flash gets away scot free? I mean he even wrote a fucking book about his “best friend” relationship with Peter Parker.
And the MIT admissions lady is all engrossed in it?
That shit didn’t make sense.
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