WARNING: Out of respect for Sony Pictures, Marvel Studios, and your viewing experience, this review will be as cryptic and spoiler-free as possible. 

After the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has been unmasked as the friendly neighborhood web-slinger and is framed for the death of Mysterio. As Parker can no longer separate his private life from his superhero alter ego, he asks the help of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to change the reality of his identity reveal. This accidentally unlocks a merging of different universes, with villains from different timelines appearing, including Dr. Otto Octavious (Alfred Molina), Electro (Jamie Foxx), and Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe). In order to stop the universes from colliding, Parker enlists the help of MJ (Zendeya) and Ned (Jacob Balatan) to capture the villains and stop the multiverse collision.

Having Spider-Man in the MCU has almost been a double-edged sword. Ever since Holland’s first appearance in Captain America: Civil War, he’s been a welcome and charismatic edition to the universe. But at the same time, Homecoming and Far From Home felt like they were too reliant on the Marvel references and it never quite stuck out. In the case of Spider-Man: No Way Home, this has felt like the first time that Holland got to truly stand on his own, even with the incorporated multiverse. This is definitely the most mature and noble that MCU’s Spidey has been, with Holland’s best performance as our favourite web-slinger complimenting the development.

Director John Watts certainly performed one of the best cinematic juggling acts since the Russo brothers. In the 2 and a half hour running time, there’s enough story between Holland, Zendeya, and Balatan and their specific arc of the story, as it goes in very new directions that we haven’t seen in a Spider-Man movie. But at the same time, if you’re wanting to relive your childhood nostalgia and see SEVERAL villains from the previous movies on the big screen again, you won’t be disappointed. It was both fun and surreal to watch all the interactions from the amazing cast, while also being balanced and integrated into the story well enough where it didn’t feel like blatant fan service.

In summary, Spider-Man: No Way Home is a really fun addition to the MCU and possibly the best live-action Spidey movie in quite a while. With great performances and a well-balanced story, there’s quite a lot to enjoy from the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler. I can absolutely recommend seeing the movie, you owe it to yourself if you’ve been watching these movies since 2002.

Spider-Man: No Way Home swings into cinemas on December 16th.

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