Spider-Man: No Way Home Review

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a fan of Spider-Man. I’ve been reading Spider-Man comics since I was a kid, which is a long time ago. I’ve seen all the movies in the theater the night they came out, including the first Raimi Spider-Man which came out twenty years ago. Needless to say, Spider-Man: No Way Home is the most anticipated film of them all. The fan base has been rabid for anything they can get about the film. The wait is finally over though, and it’s worth the wait.

The film starts out where the last film left off with the mid-credit scene of J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) revealing Spider-Man’s identity. From this point on, Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is on the run. As Jameson says, he’s “Public Enemy Number One.” His girlfriend MJ — Michelle Jones, not Mary Jane (Zendaya, Dune) — and best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) try to help him with this problem, but he eventually seeks out the help of Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) instead, which only leads to a bigger problem.

Strange inadvertently, with the help of Peter, opens up a rift in the multiverse — yes, that multiverse in the title of the animated film from Sony, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. But this time, instead of different Spider-Men and women coming through, it’s Spider-Man villains from the previous interactions of the films starring this character: Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), Electro (Jamie Foxx), Norman Osbourne/Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Sandman (Thomas Hayden Church), and The Lizard (Rhys Ifans) are the five villains that come through. They cause quite the commotion once they arrive on the scene.

Jon Watts, Amy Pascal, and Kevin Feige have shepherded this franchise since 2016. Since he was first unveiled in that Queens apartment by Tony Stark, Tom Holland has become a staple in the American lexicon as portraying this iconic character. The world has come along for the ride. He has put every ounce of himself into this character. This film is the culmination of the last six years of his life. He has literally put his blood, sweat, and tears into portraying these two dual roles. It is the role he will always be remembered for, for the rest of his life.

Watts along with Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley have crafted quite a story. They put Spider-Man through his paces. From fight scenes on a New York highway, a Queens apartment building to the climactic battle on the Statue of Liberty, Spider-Man: No Way Home gives the audience watching a lot of spills, thrills, and chills. The oos and ah’s we’re too numerous to count throughout this two-hour and thirty-minute runtime. The fanservice throughout was too good to be true for this lifelong Spider-Man fan.

The music of the Spider-Man films has always been very iconic as well. This time out, Micheal Giachino outdoes himself. He infuses themes from the previous films while also trying to be faithful to the new films. The score and songs are almost like a character in and of themselves in the film. They drive the drama and action forward while also being a grand anthem for the final installment of this trilogy.

As with a lot of comic book movies, they need quite a substantial amount of visual effects. This one has enough for three films. As mentioned before, all these fight scenes use vast amounts of visual effects to achieve these seamless, incredible scenes. Blue or green screen work is done and filled in behind by amazing visual effects that will surely be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. This is the best I’ve seen all year.

With most comic book movies also comes the comedy. These films like to mix dramatic scenes with a lighthearted touch as to not make them so serious. Various scenes of Spider-Man and his friends interacting with Strange and other fish out of water scenes make for quite the levity throughout the film. This comic relief breaks up a lot of the drama and action scenes very nicely. This is once again a nice touch the writers added to the script.

There is a lot to love in this film. Much have I mentioned already, but the performance by the returning villains could have gone the way of comic shtick. They don’t, though. The returning actors take these returning roles from up to twenty years ago very seriously. Dafoe, Molina, and Foxx give quite a bit of service to this film and their return to these characters. Dafoe is the best of them all. It’s very nostalgic for me to see these great actors returning to these characters that could be throwaway roles, but they not.

Spider-Man: No Way Home caps off this trilogy with a bang. It leaves me wanting more films while also being the perfect conclusion to twenty years of this amazing character. It has drama, comedy action, and heart all at once, which is hard to do. Only arguably Endgame has captured all these emotions so well in the MCU thus far. Holland had become this character and will forever be remembered thusly. The script by Goldstein and Daley, the score by Giachino, and the visual effects are all superb in this film. This is one of the best comic book movies ever — MCU or otherwise. It’s a crowning achievement by everybody involved. 

5 stars

Dan Skip Allen

Sean Boelman

Founder/EICd isappointment media

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