Not since The Force Awakens and Avengers: Endgame has Hollywood gone into such spoiler lockdown mode, and for good reason. Revealing anything beyond what’s featured in the marketing would not only come with the threat of being obliviated by the internet, but of the tightly-guarded rule of the folks over at Sony/Marvel. Hoping to bait the nostalgia-driven hearts of filmgoers that grew up with this franchise, Spider-Man: No Way Home uses the idea of a multiverse to its advantage with this emotionally vibrant, inspired celebration of the classic webslinger from Queens.
Picking up moments after the events of Far From Home, which found the villainous Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) to frame Peter Parker for his murder and leaking his identity to the world over. Now that Peter’s biggest secret is revealed, the lives of those closest to him, best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), girlfriend MJ (Zendaya), and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) are thrown into an upheaval. Peter seeks the help of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to use his time-warping abilities to make everyone forget he is Spider-Man. Strange’s spell instead opens up a portal to other universes, causing some familiar villainous faces to appear.
Director Jon Watts, helmer of the previous two Spidey films, still doesn’t have the panache for unique visuals, most of the CG set-pieces have a grey color palate and are plainly presented — the climactic set-piece is noticeably more drab in its presentation — but excels in his storytelling abilities. No Way Home has an epic, sweeping scale to its heroes journey, one that feels worthy of mentioning alongside recent big-screen epics Dune and Eternals. The ambitious narrative feels grand, but grounded in its emotional stakes. When No Way Home goes big, its a full-fledged, gargantuan superhero epic, but there’s also a strong emotional hook that grounds the film and make the bigger set-pieces feels even more exhilarating. When the very fabric of time and space is warped into oblivion, Watts keeps Peter’s intimate character growth fully dimensional and true to the classic character.
Tom Holland’s performance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man is the actor’s greatest showcase to date. Holland is given more physically and emotionally demanding work and brings a new sense of pathos to the role. His relationship with Zendaya’s MJ is deeply endearing and his rapport with Jacob Batalon has never been more infectious. The top-tier array of performances that come from the returning villains are a treat to witness. Alfred Molina, retuning as Dock Ock, hasn’t missed a beat despite having not played the character in over 15 years. Even if Dock Ock is misguidedly used as the butt of several jokes and the writing doesn’t always feel consistent with his portrayal in Raimi’s film. Jamie Foxx gets to redeem himself in a more tweaked version of Electro, this time without the blue look and more comics-accurate appearance. Reveling the most in their return is Willem Dafoe as Norman Osbourne/Green Goblin. Avoiding specifics, Dafoe gets to add new layers to the character in which Dafoe commits wholeheartedly.
No Way Home has its heart set on celebrating the very nature of the character, and using built-in fan service is a clever way of doing so. For those of us that grew up on seeing Willem Dafoe’s transformation into the Green Goblin, or Alfred Molina’s tragic descent into becoming Dock Ock will be rewarded not just through cheap callbacks, but of the emotional fulfillment Watts and screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers give these characters. There’s an abundance of surprises in store in No Way Home, some that will have fans think they’re dreaming and practically all of which are earned and never feels pandered to — ahem, looking at you, Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
In hindsight, particular plot elements may seem calculated, but it rarely feels that way on-screen. There’s an inspired creativity in the direction Watts takes Peter’s journey and the unpredictability that’s in store gives the spectacular final reel a palpable sense of urgency. The filmmakers seemed to have learned from the team behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse that digging into the heart of the character gives the most emotionally vibrant results.
Despite all the surprises that will inevitably make the splashiest headlines and will, no doubt, give some much-welcomed inspiration to a new generation of fans, what brings Spider-Man: No Way Home back down to earth is the thoughtful, dare I say, melancholic, finale that manages to give some finality to a genre that’s built on peaking audiences interest in what’s coming up around the corner. While there are two post credits scenes that exist to do just that, its the arc of Spider-Man and the responsibility that comes with the mantle that resonates the longest.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is a stirring superhero epic that celebrates the classic webslinger in spectacularly ambitious fashion. Jon Watts crafts his best Spider-Man film to date in not only the best live-action Spidey film since Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, but among the more emotionally resonant pieces of the genre.
I can’t wait!!
Tbis is the cinematic event of the year!! We deserve this movie!
I’ve only seen two Spiderman movies, the first one and third one. Never really been driven to watch the others in the series. After reading this review I’ll no doubt check out the latest film
One of the best movies I have ever seen. I really needed that. Thank you, Marvel
Waiting to see this film. And that’s a good write-up explaining the movie without any major spoilers
Spider-man: No Way Home is a a ton of fun. Saw it in 3-D and Spider-man is definitely perfect for 3-D. I mean, all the flying around and falling. The depth adds a bunch to the story. It’s a super enjoyable movie.
It’s soooo good! Saw it a few hours ago!
I loved it but it did feel very rushed and as of now I don’t think it was better than infinity war/Endgame.
I think if would have benefited a lot from doing a part 1 and part 2 to flesh things out more.
Was super entertaining though!!! I’ll reassess after the second viewing. Definitely a top 10 Marvel movie!
I can’t wait to see this !
This film lived up to the hype and then some. All I can say is just go see it and it will be worth it. I’m going to see it again.
Just watched Spider-Man: No Way Home…
On par with Spider-Man 2 (with Tobey Maguire), and easily one of my favorite Marvel movies ever made. So many fun surprises and Easter Eggs that tie in well to the current MCU storyline, but has a wonderful story at the heart its core. Really loved how they mirrored many moments in different ways you don’t expect from previous films.
Acting was fantastic (want to spoil ONE performance SO BADLY, but he EASILY steals the show when he’s on-screen), and the writing was good as well. Fantastic score that also plays with themes from the past movies as well. Overall… Just a fun, well-made, great film that will really stand out on its own. It’s a huge step in a new direction – not just for comic-book movies, but film in general. I don’t even think any other film has done what this one has in regards to its story elements.
Lastly… There’s a scene towards the end, especially, that could be my favorite moment in MCU history. Beautiful scene that made me tear up and almost got me out of my seat with applause. Man… What a moment.
Fantastic movie. You gotta see it.
LOVED Spider-Man, but some are tripping with this best MCU movie ever talk.
It was so good! Agree with the review!
Holy shit the new Spider-Man is indescribably awesome It’s so good I don’t even want to spoil it for y’all
Well it took them three movies to put MCU Spidey in a spot he probably should’ve been after one. But hey I had a pretty fun time! On second viewing a lot more stands out. That second half is so superior to the first. That first half is very rough, often rushed, and kinda bland. But boy oh boy is that second half a grand spectacle that is everything I wanted and more! It gives the MCU a little of a breathe of fresh air that’s been missing since Endgame and a lot of the criticisms regarding the MCU Spider-Man have been heard. Very interested to see what direction they decide to go next!
An epic celebration of the cinematic Spider-man moonlighting as a more-contrived-than-usual next step in MCU’s Phase 4. As much as I loved the highs of No Way Home, I left the theater more mixed than expected. The finely-honed fan service was delightful; the chemistry between MCU characters and the multiverse visitors was everything I hoped for. The pitch-perfect Spider-man moments – both heroic and somber – were the best this franchise’s webslinger have gotten yet, putting the kid through the wringer and taking him to new heights. Tom Holland acts the hell out of the movie’s best scenes. But for every fantastic moment, there are entire sections where the pacing felt off: too rushed in the beginning, too slack towards the middle and end. Intense emotional beats and genuine charming chemistry can’t help the overall plot from feeling more like a distractingly convenient means for cross-universe interactions than a cohesive narrative. Somehow the show-stopping finale that delivers on all the hype was very visually cluttered, hard to follow, and less impactful than the thrilling mid-film set piece. The entire apartment sequence was the brutal, impactful, and bracingly vertical highlight of the film for me. That said, No Way Home at its best is a Spidey fan’s dream. There are sights and interactions here that are electric to watch unfold. Dafoe is the MVP by a mile; twenty years later, his maniacal villainous glee is more menacing than ever. By the end, flaws and all, this latest MCU entry leaves its webslinger in a excitingly familiar yet bleakly fascinating place for whatever his future in Marvel’s grand experiment holds.
No spoilers, but Spider-Man 9 healed me
I definitely hope for a couple things out of this movie, but the big thing I hope for this movie is that we get the electro theme from the amazing Spider-Man 2, it’s just too good not to include
This movie was both entertaining and emotional. Loved it!
Alot of the fanservice was fun, but overall the plot and pacing were kind of a mess. And this is coming from a huge Spidey fan
Spiderman was a treat and it lived up to the all expectations. The huge surprises….wow. I’ll might see it again during my break. The other flims Licorice Pizza is film on my list to see.
No one asked for this, but my Spidey rankings from best to child I love no matter what:
Into the Spider-Verse
Spider-Man 2 (this was a tough call, Spider-Man 2 is a superior film but it can’t compete with the way I felt as a teenager jumping around after seeing the first movie)
No Way Home
Far From Home
Amazing Spider-Man 2
Having said all that, I will defend every single one of these movies to the death, I love them all.
Best Spider-Man: Andrew Garfield
Best Peter Parker: Toby Maguire
Best of Both Worlds: Tom Holland
Iam tired of seeing some write-up’s that amazing spiderman is a “masterpiece”. Hold on. It never was a masterpiece. Everything in those two part movie’s are average. Yes Andrew looks were very apt for Spidey role and film had some cool technical works. only these doesn’t make a movie good. Craft is the core. In some ways amazing spiderman is just like a Snyder film. Which doesn’t have any craft still it manages to cheat the audience with the richness and technical greatness. Please stop glorifying average outputs with the word “masterpiece”
I thought it was great, it tied up a lot of loose ends and gave a lot of characters a redemption. Can’t believe they pulled it off!