Spider-Man No Way Home review: With great power comes great responsibility, is the motto Peter Parker aka Spider-Man has lived by. But great power also has great consequences, and if this third instalment in the Spider-Man franchise was when you were hoping Tom Holland would grow up to that realisation, you are in for a disappointment. Yes, No Way Home is all that you have been hearing and talking about. Yes, it gives you bangs to the power of three for your buck. Yes, it is gratifying to indulge in your favourite Spider-Men films of the recent past once more. And yes, Holland’s Peter remains as likable and eager as ever.

But when the dust settles on this metaverse of multiple villains and many heroes, which Cumberbatch’s Dr Strange conjures out of some very furiously moving hands and not seemingly as engaged thoughts, it’s unclear what all that was about.

spider-man no way home Benedict Cumberbatch returns as Doctor Strange in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

The film starts with Peter’s identity revealed to the world, and what follows in a world of mobile phones, paparazzi and The Daily Bugle – both fame and ignominy. One fallout is the rejection by MIT of not just Peter’s college application but also of friends MJ (a charming Zendaya) and Ned (a winsome Batalon). It’s this that ultimately drives Peter to ask Dr Strange to turn the clock back to the time before his identity was revealed or, if not that, to make people forget who he was.

Something goes wrong, and it must when Dr Strange keeps plucking strings of light out in the midst of a world-altering spell, at Peter’s confused bidding. Out tumble the villains Spider-Man has fought before, Dr Octopus (Alfred Molina), Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Electro (Jamie Foxx) Sandman and the Lizard.

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So far, so good. However, it is about here that the plot, already into the tricky territory of multiple universes, gets a little wobbly. Superheroes nowadays can’t just have fun and beat the bad guys. There has to be a larger purpose to their gift. What Peter chooses at this point is set to have consequences that he doesn’t really think through – or the film even lets him face.