Is there any such thing as a perfect movie? Avengers: Endgame is arguably deserving of that description, as are many classic titles outside of the superhero genre you don’t need us to reel off here. The point is, if there is any movie worthy of being dubbed "perfect," it’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, Jon Watts’ stunning final chapter in a trilogy that kicked off with 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. That and the utterly superb Spider-Man: Far From Home pale in comparison to the sheer scale of this breathtaking, action-packed epic that's unlike any Marvel movie you’ve ever seen before. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you will undoubtedly cheer. This is the Spider-Man franchise at its very best, and while throwing Peter Parker into a Multiversal adventure really shouldn’t work, it does, resulting in a fan-pleasing joy of a blockbuster that will leave you breathless.
Picking up right where Far From Home ended, Peter Parker’s life is falling apart and the only way he can fix it is to put the genie back in the bottle by making the world forget he’s Spider-Man. As the trailers have already revealed, this involves seeking help from Doctor Strange, and when the spell goes wrong, the wall-crawler finds himself facing off against a sinister host of villains who he needs to send back where they came from. To divulge any more about the plot would be to head into spoiler territory, but suffice to say there are heaps of surprises in a stor that’s far more powerful and emotional than any of the previous Spider-Man movies set in the MCU. Despite the stakes being upped significantly, Spider-Man: No Way Home never feels like too much of a departure from what's come before, and simply does what many fans have been asking for: it allows Peter to grow up and face both the consequences of his actions and what it means to be a superhero. There’s so much story crammed into the movie’s 150-minute runtime, it’s actually hard to believe it works as well as it does, but Watts manages to pull everything from Doctor Strange’s memorable supporting role to the return of those familiar villains together in a way that will leave you grinning from ear to ear.
So, the bad guys. It goes without saying that they’re a highlight, though some fare better than others. Sandman and The Lizard, for example, are undeniably entertaining additions to the movie, but don’t add that much beyond being a physical threat to Spider-Man. They're each part of some terrific action scenes and the movie does an admirable job of building a little on their respective histories in Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man. Unfortunately, they're unlikley to be anyone’s standout (it’s also a little disappointing that Lizard really looks no better than he did nearly a decade ago). Jamie Foxx, however, takes this opportunity to have another crack at Electro and runs with it, redeeming himself for whatever that was in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with a funny, surprisingly layered performance that adds new depths to Max Dillon. He's no longer blue, but he is an Electro fans of the source material can finally get on board with.
Alfred Molina is clearly having an absolute blast playing Doctor Octopus again, reeling off scene-stealing lines and better exploring Otto Octavius as a character after his stellar work in Spider-Man 2. The actor and character everyone will be talking about, though, is Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin. As the trailers have suggested, he ditches the mask relatively early on, but that gives Dafoe chance to show why he was so perfect to play Norman Osborn and the Goblin nearly two decades ago; his thoughtful, surprising, and at times terrifying performance is a sight to behold, and truly the version of this villain fans have been waiting for. We really only got to spend a small amount of time with these bad guys during their prior appearances, so revisiting them proves to be particularly fascinating, and Spider-Man: No Way Home deserves a lot of credit for giving each and every one of them a reason to be there.
As for Tom Holland, this is without a shadow of a doubt his best work as Spider-Man. A far more powerful, character-driven storyline allows the actor to explore sides of Peter Parker the previous movies have not, and if there was ever an opportunity to prove himself the definitive version of this character, it’s here. We're pleased to report that he takes that chance and hits a home run. Holland has hinted on several occasions that his time as the web-slinger might be nearing its end, but that would be a crime, so Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios really need to do anything and everything within their power to make sure he returns. Elsewhere, Benedict Cumberbatch is on top form as Doctor Strange, while Zendaya and Jacob Batalon remain as excellent as ever as MJ and Ned. We’d have liked to see a little more of Marisa Tomei’s May Parker (a character who has arguably been underutilised in this trilogy), though every single supporting actor does a spectacular job with what they’re given to work with.
In terms of action scenes, this movie is far more visceral and brutal than its predecessors, though massively benefits from that. With opponents as powerful as these, Spider-Man is able to unleash himself in new and occasionally shocking ways that leave a lasting impact and not just moments that look cool as a GIF. That also plays heavily into Peter deciding what sort of hero he's going to be, and it's no exaggeration to say the threequel boasts some of the MCU's most phenomenal, hard-hitting (literally) fights.
Spider-Man: No Way Home really is a difficult movie to talk about without getting into spoiler territory. As we mentioned, there are some massive surprises and a lot of smaller reveals that will give fans plenty to discuss for months to come. Seeing this one in IMAX is essential, as only those biggest of big screens can do this awe-inspiring movie the justice it deserves. Watts has grown increasingly more confident as this trilogy has progressed and he’s now primed to take the Fantastic Four down the imaginative, epic direction they deserve on screen. The visuals he delivers here are out of this world amazing, with one particularly beautifully shot sequence in the rain bound to go down as an iconic piece of MCU imagery. This is a Marvel movie that feels every bit as ambitious and grand as Avengers: Endgame both in terms of the story and the sort of unbelievable action that plays out before you (trust us when we say your mind may not be able to compute what your eyes are seeing). Michael Giacchino’s sweeping score nicely compliments all of the action, and there are only a couple of minor occasions where the visual effects don’t pull their weight as much as they probably should. In case it’s not already clear, this is a movie destined to be remembered as a classic, and while some might nitpick, if you love Spider-Man, then this is the movie for you.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is the greatest Marvel movie ever made. Period. As epic as it is emotional, this is not only a perfect blockbuster, but Spider-Man’s wildest, funniest, and most awe-inspiring adventure yet. It's a Marvel masterpiece.