SPIDERMAN: NO WAY HOME – Review by Susan Granger
Spidey swings again! The new sequel Spiderman: No Way Home topped $600 million, becoming the biggest hit in Sony Pictures history and ranking as one of the 10 top-grossing domestic hits of all time.
In this third go-round as the teenage web-slinger, Tom Holland’s likable Peter Parker loses his anonymity when malevolent muckraker J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) reveals his identity as a Queens, New York, high school student.
The media soon surround his apartment, harassing Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and bachelor-uncle Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), as Peter is accused of being a war criminal.
When guilt-by-association causes Peter’s plucky girl-friend MJ (Zendaya) and loyal pal Ned (Jacob Batalon) to be rejected by MIT, he solicits his mentor Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to use his Master of the Mystic Arts powers to make everyone forget he was ever Spidey.
Problem is: that spell opens up the Multiverse, creating an eye-popping, intergalactic rift between parallel dimensions.
Which means villains from past Spiderman films, starring Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, suddenly re-appear. There’s Dr. Octopus (Alfred Molina), Electro (Jamie Foxx), Sandman (Thomas Hayden Church), Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), Lizard (Rhys Ifans), and the Green Goblin/Norman Osborne (Willem Dafoe).
Surprises abound in this radical approach to a superhero movie, a caper that would have delighted the late comic-book auteur Stan Lee, who loved interlocking sprawling Marvel Comics backstories, exploring a multitude of characters.
Taking an outrageous creative risk were screenwriters Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, along with director Jon Watts and producers Kevin Feige & Amy Pascal, hammering home lessons about how great power entails great responsibility and, often, great sacrifice.
Stick around for the mid-credits scene and post-credits trailer, heralding more chaos from the collective amnesia in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Dr. Strange and The Multiverse of Madness.
On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, Spiderman: No Way Home is an action-packed, nostalgic 9, jump-starting theater-going despite the Omicron variant.