Spider-Man: No Way Home finds Peter Parker (Tom Holland) dealing with the fallout of his identity being exposed. Many people believe that he is a murderer and the lives of his loved ones are being compromised because of his actions. He seeks out Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to cast a spell to make people forget that he is Spider-Man. However, the spell goes haywire and the Spider-Man villains from other live-action universes with Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire in the titular role are now causing havoc in the MCU.
So, this film is very hard to talk about without delving into spoilers. I want everyone to get the chance to see this film first, so I will not be detailing the various plot points in this review. I will mainly be stuck talking about the performances in the film, which are all very good.
Tom Holland is the best he has been in this film. He is my favorite of the live-action Spider-Men, but his Spider-Man films have never been my favorite. He really felt like Spider-Man to me in this film and I found it refreshing that Tony Stark’s shadow did not loom over him here. My biggest peeve about the MCU’s Spider-Man thus far was that he never felt independent of Tony Stark or the Avengers. He is not totally independent from the MCU heroes here as Doctor Strange appears, but his role is not one of a mentor. Another thing I liked is that Peter and MJ’s (Zendaya) relationship is really at the heart of this film more than anything.
Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin has always been my favorite Spider-Man villain performance and he is absolutely fantastic here. He was honestly the highlight of the film for me. Alfred Molina as Doc Ock is similarly very good in his performance, but he does not have as much to do. I did want to see a bit more from him just because I enjoyed his performance in Spider-Man 2 so much. Jaime Foxx as Electro had more of a satisfying role in this film, but I felt that they did forget about Sandman and the Lizard sometimes. They were the two least developed villains that came back.
My biggest gripe about the film has to do with some of the editing. A lot happens in this film, so it moves at a very fast pace. I think we could have had more time at the beginning of the film to establish the consequences of what happened in Far From Home. The FBI and government officials investigating Peter’s involvement with the death of Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a really glossed over plot point. Also, it was sometimes hard to follow the battle that happens in the third act.
Overall, Spider-Man: No Way Home delivers. It exceeded my expectations as I was worried that the film would be too busy, but it actually takes time to show what Spider-Man stands for. No Way Home is not only a great film about Spider-Man, but is actually one of the best Spider-Man films we have. It has a satisfying story and character arc for Tom Holland, while giving the fans various things to totally geek out about.
I give Spider-Man: No Way Home an A-