The Marvel universe has topped itself yet again with Spider-Man: No Way Home, a film that offers fun on many, many levels.
Tom Holland cements himself as the best actor to wear the Spidey suit as this film resumes where the last left off—with Peter Parker revealed as Spider-Man. That leads to a lot of unwanted paparazzi bullshit, so Peter seeks a solution with old-pal Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch, who had an astounding 2021). The two concoct a plan to cast a spell that will make the world forget Peter is Spidey … but things go awry during the spell-building, and crazy stuff happens.
This crazy stuff includes villains from previous Spidey films making their way into Peter’s universe, so Spider-Man soon finds himself squaring off with strangers like Dr. Otto Octavius, aka Doc Ock (Alfred Molina); Max Dillon, aka Electro (Jamie Foxx); and Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe, who nearly steals the movie), just to name a few.
Director Jon Watts has a lot to deal with here, and he does it splendidly, balancing a lot of characters while somehow giving them all depth and soul. (This is the Magnolia of superhero movies.) Watts doesn’t fall into the trap of fan service just for the sake of fan service. (I’m looking at you Rise of Skywalker and Ghostbusters: Afterlife.) While fans will undoubtedly be happy to see all the familiar faces, this movie is a jam-packed adventure in its own right.
Holland remains endearingly sweet and physically impressive in the lead role, giving Spidey a representation that’s most faithful to the comics. Zendaya is the perfect MJ, with solid comic timing that goes perfectly with that of Jacob Batalon’s Ned Leeds. (They have a lot of screen time together.) Marisa Tomei continues to rule as May Parker, and it’s always fun to see Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan.
This probably won’t be Holland’s last take on the role, but it would be totally fine if it were. Spider-Man: No Way Home is the sort of solid trilogy closer Sam Raimi was shooting for and missed with his clunky Spider-Man 3 (2007). The movie astounds frame after frame—and reminds you that fun, original movies, featuring worlds of constant possibilities, can still be made.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is playing at theaters across the valley.