Movie Review: ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’


Poster courtesy of Sony Pictures.

Unsurprisingly, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man story is the least interesting part of Spider-Man: No Way Home. When compared to the sheer fun of watching the last 21 years of the Spider-Man films all on-screen at once, his relatively standard-issue plot just can’t compare.

If you are one of the chosen few who has somehow managed to avoid the very concept of advertising, Spiderman: No Way Home is the latest installment in the MCU Spider-Man film series and sees Holland pick up the story of his Peter Parker directly where Spider-Man: Far From Home left off.

Framed for a murder he didn’t commit and having had his identity revealed to the public, Holland is left wanting nothing more than everything to go back to normal and to be allowed to return to having a secret identity. Seeking out the help of time and space wizard extraordinaire Dr. Strange, he attempts to set right the universe, and in doing so, pulls the most prominent villains from the early 2000s and 2010s Spider-Man films, along with their respective friendly neighborhood web-slingers.

What this means in practical terms is that Spider-Man: No Way Home has the most entertaining cast the series has seen in years, with the absolute stand-outs being Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Men (Spider-Mans?).

The trio of Spider-Men was evidently the first idea anyone had for the movie, and the rest of it is figuring out how to make that happen. But it absolutely paid off, as the three of them have great chemistry on screen. The generational difference between them is also played just right, with a great contrast between the young and still somewhat green Tom Holland Spider-Man learning from the almost fatherly figure of Tobey Maguire, who is now about 40 years old.

Combine that with both Alfred Molina and Willem Dafoe, who both clearly love getting to do their classic versions of Doc Ock and Norman Osborn again, and you can’t help but love every scene they are on screen.

Aside from the standard MCU obsession with endless CGI and aversion to practical effects, the only thing that I was annoyed by was the MCU actors’ plotlines. Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zendaya, and Jacob Batalon all deliver as solid performances as they have in this franchise.

Still, their actual story is—in as spoiler-free as I can put it—the same old Spider-Man drama we’ve seen a thousand times The potentially novel concept of having other Spider-Men to help our hero through these trials was already done to much greater effect in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which is still the reigning champion for the best Spider-Man movie, by the way.

However, if you are going into Spider-Man: No Way Home for the same reason everyone else is—to see the best parts of the last 20 years of the character all together at once—then be sure to check this one out when you can.