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Spider-Man: No Way Home review – a beautiful heartbreak ★★★★★

6 mins read

Wow. Just wow, I simply don’t know where to begin, I’m completely speechless.

Do not worry, this is a spoiler-free zone.

Coming as one of the most anticipated films of the year, Spider-Man: No Way Home feels like a fever dream – in a good way. It’s a heartbreaking masterpiece combining phenomenal cinematography, brilliant acting and an epic score that brings a beautiful conclusion to the first MCU Spidey trilogy.

It attempts humour even during the sadder scenes, bringing out the true spirit of the ever-witty wall-crawler. It’s emotional and nostalgic, focusing more on the characters than the story.

Jon Watts directs a film full of Easter eggs, cameos and closures to characters from the present, as well as those from the past. Every comic book fan should leave the theatre satisfied with the modern and original rewrite of a timeless story. Because that is exactly what No Way Home is – an origin story. Both a conclusion and a beginning for the era of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.

The opening scene is absolutely hectic, attacking the viewer with a fast-pace and reintroducing to the complete mess that is Peter Parker’s life, setting a chaotic mood. Jon Watts never lets you forget Spidey is a Gen Z kid.

MCU’s Peter Parker has been accused by fans of not being independent enough, relying completely on Tony Stark and his technology, rarely showing his own initiative. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) was the start of the long journey to Peter’s independence as he learnt loss and responsibility.

Remember how people joked the one line Peter used to explain how he got his powers in Homecoming was the shortest origin story in history? Well, those people will certainly be satisfied with No Way Home.

Life hasn’t been kind to Peter Parker; he lost many parental figures, but still managed to maintain his optimistic attitude – a reason why his character remains a fan favourite. However, Peter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe learns slowly, while still growing up. He’s just a high schooler with the weight of the world on his shoulders, which is what Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) is about.

Homecoming shows a teenager eager to prove himself as a superhero; Far From Home shows a world-famous superhero who is just trying to be a kid. No Way Home shows someone trying to figure out how to be both.

The entire trilogy is a continuous coming-of-age story full of irony and sacrifices a child shouldn’t have to make. This is exactly what makes it so heartbreaking – Peter is still just a child who likes to play with LEGOs and worries about college applications.

Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Credit: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

No Way Home presents a darker take on the character. Going from “I don’t want to kill anybody” in Homecoming to “Activate Instant Kill” in Avengers: Endgame (2019), Peter finally gives in to his dark side in this most recent production. Jon Watts shows fantastic character development for the web-slinger that turns him from a too-dependent-on-technology-guy and Iron-Man’s-sidekick to a fully-developed and beloved Spidey straight out of the comics.

The cast had many opportunities to shine and they did just that. Tom Holland and Marisa Tomei as Peter and May Parker are a duo to be reckoned with. Tomei performs a stunning show of the power of maternal love, making the entire audience cry. Holland raises the bar on acting by delivering such an emotional experience he made people leave the theatre in tears. He demonstrates a deep understanding of his character, his trauma, loss – the true tragedy of Peter Parker. Holland manages to portray Marvel’s most popular superhero as a broken boy. And it’s beautiful.

The stars truly made this film an unforgettable one with how much impact on the viewers their acting had. Three hours after the movie, and I am personally still shaking.

Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Credit: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

This review is starting to feel more like a love letter, so it is time to wrap it up.

In all honesty, the film is pure fan service and in different circumstances, taking away crucial elements like Tom Holland’s spectacular performance and Michael Giacchino’s music, I probably wouldn’t have given out the precious five star rating. And yet here we are.

Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios President and No Way Home producer, has proven once again he knows exactly what the fans want and delivers just that. A fan service? Certainly. But one heck of a good one.

And yes, there is a nice, little mid-credits scene and a post-credits surprise in the form of a first look at Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, premiering May 6, 2022.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing exclusively in cinemas.

Featured Image Credit: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

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she/they
Film, media & journalism student

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