After his identity is revealed to the world, Peter Parker seeks out a spell
from Doctor Strange that accidentally unleashes interdimensional chaos.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Directed by Jon Watts
Written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers
Starring Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zendaya,
Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Willem Dafoe,
Alfred Molina, Jamie Foxx, Thomas Haden Church, Rhys Ifans,
J.K. Simmons, Andrew Garfield, Tobey Maguire
Sequel to 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home
Based on characters from Marvel Comics
I can't remember ever experiencing hype like this before. Even Avengers: Endgame didn't have the level of rampant fan expectations that Spider-Man: No Way Home did. I feel comfortable writing this review now, almost a week after I saw the movie. Just writing out the cast list is a big fat spoiler. After years in the making and an unfathomable level of multi-studio cooperation, I can honestly say No Way Home is the definitive Spider-Man movie and one of the greatest superhero adventures ever put to film. I mean, my God. I had very high expectations and this film catapulted them through the roof, delivering an experience. The audience in my theater cheered several times, and I truly felt like I was a part of something special. This is a film that transcends generations.
The film picks up right at the end of Far From Home, where Mysterio reveals Peter's identity to the world. Now isolated in a way he never has been before, and with his friends and family paying for his mistakes, Peter seeks out Doctor Strange (Cumberbatch) to cast a spell that will make everyone forget Peter is Spider-Man. However, Peter botches the spell, and now everyone in every dimension who knows Spider-Man's true identity is popping up in MCU New York. Here's where things get extra exciting. From the Raimi films, we've got Green Goblin (Dafoe), Doc Ock (Molina), and Sandman (Church). From the Webb films, we've got Electro (Foxx) and the Lizard (Ifans). Getting all these guys to reprise their roles, some after decades, was a brilliant move. But even more so was something that I never thought possible in a million years. Something I was certain the fans would have to accept as a non-issue. But it happened. Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire reprise their roles as Spider-Man, joining Tom Holland in a battle against the Sinister Five and giving longtime fans everywhere a raging Filmgazm for the ages. If I ever meet Kevin Feige, I'm going to give him a big wet kiss just on principle.
No Way Home isn't just about rampant fan service. It also ups the stakes in a way that has never been done in a Spider-Man film. Peter suffers real, permanent consequences of his rash actions, mostly at the hands of Green Goblin, played deliciously evil by Willem Dafoe once again. This film brings together all three generations of Spider-Man, giving us closure on Garfield's era and a nice epilogue for Maguire, while at the same time pushing the Holland era forward. This is shaping up to be making pre-pandemic box office money and will be instrumental in resurrecting the theaters for good. And what a film. It's something I'll be thinking about forever, and will represent a serious game-changer in what superhero movies can include in the future. Various X-Men from the Fox era? Sure. Wesley Snipes's Blade? Why not? The sky's the limit.