“Spider-Man: No Way Home” combines fan service and heart to produce greatest Spidey film to date

Doctor+Strange+attempts+to+make+the+world+forget+that+Peter+Parker+is+Spider-Man+in+Spider-Man%3A+No+Way+Home.+The+film+is+now+playing+in+theaters.

Disney

Doctor Strange attempts to make the world forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” The film is now playing in theaters.

By Noah Sparkman, Rutherford B. Hayes High School

It is here.
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” is a film that needs no introduction. A multiversal hodge-podge of MCU Spider-Man characters combined with villains from the past two Spider-Man series, the film stands to offer up crossover potential that audiences could never even dream of.
We, as fans, have been here before. Both 2007’s “Spider-Man 3” and 2014’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” were similarly stuffed with characters, and those films ultimately crumbled under the weight of the many moving parts.
At the end of the day, though, it was simply impossible not to get excited about the prospect of seeing these fan-favorite villains on-screen again. As the wait for the film wore on, excitement reached an almost unprecedented level, and fans could only hope that the film delivered.
It is delightful to be able to say that “Spider-Man: No Way Home” not only lives up to the expectations placed upon it, but soars above them.
Let’s just get this out of the way: seeing the villains back on screen is just as much of a blast as everyone remembered.
A large portion of their success in the film is due to the fantastic performances throughout the film. Alfred Molina steps back into Dr. Otto Octavius like he never left, adding the same amount of elegance and sophistication that he brought to the role in 2004.
Meanwhile, Jamie Foxx gets to flex his comedic muscles in a massive improvement upon the previous iteration of his Electro.
In particular, though, it is Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn that turns in what could be the film’s finest performance. He picks up right where he left off as the scenery-chewing Green Goblin, delivering a turn that is equal parts menacing and thrilling to watch.
The praise for the ensemble does not stop there either, as Zendaya and Jacob Batalon once again turn in charming performances as MJ and Ned.

It is obvious that Parker has made a potentially reality-ending mistake, and watching him resolve it in his own unique way is one of the film’s greatest joys.”

Despite all of the returns, Tom Holland still manages to make it his movie. He delivers his most excellent performance as the web-slinger to date, perfectly capturing the heart and soul of the character of Spider-Man.
In that way, his performance is truly emblematic of the film as a whole. The film understands the character of Spider-Man so deeply and ultimately delivers a Spider-Man story for the ages.

Audiences should not be surprised to hear that all of the trouble in the story arises from Spidey himself. After his identity was outed by Mysterio in 2019’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” he rushes to Doctor Strange in an effort to use magic to conceal his secret once more.
Hijinks ensue, and without spoiling anything, Peter Parker finds himself with a problem he must fix: dealing with all of the new villains that have appeared.
Messing things up and righting them has long been Parker’s MO, but the previous MCU Spidey films have always felt so light in comparison to this installment, namely because there was always someone, like Iron Man or Nick Fury, to back Spider-Man up.
Now though, he has to grow up and figure out how to solve his problems on his own, and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is massively important for this reason. It is obvious that Parker has made a potentially reality-ending mistake, and watching him resolve it in his own unique way is one of the film’s greatest joys.
Make no mistake, the events of this film are just as heavy as the premise suggests. Before the film’s release, Holland promised that bad things would happen to Spider-Man in this film, and he certainly was not lying.
However, this darker tone brings with it an impact that the previous two installments lacked, and every moment of the film has a real emotional significance.
Along the way, the film holds a whole host of surprises, none of which I would dare spoil here, that will have viewers laughing, cheering, and even in tears.
However, throughout it all, Holland remains the focus. Parker’s undying optimism and commitment to doing what is right is infectious throughout the film, and the character’s development throughout the film is a sight to behold.
It all culminates in an ending that is just as heart-breaking as it is inspiring, and finally allows Holland to truly step into the character: no mentor needed. This conclusion to the film manages to miraculously be perhaps one of the most poignant sequences in the whole of the MCU, putting many other emotional climaxes in the series to shame.
I truly cannot remember the last time the third film in a franchise managed to pay off so many threads in such an immensely satisfying fashion, while still stoking excitement for a fourth installment.
By the time the credits roll, it is not a Spider-Man film, it is the Spider-Man film, masterfully encapsulating everything amazing about the character and displaying it all in one film.
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” is not only the best Spider-Man film to date, and not only one of Marvel Studios’ best films, but it is one of the best comic-book films ever made. If this is what the future of Spider-Man holds, the next film cannot come soon enough.

This story was originally published on Hayes Talisman on January 3, 2022.