Spider-Man: No Way Home review: Tom Holland slings in with action, emotion and a great twist

Familiar faces also make their presence felt in a big way in the new film.



Photos: AP
Photos: AP

By Husain Rizvi

Published: Thu 16 Dec 2021, 11:07 AM

Spider-Man: No Way Home has finally made its way to the big screens after delays that are the new normal in a pandemic-struck world. The highly anticipated film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is bigger than just Peter Parker’s friendly-neighbourhood pursuits. Well, he’s not just a neighbourhood Spidey anymore as witnessed in previous instalments.

The film picks up from the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, where the nerdy gang – Parker, played by Tom Holland, his girlfriend MJ and best friend Ned, played by Zendaya and Jacob Batalon respectively – return from a trip-gone-wrong.

It begins with the unmasking of Spiderman, thanks to Mysterio, a familiar face, one of many, who returns to his old ways. This time, Jonah Jameson, played by J.K. Simmons, the grumpy editor of Daily Bugle from Sam Raimi’s three-part directorial, or as people call it – the O.G Spider-Man series starring Tobey Maguire – is convinced the “masked menace” is up to no good.

That means trouble for the ambitious nerdy gang awaiting college acceptance; Parker is forced to ask a favour from our favourite wizard, Doctor Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. The two plot to unravel Mysterio’s shenanigans.

A spell, however, could push things to how they were but there is a catch – no one, not even MJ or aunt May (Marisa Tomei) would know the identity of Spider-Man and that doesn’t sit well with Parker who manages to mess up the spell, paving way for MCU’s new talking point, the multiverse, and, for the fans, nostalgia.

We will not spoil the movie for you but if you have already watched the trailer, you would know the return of the villains from the era of Raimi and Marc Webb (director of The Amazing Spider-Man films). Now, Peter, and the guys on the chair, set out to right wrongs with countless familiar faces, all paid a final tribute in a fitting manner after a gripping and emotional final battle.

It is hard to top the bar when the previous instalments made the legendary Iron Man a.k.a Tony Stark, a fan-favourite character’s presence strongly felt. Now, Holland’s on-screen father/mentor figure is gone but Watts manages to fill the void by bringing in fan-favourites from other universes and that is the film’s USP.

No Way Home certainly has no loopholes, no loose ends, yet, somehow, it feels the story of Holland’s Spider-Man has just begun. The Jon Watts-directorial hammers the audience with a twist, leaving us to question Parker’s inception as the superhero and future at the same time. Now that speculations of another sequel with Holland are underway, the first time a fourth Spider-Man movie with the same ‘Spidey’ would be made, it will be like heading inside a tunnel with no headlights, thanks to the hard-hitting twist. Suffice to say, No Way Home changes everything.

This image released by Sony Pictures shows Benedict Cumberbatch, left, and Tom Holland in Columbia Pictures' 'Spider-Man: No Way Home.' (Sony Pictures via AP)
This image released by Sony Pictures shows Benedict Cumberbatch, left, and Tom Holland in Columbia Pictures' "Spider-Man: No Way Home." (Sony Pictures via AP)

The MCU is now, also open to the multiverse, something even Doctor Strange has no fair knowledge about. That means, more madness, as Strange’s upcoming standalone film title suggests, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, in which we will see another Avenger, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, marking her return after the bewitching events of Westview.

Verdict

Kudos to Watts and the writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers for delivering a gripping holiday present, especially for Marvel fans who are glued to their seats until the end. Holland continues to prove why he is a worthy candidate for the recently surfaced “best Spider-Man” debate. No Way Home has all the action, emotion, and storyline you need this holiday season.

Rating: 4/5

Cast: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch

Director: Jon Watts

husain@khaleejtimes.com


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