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Spider-Man: No Way Home - Movie Review

Spider-Man: No Way Home

This may be the toughest film I have ever tried to review without spoilers.

It’s hard to believe we are now at the third entry of the MCU’s Spider-man ‘home’ series (not even accounting for Civil War and Avengers). But here we are. Tom Holland’s youthful interpretation has been a resounding success amongst Spidey fans and benign viewers alike since his debut. His portrayal of a school kid and young man has progressed naturally and likeably throughout his tenure. As much as I liked many parts of Far From Home, I started to tire of the teenaged issues side of the character (that had been well and truly mined) and wanted to see him progress. To really put Peter Parker through the ringer and see him grow up.

"completes the ‘Home’ series definitively while allowing tendrils to what might follow"


 

Well, I just got my wish. With No Way Home, Peter—already carrying the scars of the war against Thanos and Far From Home—is forced very quickly to deal with the consequences of (unintentional) selfish teenaged choices and more cathartically, he has to learn to accept them. This film’s plot is one of the most packed to the brim of all the Marvel flicks. Especially in terms of characters.

Spider-man No Way Home picks up seconds after the end of Far From Home, with Peter and MJ out in the city as Jonah J. Jameson releases Peter’s identity to the world and implicates him in the murder of Mysterio. Things turn to shit instantly, with all facets of Peter’s life and those who share it, adversely affected. In thoughtless desperation, Peter turns to Dr. Strange, convinced that if he can cast a spell that makes the world forget he is Spider-man, everything will be okay. Halfway through the spell, Peter learns his new love will also forget him and interferes with Strange’s spell. It cracks a hole into the multiverse: a paradoxical reality where infinite other universes collide and invade upon their world to devastating and life changing effect.

It was a recipe for disaster, with so much magical mumbo jumbo and character exposition to get through. And it shaves very close to losing efficacy several times. Not only do you have to deal with the main cast of this Spider-man series, the collective weight of all the stories of the MCU to date, and the plotlines from all the previous Spider-man films, but that had to be woven into a thematic narrative for this film. I’m happy to say, for the most part, this story is a resoundingly great Spider-man film. In fact, it’s the best of these new Spider-man films.Spider-Man: No Way Home

All the performers knock it out of the park in this one. Their ease and brevity with each other throughout is what sells this very intricate plot. Holland is tasked with most of the heavy lifting and shows great range and finally those first inklings of the character growing up. His arc is a spectacular transformative one and he rises to meet the challenge. I wish I could tell you about all the actors that show up in this one—cause they’re all off the chart good—but I can’t in a spoiler free review. I’ll just say the internet rumours and the trailers don’t cover half of what this film throws at you. You would think from the trailers you know what’s coming, but you don’t. The last thing I’ll say, because it’s deserved, is that this film NEVER panders to fan service. Everything that is included that might be construed as such is integral to the film, brilliantly executed and a delight to see.

Now, the thing that took this down a peg for me: editing. Being such a jam-packed story there are moments, some action but especially emotional moments, that get let down by the editing. With so much going on, and so much narrative debt to pay off, they can be forgiven for truncating some moments or getting lost in action scenes at certain points. There were many cogs to keep spinning in nearly every scene. Hindsight is a comfortable chair to sit in, and I have to say Watts’ editors, Jeffrey Ford and Leigh Folsom Boyd, do hit every beat, I just wish in a couple of scenes (which I cannot mention for spoilers’ sake) they had slowed it down, given us a moment to digest things.

Enough whining. Spider-man No Way Home is a very successful story. It really completes the ‘Home’ series definitively while allowing tendrils to what might follow (some of those tendrils are REALLY compelling, so watch til the end of the credits, cause you’re gonna see two of them.) Amazing movie, spectacular even. Maybe they should have titled it: Spider-man Home Run.

4/5 stars

 Film Details

Spider-Man: No Way Home

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of action/violence, some language and brief suggestive comments.
Runtime:
148 mins
Director
: Jon Watts
Writer:
Chris McKennaErik Sommers
Cast:
Tom Holland; Zendaya; Benedict Cumberbatch
Genre
: Action | Adventure | Fantasy
Tagline:
The Multiverse Unleashed.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Peter, you're struggling to have everything you want while the world tries to make you choose."
Theatrical Distributor:
Columbia Pictures
Official Site: https://www.spidermannowayhome.movie/
Release Date: December 15, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: With Spider-Man's identity now revealed, Peter asks Doctor Strange for help. When a spell goes wrong, dangerous foes from other worlds start to appear, forcing Peter to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.

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