We have a rarity this week, a movie that is well-reviewed by the critics (what do they know?) and which is also warmly embraced by the paying public. For my money, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is the best ever “Spider-Man” movie. It is so good that it may very well revive the long-running and somewhat tired “Spider-Man” franchise.
I found it funny, a little snarky, and true to its roots as a story about a teenage boy who suddenly finds himself with superpowers. But he is less a superhero than he is an earnest, bewildered teen who stumbles through his way in growing up, as well as finding out how to handle his new abilities. “Spider-Man” reminds me in an endearing way of a basset hound pup, trying to get along in life without stepping on his own ears. He does not always succeed.
The producers spent a huge $200 million on making this movie. The action, the special effects, and the glorious visual cornucopia of sight and sound show exactly where they spent the money. But the story of the struggling teen remains front and center in the film. The eye candy is just a bonus.
Director Jon Watts also made the last two “Spider-Man” movies. He got it just, exactly right this time.
As did singer/actress Zendaya. I think that with this role and her recent role in “Dune” we can stop thinking of her as a music maker that sometimes appears in films and now think of her as an up-and-coming actress in her own right.
She is joined by a huge cast of famous characters, including surprise appearances by Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire who also play “Spider-Man”, but from other dimensions. Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei returns to her role as Aunt May. Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, Jamie Fox, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jon Favreau all pitch in. Tom Holland returns as Peter Parker in the title role.
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” runs a long 2 hours and 28 minutes. This very entertaining four saw blade movie carries a mile PG-13 rating. This rating means that it is suitable for people of at least 13 years of age.
This is one of those rare movies that people of all ages can and have enjoyed.
Watch for a bakery where MJ works part-time. It is an actual bakery in Brooklyn called the Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop. This is real authenticity in filmmaking.
This film has not been released in China as yet but has still racked up $1,161,000,000 at the box office. Now that is saying something.