the naked jungle
director: jon watts (spider-man: homecoming)
starring: tom holland, zendaya, benedict cumberbatch and Jacob Batalon
REVIEWER: lyall carter
With Spider-Man's identity now revealed, Peter asks Doctor Strange for help. When a spell goes wrong, dangerous foes from other worlds start to appear, forcing Peter to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.
Apart from the Marvel TV shows on Disney Plus, this year the MCU seemed to have lost a bit of its mojo. Being released after we knew her fate meant that Black Widow didn’t really mean that much for the characters’ development or story. While Shang-Chi was enjoyable and brought wider representation to the MCU, it was no more than your run-of-the-mill superhero origin story. And, because of lockdowns, I haven’t seen Eternals yet.
It felt kinda a lackluster MCU year if I’m honest with a lot of the elements that I’d come to love about the MCU - character development, humour, heart, epic stakes, and a story that really matters - seemingly missing. But then Spider-Man: No Way Home. Bursting with heart, stunning action set pieces, and one of the best Spider-Man story arcs to hit the big screen, Spider-Man: No Way Home will have you fall in love with the MCU all over again. And it’s the best Spider-Man movie ever.
With Spider-Man's identity now revealed, our friendly neighborhood web-slinger is unmasked and no longer able to separate his normal life as Peter Parker from the high stakes of being a superhero. When Peter asks for help from Doctor Strange, the stakes become even more dangerous, forcing him to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.
It’s not just Tom Holland’s superb take on the character or his youthful looks that have had many declaring him to be the best onscreen Spider-Man ever. It’s the quality of the character development - you really do believe that he is this high school kid with these Spidey powers. And while No Way Home is the biggest in terms of the scale of the Holland Spider-Man films, this continued great character development keeps a grounded center to the film with everything else that is going on.
No Way Home also provides one of the best story arcs not only of any Spider-Man big-screen appearance but of any major superhero in recent memory. It truly is special and will have you weeping buckets in several places. Because of the great character development and story arc, any nostalgic elements of the film are not needed to prop it up as it stands perfectly well on its own two feet.
Spider-Man: No Way Home has all the elements that make the MCU such a great franchise. It has a hell of a lot of heart, it’s laugh-out-loud hilarious throughout, the scale is epic in every sense of the word, and the story arc is superb with some surprising and daring themes throughout. It’s a really special film. Also - it only has one end credit scene. But it also has an end credit trailer…
Bursting with heart, stunning action set pieces, and one of the best Spider-Man story arcs to hit the big screen, Spider-Man: No Way Home will have you fall in love with the MCU all over again. And it’s the best Spider-Man movie ever.