We Can’t Stop Talking About “Spider-Man: No Way Home”


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“Spider-Man: No Way Home” is the culmination of the Tom Holland Spider-Man trilogy.

Spider-Man: No Way Home released on December 17th. This new blockbuster left every Spider-Man fan grinning in delight; it was a true cinematic masterpiece. After a string of bland T.V. shows and the mess called Eternals, it looked like Marvel was losing their touch. That all ended on the 17th when this holy grail of a film dropped.

Note: there will be spoilers at the very end of the article! But first, listen as Pantherbook editors Amanda Wylie, Halle Goldsmith, and Vedika Vinayak discuss movie theaters in the age of COVID-19, or should we say the age of Spider-Man: No Way Home.

This movie explores the aftermath of Spider-Man’s real name being revealed to the public, leaving poor Peter to deal with the chaotic fallout. His solution? Enlisting the help of the magic man himself: Dr. Strange. Peter’s friends, MJ and Ned, work alongside Dr. Strange to combat multiversal foes. These new enemies consist of Lizard, Doc Ock, Electro, Sandman, and the legendary Green Goblin. The actors who played these roles in previous Spider-Man franchises return to their beloved roles which just makes it that much more special. The nostalgia took hold of any long time Spider-Man fans as people witnessed these classic Spider-Man enemies collaborate in one epic movie.

Spider-Man: No Way Home has grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide. (Creative Commons)

Since there were so many villains in one movie, there will always be an argument about which villain is the best and which is the worst. For me, the Lizard is the worst. The CGI monster looks fearsome, but has a proper British accent that throws me off. The best villain could be argued between Doc Ock or Green Goblin. Doc Ock has a much cooler storyline and powers, but Green Goblin is terrifying and has this insane, chaotic aura about him. At least in this movie, the Green Goblin wins with William Dafoe putting on an outstanding performance

There’s a few things to know before watching Spider-Man: No Way Home. To truly appreciate the movie in all of its glory, it’s important to understand how the character of Spider-Man has evolved throughout his cinematic history. Even though the original Toby Maguire movies are old, they are a great example of what it means to be Spider-Man. The original Spider-Man trilogy explores the idea of Spider-Man facing his darker side and overcoming it; in other words, he finds who he’s meant to be. In this third installment of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man trilogy, the same thing is happening: this is his big finale and the conclusion of his character arc.

You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the movie by watching previous Marvel Cinematic Universe films (specifically Dr. Strange, Captain America: Civil War,and Avengers: Infinity War) and the Disney+ TV show Loki. Although Loki seems completely unrelated to Spider-Man, the series experiments with multidimensional beings and separate realities. After all, the primary dilemma in the new Spider-Man movie is a messed up spell that crosses the multiverse. If all of that sounds confusing, I again recommend Loki and Dr. Strange for more of an explanation; considering the multiversal themes of Eternals, Loki, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it is safe to say that this is the direction Marvel is going post-Infinity Saga. 

You have hit the spoiler mark! From now on major spoilers will be mentioned in order to give an honest review.

Wow, that movie was a masterpiece. I think it is safe to say that most Marvel fans already knew that Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield would be in the movie in order to take down all of the villains, but that did not suppress the excitement when they walked out of the golden portals. This movie felt like nostalgia punched me in the face as I got to see the Spider-Men I grew up watching team up with the modern Spider-Man that the next generation will see.

This movie surpassed expectations (which could have been because Spider-Man: Far From Home was underwhelming in my opinion). I thought the writing of this film was well done and I’m sure many people were emotional when Aunt May said, “With great power also comes great responsibility.” Having her die was a good decision as it catalyzed the primary action in the movie after a slow start.

Tom Holland did an exceptional acting job with this one, really conveying the strong emotions that can only be triggered by loss of a loved one. There were plot holes in the movie though, like why didn’t Doc Ock help Spider-Man from the onset? Where were Gwen Stacy and the other MJ? Why was Electro there when he never knew who Peter Parker was? Really though, that’s just nitpicky stuff that is pushed aside when looking at the overall brilliance of Spider-Man: No Way Home.

The Green Goblin, played by Willem Dafoe, was a highlight of the film. (Creative Commons)

My one big criticism is that the whole movie could have been resolved if either Spider-Man just owned the fact that everyone knew who he was (like Iron Man) instead of being concerned that his friends were not getting into college. Alternatively, they could have just pressed the button and gotten it over with. I get that Spider-Man has a good heart and really wanted to help these people, but after he helped them, couldn’t they just stay in that universe as healed souls? If they stayed in the main MCU universe after choosing a new life, it would probably give Marvel more opportunities to bring them back.

Putting that aside, the battle at the Statue of Liberty was one of my favorite movie sequences ever. The relationship between the three Spider-Men is *chef’s kiss*. When MJ falls down the tower and Peter gets swiped by Goblin, my heart dropped and I thought history would repeat itself, but no! My guy Andrew Garfield actually put some power into his jump and decided to catch her with his body rather than webs (sorry Gwen). That moment was so heartbreaking, yet so fulfilling and special. I also loved when all of the Spider-Men were web swinging in unison, but somehow in their own style, truly representing the history of Spider-Man across the generations.

This movie was a 9.8/10. There were minor plot holes, the beginning was slow, and the Lizard was just a dumb, low-threat, filler villain, but the movie was well done and gave the fans exactly what they wanted. 

What will happen going forward? With the depressing end of Spider-Man: No Way Home, I do not think Spider-Man will be returning for any collaborations with other superheroes for a while. We have seen Spider-Man team up with Iron Man and Dr. Strange in the past, but now nobody knows who he is or can appreciate his work saving the world. With Venom, Daredevil, and Morbius being teased, they might have a connection with Spider-Man, but I doubt anything will happen with that soon.

It does look like Dr. Strange will be recognized for his actions during this movie with the new Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness set to release this May. That looks wicked crazy and I am definitely looking forward to it; you can’t just break the bonds of reality and expect there to be no consequences. There is so much more new content for Marvel to dabble with after this movie and I will be there to watch, critique, and review whatever they come up with!