"Tom Holland as its titular lead — clumsy and adorable Peter Parker by day, and all-action boy-superhero by night"TWITTER/@SPIDERMANMOVIE

CW: This article contains spoilers about the new Spider-Man movie

The third instalment of the Spider-Man reboot, starring Tom Holland as its titular lead, was a thrill to watch from start to finish. Hint: if you’re a fan of Spider-Man, you will not be disappointed, as this movie has several!

I’d like to first state that although I am a fan of superhero movies, I am not a die-hard one — let alone a die-hard Marvel fan. Nevertheless, as I sat down with my popcorn and watched the opening credits play, the familiar tingle of excitement and reassurance, that only a good old fashioned superhero movie can bring swept over me.

“Unironically, thank you Marvel: in this increasingly uncertain world, your inevitability is reassurring”

There is something overwhelmingly comforting for any true movie fan about the beginning of Spider-Man: No Way Home - I think it's the feeling of knowing exactly what you’re getting yourself in for: big action sequences, well-timed gags, and that all-important (although predictably heteronormative) kiss between the hero and his leading lady. Ah, sweet nostalgic predictability. Unironically, thank you Marvel: in this increasingly uncertain world, your inevitability is reassuring.

Join Holland’s adorable Peter Parker as he deals with the media frenzy that bombards himself, best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and new girlfriend MJ (Zendaya). The first scenes are made poignantly realistic by Zendaya and Holland when keeping in mind that they too, have recently succumbed to the ‘Spider-Man curse’. Indeed, the scenes where Peter and MJ talk about his secret identity being revealed, and by association MJ’s new media status as ‘Spider-Man’s girlfriend’, seem oddly similar to Zendaya and Holland’s comments on their real-life relationship. At the beginning of the movie, MJ asks Peter, “Does any part of you feel relieved about all this? Now that everyone knows you don’t have to hide or lie to people.” In a candid interview with GQ for its ‘Men of the Year’ issue, Holland shared with the magazine a statement so similar, you could be fooled into thinking it had been plucked from the newest Spider-Man movie itself:

“One of the downsides of our fame is that privacy isn’t really in our control anymore, and a moment that you think is between two people that love each other very much is now a moment that is shared with the entire world,” Holland told GQ.

The genuine portrayal of young love by Zendaya and Holland, and the adorkability of Ned, however, are somewhat overshadowed by what happens next. As media attention has cost the trio their chance of getting into their dream college, Parker turns to the only solution that he can think of: magic.

Huh?

He entreats Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to cast a spell to ensure that the world will forget that he is Spider-Man, but in true Peter Parker fashion, something goes horribly wrong.

I’ll admit, it was at this moment that the film’s fabric of reality completely fell apart.

As the “multiverse” becomes increasingly mentioned and villains from several different Spider-Man movies (both Sony’s Spider-Man trilogy of films (2002–2007) starring Tobey Maguire, and their Amazing Spider-Man films (2012–2014) starring Andrew Garfield) begin to fall through into modern-day Spider-Man’s reality, I was left increasingly puzzled. 

“To a casual viewer the film had started to take an unnecessarily baffling turn”

I am sure true Marvel fans have pieced together an entirely logical explanation and have a well-considered understanding of both multiverse and “spider-verse”, but to a casual viewer the film had started to take an unnecessarily baffling turn.


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True to the multiverse, eventually the other Spider-Men joined in too. As a 1999 baby, it was especially enjoyable to see Garfield’s Spider-Man again, he being the Spider-Man I grew up with (and in my humble opinion also the best looking!) And a heart-warming moment was had when Garfield’s Spider-Man caught and saved a falling MJ – something he was unable to do for his beloved Gwen Stacy.

As the three Spider-Men shared the screen, in a moment that vividly reminded me of the spider-man pointing at spider-man meme , I did start to wonder whether the multiverse had gotten a little bit too meta for my liking; the main question I had throughout the movie was, ‘When am I going to be able to go for a wee?’ The action was moving so quickly at this point that I was afraid mainly of missing a major plot point, and I was reluctant to tear my eyes away from the screen, despite my recently chugged Coke-zero’s protests.

“Despite the heartbreakingly sad twist at the end, I left the cinema feeling lighter than before”

All this considered, however, I can say that although at times the story became vividly convoluted, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience watching Spider-Man: No Way Home. Despite the heartbreakingly sad twist at the end, I left the cinema feeling lighter than before: a feeling you only get as a true movie lover, when all the predictable box office-hit criteria have been ticked. After a pleasantly enjoyable 2h 28m run time, when I finally left the cinema to go home, I left pleased that No Way Home had lived up to my (very high) spidery expectations.