With the Avengers disassembled after the events of “Endgame” and a crop of new stars on the rise still too early to take center stage, few crossover events have matched the grandiosity and attention beyond “Infinity War” and “Endgame.” After successfully rebooting Spider-man with Tom Holland into the MCU, we finally complete his “home trilogy” with a third installment to ambitious enough to prove not all trilogies collapse once we reach Roman numeral number 3. “Spider-man: No Way home” is in many ways a culmination of all Spider-man films that came before it, while also providing a cinematic cap off to all 3 Spider-man franchises simultaneously in one wondrous, crossover package. Let’s dive into the Multiverse and see if it all pays off.
Picking up directly after the events of “Spider-man: Far from home,” the world now knows that Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is the man behind the Spider-man mask. His life, his friends, his aunt (Marisa Tomei), and even his girlfriend (Zendaya) have their worlds turned upside down as the world refuses to give Parker one moment of peace. Desperate to undo this damage, Peter contacts Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to cast a spell to make everyone forget Spider-man is Peter Parker. Unfortunately, Peter disrupts the spell and causes pleather of villains from other Spider-man universes to invade; including Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Dr. Octopus (Alfred Molina), Electro (Jamie Foxx), and more. Now Spider-man must send the villains back before his life and his reality are torn apart in the wake of his greatest mistake.
Many franchises juggle their characters defining actors around with a roll of the dice. With Batman having 6 different actors to portray him on film, 3 for Hulk and now 3 for Spider-man, it can be hard to keep track of which version of a character people are most familiar with. “No way home” solves this problem by combining them into one, cross-dimensional collision that brings heroes and villains from 3 separate franchises and not only finds a logical way for them to fit together but also to improve and expand upon their own mythologies and stories left unexplained from previous installments. Spider-man learns his hardest lessons thanks to the stars of the past films and figures that came before him and does so in an exceptionally beautiful way.
No words can properly describe the chills that went down my spine when I saw Holland duking it out with Doc Ock from “Spider-man 2” and Electro from “Amazing Spider-man 2,” it was a fan spasm moment I never thought I would be able to witness. The story perfectly brings the iconic suffering in Parker’s life to the forefront; having his consequences affect his friends, his family, and even his school life is a painfully realistic and natural causality due to his actions. It’s a darker side we never got to see this Spider-man go through and Holland’s incredible performance captured the emotional impact and significance of this dramatic turn perfectly. By far though, the most incredible aspect of this film to behold is the use and interaction of the villains.
We see the likes of Sandman, Doc Ock, Green Goblin, and Lizard interacting with each other, learning of their individual fates and how their lives have been changed by Spider-man. It collects so many talented names and faces under one roof and develops them beyond being big bads; learning what makes them tick and how they feel learning about their lives and possible future when dealing with Spider-man. This is far more than a fan service film or even a flashy comic book action movie, this is the ultimate form of appreciation and collaboration of everything Spider-man is and ever was throughout all previous 7 films; even more so than “Into the Spider-verse.” This is a jam-packed, stellar sendoff that wows your eyes, attacks your heart, and mixes all those feelings together in one unforgettable trilogy topper that does everyone justice.
Overall, “Spider-man: No way home” is a dream-come-true-film that felt far more impossible and unlikely to happen than even the first “Avengers” film. Every hero, villain, minor, major and side character delivers their best work throughout all 3 co-existing franchises. This is not only the ultimate Spider-man movie of all time but also the film of the year and one of Marvel’s best of the best. If things ended here for Holland’s Spider-man then he’d be going out on the highest of high notes, but even though I doubt this entry can be topped, I cannot wait to see what the future holds in store for Spider-man. Don’t wait, don’t hesitate, buy/watch this movie ASAP and be amazed.
I give “Spider-man: No way home” 4 stars out of 4 stars.
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