Sunday, December 19, 2021

Spider-Man: No Way Home Is A Fun Treat For Spidey Fans Young and Old

Sony Pictures' SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME, with the adorable puppyish Tom Holland back as Peter Parker/ Spider-Man, is the best comic book movie of the year. This is not counting ZACK SNYDER'S JUSTICE LEAGUE, which was more of a one-off special event than a blockbuster movie release. SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME is a load of fun, and an absolute treat for Spidey fans of all ages.

The movie continues immediately from SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME'S ending. Just before supervillain Mysterio died, he was able to throw Peter Parker's life into chaos by revealing Spidey's true identity as well as framing him for murder. As The Daily Bugle's relentless journalist J. Jonah Jameson (JK Simmons) and the authorities go after Peter, all whom he loves - Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), his girlfriend MJ (Zendaya) and bestie Ned (Jacob Batalon) - are bearing the consequences of his newfound notoriety. He naively seeks Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for help, requesting that the wizard cast a spell to make the world forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Unfortunately, the powerful spell got bungled, and all goes awry.

The different universes start colliding, and villains from the other movie Spider-verses begin dropping into this one. For those who have watched the Spider-Man movies from the Sam Raimi days to those directed by Marc Webb, this means seeing Willem Dafoe's menacing Green Goblin, Alfred Molina as Doc Orc and a hungrier version of Jamie Foxx's Electro. With the multiverse causing major reality-bending problems, Peter Parker has to make certain moral decisions, despite suffering personal setbacks and heartbreaks.

When the NO WAY HOME'S trailers were out, Red Dot Diva was getting concerned that, with so many Spidey villains and characters coming into play, the movie might turn out to be an epic mess. It was either that, or the movie might be a sheer nostalgia grab for the Gen X-ers, like a number of releases this year. Instead, she was relieved and delighted to find that NO WAY HOME is a very enjoyable and well-crafted movie, with just the right amount of humour, action and personal character moments.

The brilliant screenplay by writers Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna was cleverly delivered, offering the older Spider-Man fans with a wink and a nod, but without the expositions that would bore more recent fans watching the film. It also never forgets to tell the story of Peter Parker and the life lessons that he will learn as he continues on his adventures.

Tom Holland gave his all in this film, going through the gamut of emotions from happiness, grief, anger and acceptance as Peter Parker. He manages to pull you in on Pete's emotional rollercoaster ride, and reminds us of all the things our favourite superhero Spider-Man embodies. Red Dot Diva ardently wishes that Tom Holland will play Peter Parker/ Spidey for a couple more films.

The other superb moments are those involving the supervillains, especially when Willem Dafoe delivers his scariest best as Green Goblin. There is a segment in the middle of the movie which will give Filipino fans a feeling of elation, again proving that representation matters. Other Spidey multiverse moments are inspiring too, with most of the characters having their own hopeful resolution by the end of the movie.

Of course, the movie has its weak points. Red Dot Diva thought that both Aunty May and MJ could been given more things to do on screen. Red Dot Diva feels that Zendaya has so much screen presence, and it was a waste that the young actor did not have a more important role to play in this movie, other than being a love interest. The decisions made about the villains in the story might be open for debate amongst movie goers, especially if you are cynic. However, on this point, Red Dot Diva acknowledges that it is after all, a Spider-Man movie. And a Spider-Man movie carries with it a great responsibility of being positive, heartwarming and triumphant.

For more nerdgasm and yammering about what Red Dot Diva thought of SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME, check out the latest Live With Red Dot Diva session with guests Wayne Rée (local writer/ co-founder of Ghost Maps) and Jedd Jong (movie reviewer). The livestream was broadcasted on the RDD Facebook Page, as well as her Youtube channel.

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