Photo By: Noah Nickel via IMDB

Spider-Man No Way Home is the third film in the series of Spider-Man films starring Tom Holland as the titular character. Spider-Man is a beloved comic book character whose story has graced the big screen in multiple franchises before. With each iteration of Spider-Man, expectations have gotten higher.

In the first film in the Holland trilogy, Spider-Man Homecoming, Peter Parker is a friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man trying to balance his schoolwork, personal life, and high hopes as the newest member of the Avengers. The movie is an endearing introduction to the character and though it gets a bit caught up in the complicated world building of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it’s fun and well made with effective storytelling and loveable characters. 

Zendaya’s MJ, Jacob Batalon’s Ned Leeds, and Marissa Tomei’s Aunt May are all such adored parts of this series of Spider-Man films. Peter Parker has come a long way from the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man of Homecoming, but you don’t need to have seen all the MCU movies to follow this latest installment.

No Way Home is an action-packed movie that has a lot going on, which is to be expected when a movie is two and a half hours long. The story picks up where the last film, Spider-Man Far From Home, left us; Spider-Man’s identity has been revealed, an obstacle neither of the previous films’ Spider-Men had to face. The movie is an exciting addition to the MCU, and to Peter Parker’s story as he faces villains from previous Spider-Man films, including Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, and Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus. 

It’s more of an experience than a film. Sitting in a room full of Spider-Man fans and hearing them react to it is so much fun, especially when people go to see it in costume. This makes evaluating it as a film tricky though, because it works both as an experience and as a Spider-Man narrative, but as a movie, it has components that weren’t outstanding. 

The fight scenes don’t tell the audience much about the world, the characters, or the story. Instead, the dialogue alone moves the story forward. No Way Home is a live-action movie that borrows some visuals from the animated Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse – specifically in a fight between Peter and Doctor Strange. The visuals don’t translate very well and Into the Spider-Verse is such an excellent film that the attempt to replicate some of its elements feels a bit lacklustre.

The tone is a bit all over the place, going from dramatic serious tear-jerker moments to delightfully comedic sequences. However, it doesn’t really take away from the film, it’s just important to watch it for what it is, a fun superhero movie. 

One of the strengths of the film is how it allows parts of the story that are silly and comicbook-y to just be silly and comicbook-y. Dafoe specifically embraces that, as he clearly gave everything he had to his performance. In general, it seems like the cast is having a lot of fun with the movie and that everyone involved in the project loves Spider-Man a lot, and that love comes through to the audience and makes it a fun watch.

So, while No Way Home had a huge legacy to live up to, it did so successfully. On top of delivering a fun movie, No Way Home has fueled a lot of anticipation for this character and franchise, which will hopefully lead to more fun movies down the road. No matter the flaws in a movie like this, we have to be honest, sometimes it’s fun to watch a nerd shoot webs and swing around New York.