The latest Spider-Man movie came with unprecedented levels of expectation. Not only was it the final entry in Tom Holland’s trilogy as the titular webslinger but also teased the return of many beloved villains of previous Spider-Man films, that had not been seen in the MCU before and have only appeared in movies featuring a different actor playing Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield respectively). The whole world was talking about this once in a lifetime cinema event and somehow No Way Home does the unthinkable and not only lives up to expectations, but exceeds them.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is a stunning cinematic achievement. It’s a thrilling spectacle of the highest order and will not only be remembered as a classic Spider-Man film, but a classic of the entire superhero genre.
No plot details will be discussed here, and please avoid Twitter if you can as I’m already seeing spoilers, but all you need to know going in is following the events of Far from Home, the world now knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Peter then enlists the help of fellow Avenger Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to change that, but it has serious repercussions…
I’ve liked Tom Holland as Spider-Man, but always felt he was a little too immature in places, even for a high school version of the character. That all changes with No Way Home. Holland is excellent in the lead, bringing a level of emotion and gravitas I had not previously seen in the role and he delivers what I feel is the best performance anyone has ever given as our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.
Zendaya is terrific as love interest MJ and Cumberbatch continues his fine form as Stephen Strange, though he isn’t as involved as some may think. It was an absolute joy seeing these iconic villains not only return, but share the screen. Alfred Molina, who remains one of the GOAT superhero villains for his turn in Spider-Man 2 as Doc Ock, is a breath of fresh air back in the role as is Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn who is on terrifyingly good form.
I really felt the writing and directing was a significant step up from the previous films. Jon Watts returns to helm the project, meaning this film marks the first MCU trilogy to be directed by the same director. Watts has really grown into his role, delivering his best work yet behind the lens alongside academy award winning cinematographer Mauro Fiore (Avatar) to produce a stunning picture filled with some of the best action, visuals and shots of the franchise. Returning screenwriters Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers also deliver their best work, not only giving us a concept for the ages but the most emotional Spidey film to date.
There can be some pacing issues during the first two acts and not every joke lands, but this is a special film and one of the best blockbuster movies to arise in quite some time. A nostalgic-fuelled crowd-pleaser and a celebration of one of the most beloved superheroes in comic-book and cinema history.
I end this review with a question. What do you get when you combine an iconic superhero with high emotional stakes, insane action sequences, breath-taking visual effects and a couple of surprises up its sleeve? The answer? The film of the year.
Verdict: Epic in every single way, Spider-Man: No Way Home will make you laugh, cry, cheer and leave you wishing for more. Essential viewing.
Best Moment: THE ENTIRE THIRD ACT