Tom Holland’s Spider-Man comes full circle in the nostalgia-filled blockbuster, Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Following the events of Far From Home (2019), which saw Spider-Man’s identity revealed to the world, Peter Parker (Holland) is thrust into the world of celebrity, for better and worse. His alter-ego, Spider-Man, split between a hero and villain in the eyes of many. The world knowing his secret identity is just too much to bear, and so he enlists the help of Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to forge a spell that will make everyone in the world forget this tidbit of information that sent his world upside down. The spell goes haywire, opening up a tear in the universe and sending in villains from movie franchises past.
Villains like Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina) from the Sam Raimi films and Electro (Jamie Foxx) from the Marc Webb films, amongst others, enter the MCU, in what’s now become a multiverse – nothing’s off the table anymore. Being the do-gooder that he is, instead of sending the villains back to where they came from and ending the hurt and suffering they’ve caused, at the risk of their demise, Spider-Man goes against the wishes of Dr Strange and attempts to ‘cure’ these ‘other’ film’s villains. Doing so may give them another lease on life when they eventually return to their dimensions.
Naturally, things don’t turn out as the web-crawler had hoped, sending him on another mission where the consequences are deadlier than ever.
Like in past iterations of the character, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has had to contend with some issues that have plagued past Spider-Men. The first two of Holland’s films only scratched the surface of these themes; the dangerous consequences that come with being close to a superhero. When you’re family, a friend, or partner to Spider-Man, the past has shown that it’s a dangerous place to be. No Way Home tackles this theme primarily, concluding the wall-crawling hero’s coming-of-age arc since making his first appearance in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War.
While this theme is key to the character’s lore, it’s already been done many times over, yet thankfully it doesn’t feel stale here due to the blinding array of nostalgia the film offers. With this nostalgic hit comes a sentimental feeling, which is so powerful to fans who grew up following the Spider-Man films from nearly two decades ago that it’s easy to look past some of this film’s flaws. The film is slow in parts and the pacing slightly off, a first for an MCU Spider-Man film. There are a lot of characters to get through, hurting it to a degree, as it broadens the scope rather than keeping the narrative tight. Despite this, there’s a lot of bang-for-your-buck in No Way Home and plenty of laughs along the way.
What’s special about Spider-Man: Far From Home is that it takes twenty-years worth of the character’s development and combines it all into one highly entertaining package. Furthermore, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has essentially become the definitive version of this popular superhero, and fans have grown attached over the last few years. This attachment adds an additional layer to the viewing experience in that we too, as the audience, can hurt, laugh, and cry alongside our hero. It’s not often a film series can forge this type of bond with its audience, but this one has, and sends it all back in a whirlwind of emotions.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is a blockbuster affair for the ages, full of nostalgic goodness that, if you’re not careful, may get the better of you.
When Peter Parker is suiting up on top of the car, there is a taxi cab behind him. The taxi’s numbers read 1228. This is a reference to Stan Lee’s birthday which is December 28, 1922.