Review of Spider-Man: No Way Home

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” is the latest installment in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marking the third and final installment of the current standalone “Spider-Man” trilogy, the film is a spectacular send-off to this current run of the wall-crawler that began with 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

Picking up where the events of 2019’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home” left off, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has had his life completely upended by the exposure of his identity as Spider-Man. After a spell from Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) that was meant to erase people’s memory of this knowledge, but goes awry, Peter must deal with not only the consequences of his actions in his previous appearances in the franchise, but the threats from both previous live-action “Spider-Man” incarnations.

Though both 2007’s “Spider-Man 3” and 2014’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” were met with mixed reception for their abundance of villains and overstuffed plots, this time, director Jon Watts manages to stick the landing in his 148-minute finale to the trilogy. Taking the best elements from the Sam Raimi “Spider-Man” trilogy and the pair of films Marc Webb directed (along with slyly poking fun at the less well-received aspects of those respective films), the movie easily makes for Marvel’s most compelling crossover since the “Avengers” films. On a budget of $200 million, the movie builds on every previous live-action “Spider-Man” film to date to create not only another great film from Marvel Studios, but easily the best standalone “Spider-Man” movie since 2004’s “Spider-Man 2.” Without spoiling anything, the film has created the ideal blueprint for future entries in the series. Whatever shape the next film in the franchise ends up taking, it’s clear that nothing about the series will be the same again.

With the film having made well over $1 billion worldwide as of this writing (the first film to cross this milestone since 2019), “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is a spectacular trilogy ending that is the ideal web of action, humor and emotional depth that’s highly-recommended.

Directed by Jon Watts

Starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei, Jacob Batalon, Benedict Cumberbatch, Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, Jamie Foxx, Rhys Ifans, Thomas Haden Church and JK Simmons with Tobey MacGuire and Andrew Garfield

Rated PG-13

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