Review of 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'

spider-man_no_way_home.jpg If you have not seen Spider-Man: Far from Home then best you don't read any further as “No Way Home” follows directly on from the dramatic conclusion of this film. Still reading? Honestly, don't if you haven't seen the other film. Right, I am assuming that is enough of a warning, on with the review!

“No Way Home” sees Peter Parker's (Tom Holland) secret identity as Spider-Man revealed to the world and the somewhat predictable consequences including not only the loss of his private life but also causing his, MJ (Zendaya) and Ned's (Jacob Batalon) applications to MIT to be rejected due to the publicity. Wanting things to return to normal he contacts Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to see if he can help. When Strange begins to weave a spell of forgetfulness Peter ends up distracting him and the spell goes awry resulting in a fracture of the walls between universes. Through the fracture we meet up several foes of Spider-Man this particular Spider-Man has never seen before including Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), The Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), The Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), and Electro (Jamie Foxx). These new threats are quickly imprisoned by a magical device provided by Strange but before he can banish them back to their inevitable death at the hand of their own Spider-Men in their own universes Parker stops Strange, determined to cure the villains and, ultimately, save them. This won't be easy.

This is the third Spider-Man staring Tom Holland and this one sees him face the challenge of not only multiple foes but of also curing them. To be fair, they are quickly compliant to his plan (with a couple of notable exceptions, and, of course, it wouldn't be exciting if things go slightly awry). It is great seeing them all of the big screen again though there is an even greater surprise awaiting in the later half of the film that I will not spoil here but it really does tie a lot of the “multi-verse” together – A great idea by the way, reconciling the different incarnations of Spider-Man on the big screen into a single narrative. Holland is really hitting his stride and is still quite amusing to watch as he stumbles through life though much more confident as a superhero. It is also great to see Cumberbatch back as Dr Strange though, to be honest, I can pretty much watch him in any film as he has such a great talent and presence.

There are a lot of surprises here but the world never really is in big trouble until the last 30 minutes or so. In the other two hours of the film, we are just there for the thrill of the ride and quite a thrill it is though it does also get quite talky-talky and self-reflective in the final reels that just starts to grate when all hell breaks lose and we are back into some more action.

For those willing to wait through the credits there is a short sequence in the middle featuring Venom then after the credits there is what amounts to a trailer for the next Doctor Strange film (“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” due in 2022).

“No Way Home” resolves a lot of lose threads from the previous Spider-Man films and ultimately satisfies fans with the conclusion. This is not an all-out action flick a la the Avengers, but it is a much more easy-going, fun film that most should really enjoy.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2021-12-30

Directed by: Jon Watts

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Year: 2021

Length: 148 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Jon Watts: