Since 2004, “Spiderman 2” ranked as my all-time favorite super hero movie. The combination of Tobey Maquire as Spidey & Alfred Molina as Doc Ock blended with Director Sam Raimi’s style was action packed perfection. Even the spectacle of “Infiniti War”, while coming close, never topped the sheer enjoyment of watching that 2004 installment.
Welcome to 2021’s SPIDERMAN: NO WAY HOME.
Funny, dramatic, suspenseful, and loaded with nostalgic thrills and new paths, it’s a perfect superhero adventure.
In the final moments of 2019’s “Spiderman: Far From Home”, Peter Parker was unmasked as our web slinging hero. As this new installment opens, he’s branded a villain by J. Jonah Jameson, who’s now more TMZ than hardboiled newsman. Journalists around the world (including my friend Glenn Keogh as a British reporter, well done Glenn!) are painting Peter as the bad guy.
Peter (Tom Holland in his best performance yet) approaches Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch having a LOT of fun in the role) to weave a spell to take the world back to a place where NO ONE knows he’s Spiderman.
Mid-spell, Peter starts throwing in last minute changes to the spell and things spin out of control, opening a multiverse wormhole. Luckily for us, that pathway lets in the most fun I’ve had at the movies in quite a while.
I will go out of my way to avoid ANY spoilers on exactly what happens, and certainly won’t reveal anything that’s not in every trailer. We all know that Doc Ock is back and it’s Alfred Molina again tearing up the role. Nearly two decades hasn’t taken any of the edge of his performance and he’s terrific.
But he’s not the only one back. Characters come pouring back in from past films and every one of them is a great surprise. The final two were jaw dropping, creating one of my favorite scenes in the past decade on the big screen. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for nearly the entire length of the movie, which is nearly two and a half hours of fast-paced fun.
I love this movie. It gets everything right.
It’s nostalgic without pandering to the past.
It has laugh-out-loud references to previous films and killer one liners.
Its dramatic moments are powerful.
It’s not easy to find this kind of balance, but credit writers Chris Mckenna and Erik Sommers (all of Holland’s Spiderman films & “The Lego Batman Movie”) and Director Jon Watts with the perfect blend.
Michael Giacchino’s music score kills it and whips the action scenes into a frenzy.
The entire cast is excellent, including about six actors who I can’t mention here without ruining the film’s best secrets.
Holland is a hell of an actor, and he owns the role of Peter Parker, which is even more astonishing to say by the end of this installment.
Earning $1.6 billion in its first 11 days in theatres, the film was a blockbuster, shaking the box office out of its Covid doldrums.
Yet another great entry in the MCU, it’s a testament to how well thought out this series is. I’m already looking forward to Cumberbatch’s next installment, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” hitting theatres in May. Stick through the final credits for a sneak peak at that film.
NO WAY HOME now sits atop all Marvel films for me, earning an A+ and mad respect for all the artists behind the film. It's the lone Marvel movie in my all-time Top 100.
Sheer escapist enjoyment in a movie theatre doesn’t get any better than this.