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  • Writer's pictureJames McCleary

Spider-Man: No Way Home // Film Review

Every Spider-Man Ever...

"You know, I'm something of a scientist myself."

This is a really odd one. In some ways the perfect Spider-Man story, in others the laziest IP mining operation in quite some time.

To start with the good, the first forty minutes are comfortably the best material Tom Holland has gotten to work with in his six (I know, six) movies playing Spidey. He gets to navigate all the strands of a classic coming of age crisis - school, friends and romance - through the lens of his biggest secret being exposed, nailing the dual-life struggle of being Spider-Man like never before.

And then it gets bored of that. Villains start pouring in from movies past, all with their original motivations and gimmicks (which aren’t refreshed or expanded upon here - the implication seemingly being to do your homework), with each one tugging the film further away from every thread set up in Act One.

Holland has gone on the record saying that not every actor was signed on when filming began, and I believe him. It is obvious from quite early on that most of these guys never shared a day on set. Hell, two of them are composited entirely out of CGI and stock footage. In a $200 million dollar movie, I’m not sure how willing I am to accept this obvious rush job.

What it really feels like is a second and third act stitched together entirely out of ‘moments’ conceived in a focus test group with whichever actors they could get or recreate in time. There’s no rhyme or reason to the storytelling here, with the common theme boiling down to ‘things people liked about other Spider-Man movies.’

And yeah, Dumb and Dumber do show up, but in practice they’re really just a couple of older dudes all playing the same dude, so it’s not like there’s a lot for them to actually do.


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