Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon
Director: Jon Watts
Running Time: 148 mins
Spider-Man: No Way Home is an American film and the twenty-seventh film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After his identity as Spider-Man is revealed, Peter Parker asks Doctor Strange to cast a spell to hide his identity once again. However, when the spell goes awry, Peter and his friends find themselves at the centre of a battle that encompasses multiple similar universes.
Undoubtedly the Marvel film with the highest stakes since Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: No Way Home is a glorious marriage of thrilling storytelling and boundless imagination, bringing together past Spider-Man films from beyond the MCU in a way that’s not only hugely crowd-pleasing, but opens up a whole new world of opportunities for this franchise into the future.
But before we get into how No Way Home fits into the wider context of superhero cinema, let’s talk about the film itself. On the whole, this is a hugely entertaining blockbuster that’s filled with action right from the get-go, not to mention the countless villains and heroes that appear throughout to do battle with one another.
With spectacular visual effects and fast pacing, this film is a heap of fun at every moment, while a strong screenplay brings gripping emotional depth into play as well, heightening the stakes of every moment both for Peter Parker and his friends, and for the fate of the universe as a whole too.
It’s an enormous improvement on Spidey’s last outing in the MCU, Far From Home, which both lacked stakes and a particularly interesting story, although this latest film still doesn’t quite have the down-to-earth schoolboy charm of the first Spider-Man movie in this franchise, Homecoming.
With all that said, this film would be nothing without the years and years of comic book lore it uses to turn a run-of-the-mill save the world story into something truly special. If you’ve never seen an MCU movie before, and if you’ve never seen any other Spider-Man movie before, No Way Home may not be the easiest comic book blockbuster to understand.
However, with references and cameos galore, this is a film that rewards Marvel and Spider-Man fans to the extreme. If you’ve seen Sam Raimi’s trilogy and the two Amazing Spider-Man movies, then there’s so much detail to this film which you’ll adore, and while some moments are pure fan service, others do have a little more of a role to play.
In the lead role, Tom Holland is once again hugely entertaining as Spider-Man, while Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Doctor Strange, and Zendaya and Jacob Batalan delight as Peter Parker’s friends, who get caught up in his adventures yet again.
And with such a wide ensemble cast, with the likes of Alfred Molina returning as Doctor Octopus, Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin, Jamie Foxx as Electro, and so many more, Spider-Man: No Way Home is a film that uses a boundless imagination to turn what could have been a messy, bloated comic book blockbuster into a genuinely novel experience.
Brilliantly utilising the beloved history of past Spider-Man films, as well as integrating its story with the wider progression of a post-Endgame MCU, No Way Home is the biggest turning point in the franchise, and its many twists and turns are not only exciting to watch, but they also open up a world of possibilities in future films, helping to give the MCU a powerful, exhilarating motivation once again after Endgame.
Of course, so much of what happens in Spider-Man: No Way Home is shrouded in secrecy, so I’ll hold off from mentioning anything else in future. But it remains to be said that this is a hugely entertaining blockbuster in its own right, and also an imaginative, high-stakes and maybe even groundbreaking entry into the MCU, now surely one of cinema’s most legendary franchises. So, that’s why I’m giving Spider-Man: No Way Home an 8.0 overall.