At the risk of getting shot, I will say up front, I liked the multiple universes, and multiple iterations of various characters in the film. Let me be clear that this movie is long— 2 hours and 28 minutes, and some of the intense scenes are not very appropriate for young children. This is not a cartoon, it’s more like an adult video game in some of its CG scenes. The bad guys— especially Doc Ock and the Green Goblin are quite menacing, and Willem Dafoe is a perfect Green Goblin. Go hide under the bed when he comes on the screen. I have come to like Tom Holland as the best of the various persons who have played Spiderman in the last 20 plus years. He does a good job of playing the young ingenue, the somewhat naive, very talented, and also tres troubled young Spidey. I also really like Zendaya as M.J. Watson. She fits the part perfectly— attractive, a little bit rebellious and snarky, and she plays the skeptical part to Spiderman’s trust and faith in people quite well. And Ned of course is Ned….. say no more. Marisa Tomei is an excellent Aunt May, as a much younger woman than in the old magazines.
The essential plot revolves around Peter Parker asking Dr. Strange to erase the memories of everyone except Peter’s loved ones when it comes to knowing that he is Spiderman. But unfortunately this opens a portal from the parallel universes for bad guys to show up hunting Peter—including Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Sandman, Electro, and Lizard dude. No question the ole Web Slinger is going to need some help to handle all those badies. And he gets it from a surprising source. At one juncture the Green Goblin taunts Spidey saying his aunt has infected him with too strong a dose of personal ethics or morals— he tries to save everyone, even the really bad guys! And here finally we have a brief encounter with the subtext of the movie— namely when good and bad guys are wreking havoc on the world and lots of people die on both sides, is it really so clear who are the good guys and who are the bad guys since both resort to so much violence? The movie ultimately draws the line at Spidey taking revenge for the death of a loved one. This movie has some humor, but is heavy on the pathos most of the time.
If you are looking for a good New Years Eve fun time of a non-traditional sort, this is a good place to spend a couple of hours on New Years Eve.
In the little teaser clip at the end of the credits we see Venom in a Mexican bar, deciding to go look for Spidey. No doubt this will figure in a future Marvel film. No rest it looks like for good ole Spidey.