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“Spider-Man: No Way Home” Review: An Epic, Emotional Love Letter to Spider-Man

How does the saying go? “With great risks, comes great payoffs,” or something along those lines… but that’s exactly what Spider-Man: No Way Home did. The latest Marvel film of Phase 4 has finally dropped and fans could not be more excited about how this movie wraps up Tom Holland’s Spider-Man saga, at least for now. 

Directed by Jon Watts once again, the movie picks up after the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home as Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhal) revealed Peter Parker’s identity to the public. Peter now must face the pressure of the general public and maintain his personal relationships with MJ (Zendaya), Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), and Ned (Jacob Batalon), while battling old enemies from other universes, or shall I say the “SonyVerse.” 

Unlike Far From Home where the tone of the film feels like an uneven mix of teen rom-com and superhero action,  No Way Home fixes all the problems by jumping directly into the story and never loses its beat until the big final climax. The film also challenges Peter with his gravest threat yet while retaining what Spider-Man represents. 

Writers Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna did the seemingly impossible task of juggling multiple characters while paying homage to the past 20 years of Spider-Man films. Most of the characters have the most satisfying story arc we’ve seen in the MCU yet, which is something the Eternals’ writers can take note of. 

Tom Holland’s Spidey is the most mature he’s ever been, which is something that has been lacking for the character after being in five Marvel films. Holland knocked it out of the park with his best performance yet as Peter. Similarly, most of the cast delivered an amazing performance. Zendaya’s MJ has grown the most since the audience first met her, Tomei’s Aunt May finally plays a bigger role in Peter’s life, Ned also matured and had newfound confidence by the end. 

As for the villains, all of the actors did a phenomenal job and reminded the audience what makes them great villains in the first place. Willem Dafoe’s classic Norman Osborn is as terrifying as ever, and he proved once again why Green Goblin is perhaps Spider-Man’s best villain. Seeing Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx back on screen as villains is something no one would ever imagine five years ago, and it for sure pays off. 

Although the villains stole the show, none of them overstayed their welcome and each one of them had their chance to shine without using too much nostalgic factor. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange seems like an odd choice to add magic into the Spider world at first, but he didn’t overshadow the movie and the two characters have surprisingly great chemistry and one-liners. 

While the story is full of funny moments and countless easter eggs, Sommers and McKenna never lose the heart and the emotions of the story. By the end of the film, you will be cheering and crying about just how well executed the story is and how much Peter has grown and embodied the meaning of Spider-Man. 

Spider-Man: No Way Home is the epitome of fan service without doing too much. It is very much a love letter to all the Spider-Man movies that have come before and an excitement for what is next. With great directing, writing, and performances, No Way Home is one of the best Spider-Man movies alongside Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Into The Spiderverse (2018).


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