TV Editor Josie Scott-Taylor praises the latest MCU film, Spider-Man: No Way Home, as the perfect love letter to fans of the character
Ever since the epic Avengers: Endgame hit our screens in 2019, I have told myself again and again that I am finished with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Every single time a new film comes out, though, I find myself at the cinema within the first few days of its release. Spider-Man: No Way Home was no different.
The number of films in the MCU is now nearing 30, but Spider-Man: No Way Home is definitely up there with the best. It has some of the humour of Thor: Ragnarok, much of the intensity of Avengers: Endgame, and the heart of the Iron Man trilogy, all packed into 148 minutes. Spider-Man is a character who spans across generations, none of whom will be disappointed by the MCU’s latest instalment.
No Way Home follows Peter Parker (Tom Holland) after his identity as Spider-Man was revealed at the end of Far From Home. This identity reveal is not as simple as the moment when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) announced to the world that ‘I am Iron Man,’ though; Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) has managed to turn half of the world’s population against the young superhero after releasing an edited video that seemingly shows Holland’s Spider-Man murdering innocent civilians.
The effects of this reveal are catastrophic – Peter cannot go anywhere without being relentlessly followed by journalists and photographers, and he even misses out on getting into his dream college because of the damage he has supposedly done. Enough is enough, though, when his girlfriend, MJ (Zendaya), and best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) also miss out on their chance of going to MIT. Peter decides to take matters into his own hands and consult the sarcastic and mysterious Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in an attempt to make the world forget that his identity was ever revealed. Things do not go according to plan, though. Actually, that is the understatement of the century – instead of simply erasing the memory of several billion people, Strange accidentally opens up the multiverse.
The multiverse concept was actually dangled right under our noses in Spider-Man: Far From Home, but sadly it ended up being part of Mysterio’s secret plan to destroy Peter. It turns out that Quentin Beck was unwittingly correct – the multiverse does exist, and it brings pure chaos into the world. The film is full of familiar faces and enough callbacks to earlier instalments of Spider-Man to make fans go absolutely wild, and No Way Home feels like the perfect love letter to fans of the webslinger. Although the film was hilarious in places, it also contained the perfect amount of heartfelt moments and emotional punches, some of which came out of nowhere and left me wishing for Doctor Strange to appear and erase my memory.
Homecoming was all about Peter’s relationship with Tony. Far From Home was all about Peter mourning the loss of Tony. No Way Home was much more focused on Peter himself, but it seems as though the writers are against the idea of allowing Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to really shine by himself, which is one thing I was somewhat disappointed by. Holland is a fantastic actor, and he does not need to be propped up by MCU veterans like Cumberbatch and Downey Jr.
Spider-Man’s world has been expanding since Holland’s first appearance in the MCU, and it is clear that they are not just schoolkids anymore. Even though there was much less focus on their lives as nerdy high-schoolers, No Way Home managed to maintain enough of the sense of naivety and childish fun that makes this reiteration of Spider-Man special. Go and see Spider-Man: No Way Home if you want two and a half hours of tears, epic battles, and most of all, ridiculous fun.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is out now in cinemas
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