Review: Spider-Man: No Way Home


Katie L. '22

SPOILER ALERT: This article does include spoilers for the film, so if you have not seen it, I would recommend doing so before reading this review. 

Spider-Man: No Way Home is the third and newest installment of the Tom Holland Spider-Man Films. Whether you are a long time fan who’s watched the films since Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man, or you’re just getting into the newer films, there is plenty to enjoy for everyone.  The film’s hype had been building up through advertisements and rumors of the two older Spider-Man’s making a return to the big screen, making it–in my opinion–one of the most highly-anticipated films of 2021. 

The film’s opening takes place right where the second film (Spider-Man: Far From Home) left off. Peter Parker and his girlfriend M.J. are getting ready to go on a date when the previous film’s villain Mysterio comes on all of the screens in NYC and exposes Spider-Man, revealing his identity as Peter Parker. This leads to trouble for Peter because the general public is now in belief that Spider-Man murdered Mysterio, who they all saw as a hero.

Now that Spider-Man’s true identity is out in the open, Peter and the people in his life are getting a lot of attention. Press would follow him and his friend’s on their way to school and he couldn’t show his face in public without getting screamed at. This obviously caused problems for Peter and his friends. Due to this whole scandal and the fact that the world hates Peter Parker, he and his friends all get rejected from MIT, which is their dream school. 

Peter feels deeply guilty that he is the reason his friend’s are kept from getting into school, so he makes a trip to visit Dr. Strange and ask him for his help. Upon arrival, Peter asks Dr. Strange if he can perform a spell that will make everyone forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. However, while the spell is being casted, Peter keeps distracting Dr. Strange. This causes him to mess up his spell, which releases everyone who knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man into their dimension. 

As the viewers our first introduction to one of the classic returning characters is when Peter is on the Bridge trying to track down the head of MIT admissions to right his wrongs. While he is doing this, he turns to see people running and screaming. He suits up and goes to see what the problem is, when he gets there he is met by none other than Dr. Otto Octavius from 2004’s Spider-Man 2

The fight that ensues is one of my favorite fights I’ve seen in a Marvel movie. Not only is this because the scene is packed full of action but also because the way in which they introduce the new and old characters to each other is beautifully done. Because Peter is masked, Doc Oc thinks that he is the same Spider-Man from his universe (Tobey Maguire) but when he unmasks him to find that it is not the same Peter, the confusion that ensues is one of the funnier scenes in the movie. 

When Peter returns to Dr. Strange, we learn what has happened and why all the classic villains are returning, and that Tom Holland’s Peter is tasked with catching them all and returning them to their original Universes. 

The Movie continues on to show Peter catching all of the old Spider-Man film’s classic villains. When he gets to Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin he finds him at his Aunt May’s place of work. His Aunt May being the good person that she is, tells Peter that before sending them all back to their original universes where they meet tragic fates that he should try to cure them of what makes them all villains. Peter is hesitant but agrees. 

I think that creating a story that ropes in all of these original characters from the first films and working with the concept of curing them so that they can live happy normal lives is amazing. It shows what a good heart that Peter and Aunt May both have, to want to help such evil and vile people. And through the way that Peter works to cure these villains it really builds character in a way we never saw in the original films. We as the viewer are given a better insight into the way that these classic villains think and I enjoyed getting that different perspective. 

Peter’s plan to cure the villains ultimately fails resulting in one of the saddest scenes in the whole movie: Aunt May’s death. Aunt May died because she had a kind heart and wanted to help people. The absolute raw and true emotion that Tom Holland put into that scene holding Aunt May in his arms was some of the most amazing acting I’ve ever seen. Sitting in the theatre while that scene played you could feel the sadness moving through you, it felt as if you were there with Peter Parker in that moment watching someone you’ve grown to love die in your arms. 

Shortly after this we are introduced to the main appeal of the movie, the two original Spider-Men. Peter’s best friend Ned opens a portal in hopes of finding him, but when he says the words “Find Peter Parker ” he opens a portal and out walks The Amazing Spider-Man Himself, Andrew Garfield. For any fans of the classic films, as soon as Andrew walked out of that portal you felt a spark of nostalgia and joy, seeing The Amazing Spider-man back on screen interacting with Ned and Mj was a great feeling. 

Shortly after we are once again pleased with that feeling as Ned tries again to find his friend and out walks the original spider-man Tobey Maguie. Seeing both original Spider-Men together interacting in one room made me feel like I was a little kid again watching Spider-Man 2 with my dad. Nothing short of good emotions came from seeing them both in the same room. 

Knowing they were out of luck trying to find their friend, they took both Spider-men and went to where Peter goes when he needs to be alone. They found him sitting there upset and sad. Both of the old Peters approached him and validated his feelings, speaking about the losses that they too have experienced, and how it helped them come out stronger. Seeing the three Spider-Men all together talking about characters from each movie that we knew the importance of really bonded the connection. You could feel them bonding with each other over similar experiences, which helped heal some of that pain giving the viewer a warm feeling. 

Next up came the part where all of the Peter’s got together on top of the Statue of Liberty and waited to put their plan in place so they could fight all of the bad guys. Watching the three character’s interact was one of my favorite parts of the movie. Listening to how the different spider-men talked to each other and watching them joke with each other before the big final fight really brought a smile to my face. 

Then came the final fight scene, arguably the most action packed scene of the film, because it wouldn’t be a superhero movie without a good fight. Watching all of the Spider-men Swing around together fighting each of their own villains really made the movie for me. There was a part of the final fight scene where Mj is dropped off the statue, and when Peter 1 tries to catch her he’s ripped away by green goblin. So Andrew Garfield’s Spiderman dives down to save her. As a classic Spider-Man fan I enjoyed this parallel to The amazing Spider-man 2 where Andrew couldn’t save Gwen Stacy from Falling to her death. And the aftermath when he asks if Mj is okay and she responds by asking him the same question really made that scene all the better. I really appreciated that he was finally given his redemption. 

In order to save everyone from the masses of parallel dimensional villains trying to break their way into this dimension Tom Holland’s Spiderman swings up to Dr Strange who is trying to hold the barrier shut and tells him he wants him to do a spell. The sell that Peter asks him to perform will erase Peter Parker from everyones memory. Nobody will remember him, not even his friends. While hesitant Dr Strange complies and allows Peter to say his goodbyes. This scene showed a significant amount of selflessness and sacrifice. Peter sacrificed himself in order to put things back to normal so that everyone could be safe. 

The closing of the movie ends with Peter 1 going back to the coffee shop where Mj works in hopes of sparking her memory. But once he realizes that she seems happy he decides not to, we see Ned and Mj both get accepted into MIT and Peter goes off to make a new Spiderman suit that looks just like the ones from the original films, then the movie comes to an end. Overall the ending scene was saddening. It showed the realness of the sacrifice Peter made for everyone. He put his own happiness aside for the benefit of others and I’d say that makes him a true hero. 

I spoke with OLSH Student Delaney Woynar about her thoughts on the film:  “I am a prior fan of Spider-Man. My favorite part of the movie was seeing all three of the Spider-Man characters together and how they kept their own personality. I also enjoyed how the Spider-Man villains recognized which Spider-Man they fought, allowing the connection between all the movies.”

Spider-Man: No Way Home was one of the best films I have ever seen. I walked away not wanting to stop talking about it.  Anyone I asked came to the same conclusion that this film was a cinematic masterpiece on Marvel’s part. I would definitely recommend this movie to any marvel fan, or anyone who is looking for a good movie to watch.