SPOILER-FREE: SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME (2021)
With expectations higher than any film since perhaps Avengers Endgame, Spider-Man: No Way Home finally swings into theaters this week with the promise of multiversal implications and the anticipated return of old friends. Does it live up to the hype? Surprisingly, it exceeds it. Spider-Man: No Way Home is a fun, intense, nostalgic climax to Jon Watts’ trilogy that absolutely delivers on all fronts.
After the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the Web-Slinger must deal with a world that knows his true identity as Peter Parker, a revelation impacting not only him, but those he loves. When he turns to Doctor Strange for help, a spell goes wrong and chaos ensues, leading to the arrival of familiar foes. No Way Home is the best of the Watts trilogy, a multilayered explosion of superhero action, emotion, and excitement that never once wains. Tom Holland delivers his most sincere, raw performance and truly quarterbacks the entire film, a big task given the complexity and vastness of the story. Zendaya and Jacob Batalon are given more to work with in the third installment and knock every scene out of the park, solidifying this trio as one of my favorites in the MCU. Benedict Cumberbatch also adds a maturity to the cast that we’ve seen carried in previous Spider-Man films by Robert Downey Jr and Jake Gyllenhaal, but here it’s more of a passing of the torch as Holland’s hero rises to the occasion.
Without getting into spoiler territory, I can say that this is one of the most emotional MCU entries we’ve ever received, an unexpected turn for a trio of films that has been grounded in youth and comic fun. As has been an issue in previous Spider-Man films (namely Sam Raimi’s third entry), the concern here is in the balancing of all that the film attempts to pull off, but Watts knocks it out of the park. The story development is peppered with an extensive array of jaw-dropping action sequences. The cinematography and effects take No Way Home to the next level, aided by a dynamic score that represents a collision of the past and present.
I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I said “holy shiitake mushrooms” out loud multiple times. Spider-Man: No Way Home is an absolute blast from start to finish.
Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters this Friday.
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