Some Thoughts After Seeing Spider-Man: No Way Home

I know this movie just came out a few days ago and I know it’s probably the most anticipated movie to hit theaters in 2021. So I’ve been debating with myself whether or not I even wanted to write something about what I think of it. Being this fresh in the theater, I don’t want to give anything away in case there are Marvel fans who haven’t had a chance to see it yet. Then again… I have so many thoughts that I really want to pour out of my head.

So here’s what I’m gonna do… I’ll split up this post a bit. The first part is spoiler free. And then when I get to the point where I’m going to start talking about specific details, I’ll post the spoiler warning and if you don’t want to read that far ahead, you can click away. Sound fair? I thought so.

As I said, Spider-Man: No Way Home is likely the most anticipated film of the year. It’s one of those movies that probably didn’t even need a trailer to get people excited for it. It’s a movie that had rumors swirling around it ever since it was announced. There has been so much speculation about what would happen, what it would mean for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who would make an appearance, what kind of impact would those characters have… So many questions.

Without getting into spoiler territory, I feel like I can safely say that Spider-Man: No Way Home exceeded my expectations. And that’s saying something because I had a lot of expectations.

And here, I’m gonna treat anything revealed in the trailers as non-spoiler territory, okay? So we all went into this thing knowing that Doctor Strange would be involved. We knew that Peter Parker was going to go to the Sorcerer Supreme to try to magic his way out of this problem he was having, where the whole world knew about his dual life as Spider-Man. And we knew that Peter would mess up Strange’s forgetting spell by trying to add in caveats like making sure MJ and Ned and Aunt May all remembered his secret identity.

We also knew that messing up that spell somehow caused some old villains to return and face Spider-Man again… for the first time. Trailers revealed that we would see Doctor Octopus, the Green Goblin, and Sandman from the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy. Trailers also revealed that we would see Electro and Lizard from the Mark Webb/Andrew Garfield Amazing Spider-Man films. But this begged the question… who else will appear?

Okay, before I get into the real spoilers, I just want to say that I thought this movie was outstanding. I won’t go out on a limb to say it was a perfect movie… no movie is perfect. But as far as Spider-Man movies go, it got pretty dang close. I want to see it again before deciding whether I think it tops Into the Spider-Verse as my personal favorite among Spider-Man stand alone movies. But I also think it’s incredible for what this could mean for the MCU going forward. If you like the Marvel movies and if, in particular, you like Spider-Man, do yourself a favor and see this movie as quickly as possible because it will be next to impossible to avoid spoilers if you have internet access.

NOW WE ENTER SPOILER TERRITORY

Do you need more of a warning than that?

Should I just keep moving down a few more lines…

Just in case?

Are the spoilerphobes gone?

No?

Hey! I see you hiding over there!

If you don’t want this movie spoiled then you need to leave right now!

I’m not kidding, buster!

Gone?

Good…

Let’s carry on… shall we?

Spider-Man: No Way Home had everything I could have asked for out of this movie. They went above and beyond when it came to delivering on the potential of the story they were trying to tell. As I mentioned above, and from what we were shown in the trailers, we got five classic villains who have faced Spider-Man in the past… just not Tom Holland’s MCU Spider-Man.

Wait… I’m getting ahead of myself. I should try to break this down as things played out in the movie.

The first surprise cameo we get in the movie comes from Charlie Cox, reprising his role as Matt Murdoch from the Netflix Daredevil series. He only has a couple minutes of screen time, but they are quality minutes.

Knowing that each of the villains were coming did not diminish the excitement when each of them finally appeared on screen. And then, seeing each of the five bad guys interact with each other when they were being held in Doctor Strange’s magic prison was fun in and of itself.

Speaking of Strange… When he and Peter come to blows over the magic box that Strange put together to send everyone back to their own universe, there comes a moment when Strange knocks Peter’s spirit out of his body. In doing this, Strange hopes to grab the box back from Spider-Man, but he is still able to avoid Strange’s attempts to grab the box. Strange doesn’t understand how he’s able to do that when Peter’s soul is watching from some distance away. But the filmmakers gave a very subtle nod to the depiction of Peter’s spider sense as seen in the comics when we are able to see faint squiggly lines around Peter’s head in the astral plane. Very cool.

The death of Aunt May at the hands of Green Goblin was almost expected but nonetheless heartbreaking. But her death was not in vain, as Peter is finally taught the lesson that, “With great power must also come great responsibility.” We never saw an Uncle Ben in the MCU because we did not need to see Spider-Man’s origin story all over again… especially after seeing it on film twice before. When we were introduced to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker, he was already into his career as Spider-Man. But now we have a chance to see him experience that loss of his last remaining parental figure and it tears him apart.

Now we come to the big appearances that Sony and Marvel tried to keep a secret but… really? Did they keep it secret? I mean… When you Google Spider-Man: No Way Home, this is what shows up…

But watching these three Spider-Men interact is fantastic and only made me wish the movie was longer so we could see more of their banter. Anyway, they work well together and the chemistry is great. I’m up for more of this Spider-Verse stuff… even though this will likely never happen again.

In the trailer we are shown that MJ has a pretty massive fall and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man leaps after her. But I was certain that Andrew Garfield would be the one to catch her, giving him a sense of redemption after he was unable to save Gwen in his world.

The final fight between Peter and Green Goblin was brutal. You could see how much pain he was in after losing May, knowing he wanted revenge. And just as the MCU Peter is about to land that killing blow, Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man steps in and stops him. And how does the Goblin thank him? Stabbing him in the back. For a hot second I thought they were going to kill Maguire’s character, but he said he’s been stabbed before… so this is nothing.

In the end, we see the MCU Spider-Man reach the point where he is willing to make the sacrifices necessary to fix the problem that really all began with him in the first place. As the multiverse is bleeding into his reality, he tells Strange to complete the spell that will cause everyone to forget him. Not just forget that he’s Spider-Man, but forget that Peter Parker ever existed.

Peter makes the choice to give up everyone he’s ever loved because it’s the only thing that can repair the damage done to their reality. Even Strange is hesitant at this point, knowing how it will destroy Peter’s life. But he does it… and Peter is able to say good-bye to Ned and MJ before disappearing from their lives and their memories.

MJ tells Peter she loves him. But she stops Peter from saying it back, telling him to find her and tell her then. So that’s what he does… or it’s what he plans to do. Peter goes to the diner where MJ works and sees her and Ned. They’re happy… they’re planning to go to MIT… they’re doing just fine without Peter Parker in their lives. Peter decides to just order a coffee and leave, choosing to let his friends continue living their happy lives without him.

I think it’s important to note that MJ is still wearing the broken black dahlia necklace that Peter gave her in Far From Home. What does that mean for the future and their relationship? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything.

I thought this was a near perfect way to wrap up this trilogy of Spider-Man films in the MCU. A lot of fans have complained that Tom Holland, while a good actor and a fun Peter Parker, has not been a very comic book accurate Peter Parker. Not that I’ve ever really read the Spider-Man comics… but I think it’s because we’re so used to seeing Peter come from humble origins. He’s not a kid who is handed everything by Tony Stark. He’s just a kid from Queens who got bitten by a radioactive spider and got these crazy powers. He makes his own web fluid. He makes his own suit.

In a way, the MCU has been able to break Peter back down to square one. He is now that kid who can only rely on himself and his own wits to get by as Spider-Man. He no longer has access to Stark technology to build a custom suit with built-in AI. He’s just a guy in spandex who walks on walls. And that’s where we leave him… for now.

Who knows what’s to come for Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But I’m excited to see where they go from here and how they continue to rebuild this character from the ground up.

Have you had a chance to see No Way Home? What did you think? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “Some Thoughts After Seeing Spider-Man: No Way Home

  1. This movie gave me alllll the feels it was so good! I wasn’t super impressed with homecoming and just thought far from home was okay so I was thrilled at how good this one was! Spidey is my favorite super hero and this did him justice!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I lovedddd this movie!!! I’m a big fan of the Tom Holland spidey movies in general, so was expecting good things, but like you, thought this went above and beyond! Despite the bittersweet ending, I felt such a sense of satisfaction at the end of this film. It was such a well told story on its own, such a journey (and a well acted one!!) for Peter Parker, and satisfying for someone who had watched the Tobey and Andrew films as well. Definitely excited to see whats next for Peter Parker in the MCU–and also to see more of the multiverse in the next Dr Strange film

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was so so so good!
    So many parallels, so many easter eggs. SO much to look forward to..
    I was already enthusiastic about MOM and now after the brilliance of this movie and the post cred, it is safe to say my expectations are threw the roof!
    This is a culmination of three decades.. so much nostalgia!
    And yes I would have LOVED to see more of the banter.. it definitely was way too short. And this was Marvel’s worst kept secret– the trailer that was released in Brazil! Comon!
    Nevertheless, this movie was had everything- comedy, lot’s of heart warming stuff, adrenaline!
    Also I didn’t see the May thing coming, I was surprised to read that you did. But man that was really sad. But yeah I see why you thought it was coming.
    Honestly, 2021 Marvel was pretty great. The only thing I haven’t seen is Eternals, which I will watch when it comes on to Disney+

    Liked by 1 person

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