HomeMovies'Spider-man: No Way Home' is a Love Letter to Longtime Fans

‘Spider-man: No Way Home’ is a Love Letter to Longtime Fans

Photo Courtesy Sony Pictures Entertainment

If you are a fan of Spider-Man, then you need to watch Spider-Man: No Way Home. The third installation of director Jon Watts’ series pulls its story from several Spider-Man comics all while pulling at your heart strings.

Major Spoilers Ahead!

To quickly recap the events of the film, the world knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man thanks to Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) revealing his identity at the end of Spider-Man: Far from Home. Half the population sees Peter (Tom Holland) as a villain and the other half supports him. Regardless, he is continuing on with his life and starts his senior year of high school.

Peter’s girlfriend, MJ (Zendaya), best friend, Ned (Jacob Batalon), and Peter all get denied admission to their dream school MIT thanks to the bad press surrounding Peter. So, he seeks out the assistance of Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to help the world forget that he is, in fact, Spider-Man. Dr. Strange is clearly no longer the Sorcerer Supreme, because the spell goes horribly wrong (probably due to Peter changing the parameters of the spell 5 times before it is completed), resulting in different universes silently colliding.

Villains from previous Spider-Man installments begin to show up in the MCU, along with the previous versions of Peter Parker, notably reprised by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. The Peters Parker work together to cure the villains and send them home to their rightful worlds—of course, not without some sacrifice. Aunt Mae (Marisa Tomei) is killed by the Green Goblin, but not before sharing the line all too familiar to fans of the Spiderverse: “With great power, there must also come great responsibility”. Though her version appears slightly varied, it is a call back to the original line from the 1962 comic. Eventually, the MCU Peter must make the impossible decision of having the entire world forget who he is in order to protect it from falling apart.

While No Way Home may seem like a simple story compared to the behemoths that we’ve seen in previous phases (aka Civil War, Endgame, etc), it really was so fun to watch the different iterations of Spider-Man that we’ve seen over the past years together on screen. While Tobey Maguire’s version of Peter showed so much growth in his personal journey as Spider-Man, compared to our main character, despite everything he’s been through, is still very much a teenager. Maguire’s Peter helps MCU Peter realize that revenge is not the best answer, regardless of what you have lost, who took it from you and the pain and the rage that you feel.

Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man was always a goofier version of the character, and I loved that. When compared to the war stories of the other two, this “Amazing Spider-Man” doesn’t appear to live up to the name, but seeing him be able to redeem himself by saving MJ in the same way he couldn’t save Gwen Stacy was both “amazing” and emotional.

With this third installment of the franchise, we see the true theme become that of redemption. Aunt Mae reminds Peter to see the good in people and that even if they aren’t from this world, they are still worthy of being saved. With the brainpower of the Peters three, they succeed in their goal. Tobey’s Peter finally has the chance to save Norman Osborne (Willem Dafoe), something that has haunted him for years. It also allows for Tom Holland’s origin story to play out over the course of three movies, which is something that has always been relegated to the first 15-30 minutes of one film. We see the evolution of him being a regular kid (who happens to gain super powers) mess up, grow, mess up again, continue to grow and continue to make mistakes. I think that’s why Spider-Man has always been such a popular superhero, because at the end of the day he really is just a regular kid who messes up and learns from each mistake to try and be a better version of himself each day.

Spider-Man: No Way Home also reminds everyone how freaking fantastic Willem Dafoe is. He really is the scariest Spider-Man villain, because he can so easily go from playing such an innocent man who has lost his way to a deranged ego-maniac in the blink of an eye. Dr. Otto Octavius aka Doc Ock was always one of my favorite villains as well, so it was exciting to see Alfred Molina portray him again. Electro (Jamie Foxx) got a really nice upgrade from his original villain form, so much so, that they even mention it in the film and Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) is finally returned to his human form and hopefully gets to see his daughter. All’s well that ends well, except for Peter, who, by the end of the film, no longer has anyone in the world who knows he exists. Though, we do see a glimmer of hope in the fact that MJ in her final scene is still wearing the broken black dahlia necklace that Peter gave her. She may not remember how she got it, but she still wears it.

No Way Home’s ending definitely opens up the doors for Sony to do a lot with the character outside of Disney and the MCU in the future (such as a possible Venom crossover movie?!). Regardless of where the future of this Spider-Man leads, if you have been keeping up with all of the MCU offshoots on Disney+ and Netflix, you were rewarded with plenty of fun Easter eggs throughout the film, such as the billboard for Rogers the Musical, lots of runes imagery calling back to WandaVision and Wanda’s upcoming role in the Dr. Strange film, Matt Murdock aka Daredevil (Charlie Cox) made an appearance as Peter’s lawyer and Electro alluded to the existence of Miles Morales.

All in all, Spider-Man: No Way Home was truly a love letter to all new and old Spider-Man fans. Not only through its incorporation of past characters, but also in its blending of musical scores from previous films and intertwined themes seen in both the film and comic book versions of this story. If you have ever loved any iteration of this character, you should absolutely go see this film, because Spider-Man 4 has already been confirmed and if it is even half as good as this one was, it cannot be released soon enough!

Spider-man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters.


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