Movies For Breakfast SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME Review

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Hold on Spider-Man 2, there’s a new contender for best Spider-Man movie of all time.

Synopsis

With Spider-Man’s identity now revealed, Peter asks Doctor Strange for help. When a spell goes wrong, dangerous foes from other worlds start to appear, forcing Peter to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.


Review
Spider-Man: No Way Home is finally upon us bringing Tom Holland back as Spider-Man/Peter Parker for a third time. Once again directed by Jon Watts who has directed the previous two Spider-Man films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Returning for this movie are Zendaya as MJ, Jacob Batalon as Ned, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May Parker, Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson, and Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan. Joining for this time though is Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Benedict Wong as Wong, and J.K. Simmons as J Jonah Jameson who was introduced in the end credits scene of Spider-Man Far From Home. Also joining the movie as the villains come Willem Dafoe as Normal Osborn/Green Goblin, Alfred Molina as Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus, and Thomas Haden Church as Flint Marko/Sandman from the Raimi trilogy of Spider-Man movies along with Rhys Ifan as Curt Connors/Lizard and Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man movies. Needless to say, this movie is packed with a lot of people both from previous MCU films, and first-time appearances of these characters into the MCU.

The movie starts off exactly where the end credits scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home left off with Peter Parkers identity being revealed by Mysterio through the Daily Bugle run by J Jonah Jameson. Following the events of that movie Peter Parker is now known throughout the city as Spider-Man and is blamed for the damage in London and the death of the supposed hero Mysterio. Alongside him his friends MJ and Ned are also held accountable for the events as well as his caretaker Aunt May and Happy Hogan. Beyond the legal trouble he is possibly in, Peter must also face his new life where everyone knows his identity. While other heroes have had their identity known to the public, Peter is still a kid and is growing up. So the hatred he gets from people who see him as a killer, and even the admiration he gets from people who see him as a hero really weighs him down. Peter is about to leave High School and start going to College, and with the new unwanted attention it makes his life difficult to go through his day to day. Especially when it starts effecting his family and friends who are forced to live in a more secure place or now denied a chance at college admission due to their association to Peter. With this in mind, Peter decides to ask Doctor Strange for assistance in making everyone forget that Peter is Spider-Man. While Doctor Strange agrees to help Peter with this, after Peter attempts to tamper with the spell so the people around him like MJ, Ned, and Aunt May don’t forget him the spell goes wrong. This ends up bringing people into their world from alternate universes that know Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Including the villains from previous Spider-Man movies such as Doctor Otto Octavius from Spider-Man 2 and Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Having been transported from their own universe right before their eventual death at the hands of the Spider-Man from their universe. Instead of sending them back though Peter opts to try and save these villains so they can survive the events of their respective universes. While some are more open to the idea, others are not as inclined to allow themselves be ‘cured’ from their powers.

While there is a lot going, a lot of time and care is put into the pacing for the film. Even with all the villains being from the previous movies this is still a story revolving around Tom Hollands version of Peter Parker. He is still a kid and he is dealing with a lot and trying to protect the people around him and even these strangers that have come into this world. Some of which want nothing more than to kill him and take over this new world with the second chance they have. This movie finally pushes Peter to be his own person, and no longer the understudy or replacement for Iron Man since his death in Endgame. While the first two movies felt like Iron Man movies featuring Spider-Man as the lead role due to the villains and their intentions, here these villains feel like Spider-Man villains. They might not be directly tied to this Spider-Man, but the fact that Spider-Man wants to help them and their being here is his own fault. This isn’t because Tony Stark did something and Peter is dealing with the consequences, this is all on Peter’s shoulders and he needs to find a way to deal with it on his own. This is hands down the best performance we have seen of Tom Holland in this role, and one of the best ways to allow him to grow into his own hero he wants to be. The faithful line With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility finally hits this Peter as he deals with his own direct screw-up instead of someone else’s. A major facet of the Peter Parker character in previous movie iterations, cartoons, and comics that felt missing from Tom Hollands in the past two movies as he dealt with the consequences of someone else’s actions which would still end up being tied up by that person in the end.

Outside of Tom Holland we get some amazing performances from the rest of the cast. Zendaya as MJ and Jacob Batalon as Ned bring more emotion to this movie than they have in the previous films. Really making the friendship between the three feel like more than just High School friends they are willing to put their life on the line for Peter’s sake and their performances sell it greatly in this movie. Then as expected when the casting was announced Willem Defoe absolutely steals the spotlight whenever he is on screen either as the sympathetic Normal Osborn or psychotic Green Goblin. He brings back the character from the first Spider-Man movie all the way back in 2002 perfectly. Then Alfred Molina manages to jump back into the role of Otto Octavius without any issue, bringing the mad scientist back to life for a second time on the big screen. Jamie Foxx also gets plenty of chances to shine, reprising his role as Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (no longer sporting the blue color) who does manage to bring the character back to life in an even better way than his initial offering. The three manage to play off each other a bit, being together for the first time in these roles in a single movie.


Closing Thoughts
Spider-Man No Way Home manages to bring together the collective energy of every past Spider-Man movie without needing to lean on them to make a great movie. The first of the Tom Holland Spider-Man movies to make Tom Holland seem like the Spider-Man we know and love from the comics, with a lot being setup to give us what could be the best possible Spider-Man we could ask for on the big screen in the future. While the movie is packed with a lot of people, it manages to take its time and pace itself perfectly for a well-rounded movie with a lot fun, jokes, action, and emotions that leave the viewers unable to know what is coming. In what is probably one of the most well rounded of the Spider-Man movies to date, it’s a very welcome addition to the franchise and leads a lot of excitement for what will come next. Fans of the previous movies will get plenty to enjoy from the easter eggs and references of the past, while setting up the real future of Spider-Man.


Trailer