Spider-Man: No Way Home Review: Tom Holland BREAKS the Spider-Man 3 curse with an emotional 'goodbye, hello'
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Spider-Man: No Way Home Cast: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch
Spider-Man: No Way Home Director: Jon Watts
Spider-Man: No Way Home Stars: 4/5
"With great power comes great responsibility," an iconic quote thrown around quite often, but in Spider-Man: No Way Home, holds more emotional value than ever before. Going through an array of hurdles, what with a COVID-19 pandemic on the loose, spoiler hawks in every loop and corner and let's not forget the "Spider-Man 3" curse, the Tom Holland starrer really had its work cut out for them. Did Spider-Man: No Way Home deliver at the end? Let's find out.
Starting from the same frame where the shocking post-credits of Spider-Man: Far From Home leaves us, with Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) revealing Spider-Man's identity as Peter Parker (Holland) through The Daily Bugle's J. Jonah Jameson (J. K. Simmons is still as delightfully rambunctious as ever!), Peter's life considerably takes a drastic turn and with him, his closed ones - Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), best friend Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) and girlfriend MJ (Zendaya) - are also severely affected. After getting shunned by a dream college, Peter enlists the help of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who reluctantly agrees to help Parker out.
Alas! Peter's age comes into play and a misspell summons in the unchartered territories of the dreaded multiverse as already teased in the many, many Disney+ shows that came out in 2021. Suddenly, all cards are on the table and everyone who has had a grudge against Spider-Man goes after MCU’s Peter. While Strange tries to disentangle the mess made, Parker has a change of heart and tries to help out the bad guys. But, as they say, be careful what you wish for! I won’t be able to say more than this because that would disrupt the excitement one would feel when watching it in cinema halls. But, if you’re a sucker for spoilers, here’s one; YES! YES! YES!
What Spider-Man: No Way Home excels at is the MCU success mantra; fan service aplenty, but never losing its narrative. In this case, the hero is very much Spider-Man and Tom Holland deserves a ton of credit for the emotional maturity attached to Peter because we’re reminded constantly how he’s just a teenager entrusted with being the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. Moreover, it’s his relationships that are a motif, keeping him going and thus pushing the narrative without ever feeling too stale. Whether it be through his youthful love for MJ, Ned’s undying loyalty and more importantly, May’s community principles infused in him. Tom craft-fully carries the weight of a beloved superhero, oscillating between an end of a story and an impending beginning of a new one.
With every hero, there needs to be a villain and shining bright, riding high on the nostalgia factor, you can’t help but feel giddy like a child as one mega bad guy after another butt heads with Peter. While Willem Dafoe doesn’t miss a beat as Green Goblin, Jamie Foxx adds his own quirky flavours to Electro and Alfred Molina as Dr. Octopus is a hilarious delight in his own might. What’s also fascinating is how each villain have their “Paul Rudd” ageless game on point as you’re transported back to former Spider-Man reiterations they popped over from. Benedict’s Doctor Strange is entrusted with the MCU brand comic fillers and he delivers on a grand sarcastic note. While Marisa finally gets her time to move away from a stereotypical cliche, Zendaya and Jacob are the perfect counterparts, bringing their real life equations with Tom to the big screen as a genuine box of emotions.
Like I’ve mentioned before, Spider-Man: No Way Home successfully manages to complete many character arcs, without compromising on our true hero: Spider-Man. While the movie is the perfect bow, wrapping the gift of three instalments, the ending is also very hopeful of what’s to come. P.S. The two post-credits is complete "madness," I would say!
What also sets Spider-Man: No Way Home apart from past movies is how realistic the action sequences are, which is saying a lot given how we’re dealing with superheroes here. Whether it be Peter and Strange’s mirror dimension scuffle or Parker and Green Goblin’s hard-hitting battle. Mauro Fiore’s cinematography comes blazing through in these action pieces, intricately worked through the production design of Darren Gilford and Clint Wallace. At a run time of around two and a half hours, editors Jeffrey Ford and Leigh Folsom Boyd do a commendable job at weaving the larger than life (all the pun intended!) multiversal aspect. Jon Watts, through Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers’ layered script, is able to bring the Homecoming series to a fulfilling full stop, whilst giving a righteous tease on what’s to come.
At no point in time will you be able to take your eyes off of Spider-Man: No Way Home, in particular the final act, which is the ultimate fan service of the past, present and future. All wrapped up as a Christmas gift of epic proportions.