“Spider-Man: No Way Home” Movie Review

Poster for “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” This poster was released after the movie was released into theaters. (Sony/Marvel 12/17/21)

Poster for “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” This poster was released after the movie was released into theaters. (Sony/Marvel 12/17/21)

*Warning: This article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home.” If you haven’t seen it yet, then go see it. It’s amazing.*

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” has smashed through the pandemic wall that has blocked the great success of movies. It has set a record for the best holiday season-opening weekend in the U.S. and is sure to go down as one of the greatest superhero movies of all time.

The incorporation of characters of the original two live-action “Spider-Man” series was a great idea on paper but could have very easily been a disaster, especially because some of the villains, namely Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin and Electro were supposed to be dead at the end of their respective movies. While the workaround of having them be extracted the moment before they died is a little too convenient, director Jon Watts still manages to capture the character and aesthetic of the icons, while letting them evolve a bit. For instance, the moment in the movie where Tom Holland’s Spider-Man implants the repaired chip into Doctor Octopus not only shows a new side of the iconic villain but lets him interact with the new world he’s been placed in. The greatest part of this is that he is not just a new iteration with a familiar face but the same character from before with a continuous story that makes sense. 

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for The Lizard and Sandman, who at times seem to only be in the movie because they were villains in the older Spider-Man movies. While their motivations are certainly existent, they seem shallow and petty at times. For example, Sandman only wishes to get back to his world because he wishes to see his daughter. It sounds straightforward enough but the problem arises that it’s the only kind of personality that comes out of him, leaving him as a static character. Overall though, the villains are done excellently.

Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s iterations of Spider-Man appearing in “No Way Home” was definitely the movie’s worst kept secret. While not featured in any of the trailers, the inevitability certainly was a large contributor to the overall hype of the movie. Thankfully, the appearances of the former Spider-Men did not disappoint and for me, are part of what makes the movie special. 

The interactions between the three Spider-Men are a joy to see on screen. Although they all portray the same basic character, they still feel different and unique in the way the respective actors deliver their lines and display their emotions. For example, Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man is older, more mature, and quieter, keeping in line with his character while also showing how time has passed considering his movies are nearly 20 years old. The same can be said about Garfield’s Spider-Man, with the character admitting to having gone down a darker path after his movies, which in itself is interesting if Sony wants to finish the “Amazing Spider Man” series. All said, the best part of these characters in NWH is how they appear not just to appease fans but also to continue their narrative.

Now it’s about time to talk about the main and titular Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland. In the first two movies of the MCU’s Spider-Man trilogy, Tony Stark/Iron Man plays a significant role, playing the mentor and inspiration to Spider-Man even after his death. While I know some don’t like how Holland’s Spider-Man is too connected with Stark, I think that it eventually pays off in “No Way Home” with the whole world turning on Peter Parker while he’s reaching for a lifeline.

For a movie with quite a lot of characters, “Spider-Man No Way Home” plot is mostly straightforward. The shift in tone and mood from previous movies being lighthearted and a bit silly to darker, angsty and more gritty is welcome but also a good change of pace for the superhero movie genre altogether.

Once again coming back to the villains, the most climactic and emotional moment in the movie is definitely the scene when Green Goblin kills Peter’s Aunt May. It’s extremely sad in the best way possible. While some movies play the sacrifice card and then ignore its impact, NWH uses it to send Peter Parker into a direction never really seen before by the character, a dark place full of the delusions of grief. 

Although the movie was amazing, not everything was perfect. Some of the CGI motion blur on the heroes during the final fight is a tad too much, making it hard to distinguish between the different Spider-Men at times. Another minor gripe is the end. The memory wipe is slightly confusing but I’m sure MCU writers for future projects will be able to turn the new twist into something interesting. These things don’t bother me that much in the end though, and NWH is still a great movie regardless of these minor issues.

To make sure I’m just not delusional, I talked with Lambert freshman Luke Rosen. 

“It’s a really good movie,” Luke commented. 

He’s definitely not alone in his sentiment, as Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie a 98% audience rating and a 93% critic score. 

“If you haven’t watched it you should,” Luke stated. 

I agree with his thoughts. 

While “Spider-Man: No Way Home” isn’t an absolutely perfect movie by any means, it still delivers a satisfying film, sure to please fans, while building the titular character’s mythos in major ways. With the inclusion of old characters in the MCU, I can’t wait to see what Spider-Man’s next chapter in film is. 

“Spiderman: No Way Home” receives a 4.4/5 rating. (Josh Mui)