Wednesday, December 15, 2021

'Spider-Man' and friends leap into 12 Days of Movie Christmas 2021

So many movies, so little time. I mean, who's really counting, but more than a megaplex full of cinema will debut between now and Christmas Day. Hence, for each of the next 11 afternoons -- Dec. 15-25 -- visit by 6 p.m. (ET) and (hopefully) find a little something about a film currently playing in or close to surfacing at a theater (or streaming service) near you. It's our "12 Days of Movie Christmas," and it continues here now.

It's a legitimate high-rise balancing act for Zendaya and Holland. 
"Can Spider-Man come out to play?"

So asks an archnemesis near the very grand finale of "Spider-Man: No Way Home," and a lot of people's favorite superhero responds in typically solid, socko, boffo style -- and then some. 

In this most enjoyable of any "Spidey" film of the Tom Holland (as Peter Parker) era, young pals, new friends and a few seriously super surprises help our hero deal with the big trouble instigated during the cliffhanger climax of 2019's "Spider-Man: Far From Home." (If you've forgotten or not seen that one, returning director Jon Watts, with writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, leave room for a rat-a-tat-tat review at the action-packed beginning of their latest.)

Then's it's off and leaping with Parker's alter ego and his main squeeze M.J. (the picture perfect Zendaya) taking an aerial tour of the Big Apple to get away from cops, hounding media and, perhaps, a few other inquisitive parties. The outcome of said chase re-introduces an increasingly involved Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and her boyfriend Hop (Jon Favreau), now dealing with their own personal problems. 

Friendly (we assume) fellow Avenger and mysteriously magical Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) also shows up early to work out some issues with parallel universes and the like. Parker's comrade in all things nerdy, Ned (Jacob Batalon), gets to open some doors in that realm, too, leading to those rather eye-opening appearances, hugs all around, and a memorable Christmas to boot. (Oh, yeah, you can stick around for those inevitable teasers during the end credits, as well. One comes midway, with another little lengthier segment at the very end.)

("Spider-Man: No Way Home" swoops into theaters all over town on Friday.)

Rated "PG-13" by MPAA: sequences of action/violence, some language and brief suggestive comments; 2:28; $ $ $ $ out of $5 

Coming tomorrow (Day 3 of Movie Christmas 2021): "Swan Song"

If you missed yesterday (Day 1): "Nightmare Alley"

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