Part of me wants to go the coward’s way, and not even review Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Easily the most anticipated movie since Avengers: Endgame, I will do all I can to be sure not to spoil anything for anyone, provided they have at least seen the two trailers for the film (and while this may be too little too late, stay away from the movies IMDB page).
The film literally picks up right where we last left Peter Park (Tom Holland) at the end of Spider-Man: Far from Home. He has started dating MJ (Zendaya), but the young couple’s bliss is soon thrown the worst of curves when it is reported by J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons, in arguably the most perfect example of casting in the history of comic book movies) that Peter is indeed Spider-Man. Jameson undoubtably has no qualms about laying his “evidence” on thick (he is basically Alex Jones minus the pro wrestler voice). This of course affects more than him and MJ, but Ned (Jacob Batalon), Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), and dear old Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau).
The only real solution Peter sees is in his old friend from the Avengers, Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). The plan is simple: make everyone forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Thing is (as we see in the trailer), there are a few people Peter is okay with knowing his secret. Things do go rather haywire, and we find out that the multiverse has been tampered with. Pretty soon, we see villains from previous films including Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), Electro (Jamie Foxx), and others.
There, that is as far as I will go describing the movie plot wise. Sure, there is more about the movie I could say that I liked, but to do so would be to spoil it, and I would not want to do that.
It is not much of a spoiler to say that the CGI is pretty standard here that we have seen in other films. The real power lies in the emotional aspects of the characters in the scenes. This is proved all the more so in the final fight of the film.
Parents, the first two films of the Tom Holland Spider-Man Trilogy (both directed by Jon Watts) were light fare. This film is far darker in tone, despite having many good comic moments. There is just some innuendo moments and inferred things as far as sexual content goes. There are some scary moments for young kids (one returning actor as a Spidey villain can still steal the show with their presence alone). Middle school and up.
One thing I was not expecting was a sense of closure for certain characters (one has a moment near the end that will kick your insides out emotionally. You will know which one.) By the end of the film, Peter Parker’s character reminded me a lot of a certain film character from a classic Hollywood film of the 1940s. I won’t say who (again, you may put two and two together and spoil it), but affected me rather strongly the more I thought about the comparison.
There are some notably flaws (certain moments drag on, etc), but we walk away from the movie the way we did the aforementioned Avengers: Endgame. Not remembering plot mechanics but certain moments.
Is this the best Spider-Man movie ever? I’m still working it out. It is clearly in the top three with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) and Spider-Man 2 (2004). I remember the time when a Spider-Man movie would be considered bad because it had too many villains, mainly Spider-Man 3 (2007) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014). When I asked my little brother Jackson (who is insistent I am dead wrong when I don’t think this film is the best movie ever) why more villains works this time around, he gave a solid answer that I can’t reveal.
You will find out when you see this film.
Oh, how I hope Disney and Sony can get along still.