With Spider-Man’s identity now revealed, Peter asks Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) 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.
In 2019, we got Spider-Man: Far From Home. It was an ok film, not bad but also not astoundingly great. Well ‘No Way Home’ is the antithesis of that film. It is brilliant. I cannot express it any better, or simpler, than that. So why is it so brilliant?
Well first of all let’s kick off with the general story. We catch up with Tom Holland’s Peter Parker directly after the events of Far From Home. As you’d expect, Peter is a bit taken aback to put it lightly. His life is instantly turned upside down, and he is blamed for the death of Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal)leading to a full police investigation and calling on the need for some lawyer help. That’s all I will say about that. This kicks off Peter’s want to clear his name from the minds of 99% of people, outside of his Aunt, girlfriend MJ (Zendaya), best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) and the list actually ends up going on, to the point of breaking one Doctor Strange’s spell. This spell, well, it doesn’t go to plan and fully opens the multiverse within the MCU – the first time we see the ramifications of multiverse within the MCU after hints in WandaVision and Loki.
With a badly messed up spell, we begin what is a truly rollercoaster story that makes your jaw drop and head spin. Without sharing spoilers I am going to try to keep to the two key reasons why this film is a new high, not just for the MCU, but for superhero films generally. First of all, we have seen previous Spider-Man films struggle to balance the character arcs of several villains and heroes. Well, it is safe to say that NWH nails this. There are roughly 10 key character arcs, and every single one is written, developed and acted beautifully. From Peter’s family ties to the selection of multiverses villains (these are another highlight in their own right) and including Peters arc itself. You feel for every character’s point of view, reasoning and you understand them on a truly human level. All within 2 hours 30 minutes. I am unsure how director Jon Watts and writers Erik Summers and Chris McKenna managed this, but we really have to appreciate what they have put together.
The final big reason why this film made my jaw drop, was the pure nostalgia of it, and the sense of love that has been threaded through it. It is hard to write too much around nostalgia in this film, but let me say that this film made me feel like 7 year old all over again, and for that, I am truly thankful to NWH. More than anything though, this film felt like I has been truly made out of love Love for Spider-Man, love for the history of superhero films, and love for building the future of the genre. It didn’t feel generic or rushed, it felt unique, special and above all truly wondrous. Few films have ever made me feel so amazed, or like I was witnessing something iconic, but ‘No Way Home’ did, and did it with style.
We had Infinity War and Endgame but No Way Home feels like something fresh and unique. Less focus on the MCU, and more focussed on characters that all deserve redemption or a completed story arc. Tom Holland gives us his best version of Parker, whilst Watts puts together a huge puzzle of concepts and characters with incredibly successful results.