Spider-Man: No Way Home- Review

Spoiler Free Review

Four MCU films this year Disney? Four?! That’s insane! That’s a lot of franchise to pump out in a short space of time, and whilst some is overspill from last year (Black Widow) they’ve generally been a bit of a miss. Black Widow  felt like a step backwards, Shang Chi managed to get away with abysmal CGI, and the less said about the absolute flop that was Chloe Zhao’s Eternals the better.

Yet it is this year’s final showpiece spectacular that has got audiences feeling wooed. In collaboration with Sony Pictures comes Spider-Man: No Way Home. The third film to come out of the partnership ,which sees the webslinger in joint custody with Marvel, takes place immediately where Far From Home left off, with the world now aware that Peter Parker (Holland) is Spider-Man. Wanting to make the world forget, he visits Doctor Strange (Cumberbatch), who accidentally opens the multiverse and sends villains from the various films into the MCU.

Returning cast include Willem Dafoe (Green Goblin), Alfred Molina (Doc Ock), Jaime Foxx (Electro), alongside Rhys Ifans (Lizard) and Thomas Haden Church (Sandman) who return to voice their respective characters . Already that is a lot of villains, which begins to create the first problem: there’s far too much for a two-and-a-half-hour flick.

Whilst trying to further the narrative arc of Peter Parker, reintroduce old foes, and begin to build into a Doctor Strange sequel, it becomes a bit of a mess tangled in its own web. The first act is a slow build-up to introducing Doc Ock and takes its time getting to that point. Then suddenly it all seems to be happening at once and it’s rushed into a second act that breezes by, with a final act that ties everything together in the last half hour.

The rush in that second part of the film leaves no room to breathe for some of the characters being reintroduced. It begs the question, why go so over the top with this? Some of them have very little to do; if they weren’t there you probably wouldn’t even have noticed or cared.

This is where it begins to feel like watching a studio chuck 200 million dollars at a Reddit fan fiction. Lines of dialogue, big action set pieces and a few things that can’t be discussed without spoilers all bear the trademarks of being ripped out of a comic fan’s wildest dream. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing either, even if you’re not a die-hard fan, because there’s still a lot to enjoy here.

Dafoe excels, and he seems to have had no problem with jumping back into character after 20 years. His performance is probably the best part of the piece, and he runs with the material given. The same goes for Molina and Foxx (who’s had a considerable glow since his last outing in 2014) who all shared great chemistry with the rest of the cast.

The set-pieces and stunts are all standard from Marvel, you know what you’re getting by this point. Visually the film gets a pass with some neat camera work, whilst some of the CGI feels a little undercooked, a bit of an expected disappointment by now.

If you’re a fan your mind will be blown watching this, make no mistake about that. Even if you’re a casual audience member then it’s a fun action-adventure flick to satisfy that Christmas blockbuster itch.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is swinging into cinemas now




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