‘Spider-Man’ is best Marvel movie: Emotionally rousing and inspiring

Tom Holland’s Spider-Man romances girlfriend MJ Watson played by Zendaya. Press photo

By Wendell Gaa

“Spider-Man: No Way Home,” the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film and third solo outing for English actor Tom Holland as Peter Parker, is the best film adaptation of what I would have to say is Marvel’s greatest superhero ever. 

Yes, there are countless other superheroes in the Marvel Comics storytelling vault, each with their own unique backstory, but Spider-Man being the most humanly relatable of all stands out in a special way.  I found this new movie to be totally inspiring and emotionally rousing while relevantly paying tribute to all the flawed yet determined traits which define Spider-Man as both a hero and human being, as well as paying homage to this popular character’s impact on modern cinema since he first struck big with the 2002 Hollywood blockbuster starring Tobey Maguire.  It isn’t hyperbole to say that this is the best MCU movie since “Avengers: Endgame.”

“No Way Home” picks up exactly where the previous Spider-Man film “Far From Home” leaves off.  Spidey’s battle in Europe against the supervillain Quentin Beck aka Mysterio leads to a pyrrhic victory that ends up in the defeat of Beck, yet concurrently leads to the revealing of his secret identity as Peter Parker.  With literally the whole world aware of who he is and suspecting that he is a cold-blooded killer responsible for Beck’s death, and the livelihood of his family and friends being threatened as well, Parker desperately turns to his friend and crime-fighting partner from the Avengers team, Dr. Stephen Strange (British thespian Benedict Cumberbatch) the Sorcerer Supreme, for assistance.  In an effort to protect his identity and his loved ones from further public and media scrutiny, he asks Dr. Strange to cast a mystical spell that will make everyone in the world forget that he is Spider-Man, save for his loved ones. 

Will the spell work?

Supervillains and adversaries from different multi-verses suddenly reappear: Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, Thomas Haden Church, Rhys Ifans and Jamie Foxx all reprise their respective roles as the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Lizard, and Electro, all iconic Marvel enemies being seen together on the big screen for the very first time.  It was real gripping to see how all these actors still retain their mastery of their characters even after so many years!

Shocked and horrified with what his actions have led to, Peter must work with Dr. Strange, along with his girlfriend MJ Watson (Zendaya) and best friend Ned Leeds (Fil-Am Jacob Batalon) to find a way to return these supervillains back to their own home universes before they cause any further damage. It is this moral quandary which forms the crux of the movie.

Holland has incontestably grown well into the role of Spider-Man, and much like his cinematic predecessors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, he has made the character his own.  I am also so glad to see how the supporting cast have sprouted wonderfully in their roles which they have likewise reprised from the previous Spidey films, particularly Zendaya as a loving and resolute girlfriend in MJ, and our own Jacob Batalon as the ever-loyal best friend Ned, whose Filipino family home life is adorably displayed here for the first time! 

The combined chemistry of the young leads reflects both a universal love for Spider-Man, as well as the seemingly budding distinctive connection which this iconic hero now has with today’s coming-of-age Generation Z youth.  I seriously wish that the late legend Stan Lee could have still been around to see this new film, an epic love letter to his greatest comic character for which he would have tremendously been proud of. 

© The FilAm 2021

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