Ever since his debut in Captain America: Civil War, I’ve always enjoyed Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man as he perfectly captures how it would be for a funny but smart teenager to be a superhero. Not only did he help bring Sony’s cinematic webcrawler into Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, he instantly became an emotional center to the Avengers, as evidenced by his relationship with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) that peaked in Avengers: Endgame. Is someone cutting onions in here?
Donning the spider suit for the fifth time, we now come to Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is quite possibly the webhead’s best cinematic outing yet thanks to building on the nostalgia and fun from all of the previous Spidey films.
Just in case for those who haven’t seen 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, certain events that occur at the end of that film lead everyone to learn that Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is *gasp!* Spider-Man. As you can already imagine, this completely messes up not only his life, but those close to him as well, namely his girlfriend MJ (Zendaya) and his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon).
In an attempt to make things right, Peter enlists the help of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) who can cast a spell and make everyone forget he’s Spider-Man. As Strange is working on the spell, Peter keeps interfering with his concentration by asking him to modify it so some people close to him still remember he’s Spidey. This in turn causes Strange to accidentally crack open the multiverse where infinite versions of everything reside.
At first it seems like Doctor Strange was able to contain it with no harm, but we quickly realize that villains from the previous Spider-Man films starring Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are popping up all over the city causing chaos. We’re talking some of Spidey’s biggest enemies such as the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina), Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), the Lizard (Rhys Ifans), and even Electro (Jamie Foxx).
Needless to say, Peter is going to need all of the help he can get in order to round these baddies up and find a way to get them back home, which will be a pain even with Doctor Strange’s assistance. Thankfully the multiverse also grants a few heroes to help out that I won’t dare spoil, but I’m pretty sure if you’ve seen Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse you’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect.
Not only did I love this aspect of the film, but I also loved how this movie ties in nearly all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) together at long last, from characters that were on the Netflix Marvel shows (which made me grin from ear to ear when I saw them), to other characters from Marvel’s side films, let’s just say the gang’s all here. I was also impressed how they gave some of the villains another chance at making a good impression, as they’re portrayed by really talented actors that weren’t given a fair shake the first time around (*cough* Electro, Sandman, Lizard *cough*).
I’ve also seen some reviews talking about how this is too much of a good thing, but let’s face it, if you’re a comic book movie fan, there’s no such thing as you’ll take all you can get. This reminds me of another recent Sony film that plays on nostalgia and fun from days past, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which I also enjoyed and recommend. And as with that film, you’ll want to stick around during and after the credits for even more fun surprises.
I would love to go deeper into this film and talk about what makes it awesome, but that would seriously ruin the fun and surprises that you owe it to yourself to experience if you’re a fan of the webhead and the character’s previous films. But trust me when I say Spider-Man: No Way Home is one of Marvel’s best and is the perfect holiday gift we needed at the end of a rough year.