SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME

Everyone has a favorite version of Spider-Man. From Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s 1960’s original comic books, the late 1970’s television show, or Sam Raimi’s 2002 film that spawned many sequels, reboots and remakes, most of us relate to a specific Spider- Man at a specific time in our life. How much you like or even love Spider-Man will go a long way as to how much you enjoy Spider-Man: No Way Home.

For the first time in cinematic history, Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) has his identity revealed to the world. With the media treating him as a villain, Peter goes into hiding with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), his girlfriend MJ (Zendaya), and his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon). Peter decides to approach Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in the hopes of conjuring up a spell that will return his anonymity. Reluctantly, Doctor Strange agrees and the spell goes horribly wrong. Instead of concealing Peter’s identity, the spell pulls in villains from parallel dimensions. Parker is immediately thrust into a world in which Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina), Electro (Jamie Foxx), and Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) vengefully want to see Spider- Man’s demise. Peter and his friends just want to go to college.

To reveal any more of the plot of Spider-Man: No Way Home would be a tremendous disservice to the uninitiated. While the first half of the film takes a slow-burn approach, the second half is a love letter to all Spider-Man fans, as if it was twenty years in the making. Director Jon Watts does a masterful job juggling an extremely expansive narrative over a rather large 150-minute runtime, but the film wouldn’t hold as much resonance if it weren’t for Holland. Dare we say that Tom Holland has become the superlative Spider-Man for a new generation? Spider- Man: No Way Home is Marvel’s most ambitious movie to date. It is Marvel’s best movie to date. More importantly, it immediately vaults into the conversation as the best comic book movie ever made. Sure, the gravitas is brought on by a tremendous amount of fan service, but it’s that very same fan service that will send moviegoers to the exits with a tear in their eyes and a lump in their throats. Isn’t that why we go to the movies? Spider-Man: No Way Home is a crowning cinematic achievement.

By SCOTT PETERSON
cinesportstalk.com
@CineSportsTalk