After months of ducking spoilers, scrolling past wild fan theories and actually going so far as to mute the names of certain actors on social media, I was finally able to sit down and enjoy the eagerly anticipated Spider-Man: No Way Home this evening. And boy was it worth the wait.
Before I get started, I should confirm that I’m not going to delve into any spoilers here. No transparent attempts at cryptic hints, no sledgehammer-subtle allusions, just my genuine thoughts on the latest offering in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Skipping over the plot itself, which as we all broadly know involves Peter Parker and Doctor Strange effectively breaking the Multiverse by trying to erase the fact that everyone now knows Parker is really Spider-Man, this is pretty much the MCU in its purest form. The action is stunning, the emotional beats hit incredibly hard and the comedy is, overlooking a few minor misfires, well delivered throughout.
For my personal taste, it perhaps veers a little too heavily into the realm of all-out comedy at times, although that’s probably a criticism I could levy at about 75% of all MCU offerings. As I say though, that’s more of a personal thing than a genuine criticism, and all the leads all do an equally cracking job with both the comic timing and the meaty emotional beats, meaning that while the tone throughout is definitely a bit inconsistent, it’s never less than thoroughly enjoyable.
The plot does feel a bit jumbled at times, groaning under the weight of its own ambition and and relying way too heavily on Holland’s charming performance to carry the viewer from set piece to set piece. Thankfully, Holland is incredibly likeable as always, and this latest outing pretty much cements his position as the emotional heart of the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving forwards – a role he has seamlessly taken over from Robert Downey Jr.
Visually, it’s a great looking movie, featuring some of the best CGI that we’ve seen to date, and boasting cinematography that mostly manages to keep track of the frequently spinny, jumpy action set pieces that Spidey has become known for. We are treated to a pleasing array of locations, chief among them a welcome return to Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, and the showstopping finale has plenty of visual oomph.
At the end of the day then, and in spite of its relatively minor flaws, No Way Home gets my highest recommendation, although I’d definitely suggest trying to see it sooner rather than later before online douchebags and click-hungry “news sites” spoil it to within an inch of its life. And, while the tone was all over the place to the point where it almost felt like two separate writing teams battling for supremacy, in terms of sheer bombastic ‘event comic’ spectacle, No Way Home delivers all the big-screen MCU goodness you could possibly hope for.