Cold air pressing through the sky in the winter nights. Waiting outside, hands pressed together rubbing just to get warmth. Many months of people waiting for this very moment. On Dec 16th. “No Way Home” the new Spider-Man film debuted and cultivated itself as a true ending and well written love letter to all fans of Spider-Man.
Spider-Man “No Way Home” as expected hit every note and every chord for fans of the crawling arachnid but no one anticipated it to web everything that makes the character in the comics shine in this movie. Major spoilers ahead for people who have yet to see the best Spider-Man film to date.
The first act opens immediately as “Far From Home” left off as Peter Parker’s identity as Spider-Man is revealed to the world thanks to Mysterio. As the film picks up we as an audience feel the anxiety Peter now has due to this sudden reveal. He swings to his house with MJ and talks with Happy and May, which might be the most awkward interaction that every teenager has had before they find out what is going on.
The film progresses as we see everyone involved with Peter is in custody for the framed murder of Mysterio. Our first attribute that was done well in the film was introducing Matt Murdok portrayed by Charlie Cox. The scene clearly tells Peter, Murdok isn’t an ordinary lawyer as he catches a brick thrown through Peter’s window. This scene set up a future that many fans craved for Cox’s Daredevil and to that thank you “No Way Home”.
Murdok leaves Peter with words that clearly state this film’s main plot; his legal troubles may be over; however, his life will continue to get worse. With everyone knowing Peter’s identity and MJ along with Ned’s involvement their lives also get worse. Spider-Man is known for the struggle of living two lives as said by Strange later in the film. “No Way Home” took this from the comics and turned it into a beautiful lesson for why Peter can never just have a normal life. He is still trying to be Peter, but the world knows him as Spider-Man.
A big reason this film delivers a heartwarming fan service of the character to the audience is because of the struggle Peter faced of being selfish and not being Spider-Man. Peter obviously turns to Strange and botches the spell leading to the opening of the multiverse. The really important part of the first act of the film is when Peter discovers all the villains he brought to his universe die fighting their Spider-Man. May tells Peter it’s his responsibility to help them instead of saying it’s not his problem just so he can be normal with his friends.
Constantly May drives Peter to remember his duty as Spider-Man is to help and give everyone a chance. He eventually fights Dr. Strange who plans to send the villains home to die because of May’s words. Add one more amazing thing this film did flawlessly, making us the audience feel Peter’s internal struggle of happiness and doing what’s right. He takes the villains to Happy’s apartment to cure them of their powers for them to be sent home so they can avoid death. While doing this Peter is betrayed by the villains causing Green Goblin to kill May.
That moment right there. The death of May Parker. The most important part for any prior MCU Spider-Man film. May dying breaks Peter and shatters his moral code. It shatters his life, and his life as Spider-Man. In a tear-jerking scene as Peter cries on May as she gives him the famous “with great power comes, great responsibility”, we feel Peter loses one more thing to him. A piece of the puzzle that could never be found. He lost Aunt May because he chose to do what was right. Realizing even when you make the right decision, consequences still follow. The loss of May only adds to why this film is the best Spider-Man film.
Enter the Spider-Verse is the next act of the film. This is what fans had been leaning on for so long. We see Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man. He’s much older and wiser. Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man picks up a bit after his last movie with him still battling Gwen’s death. Not only did the introduction send chills and screams in my theater, it also made the wait for the best team up in live action intriguing.
Both Spider-Men come together and help Peter 1 (as referred to in the movie) cope with the loss of May and why her teachings make Spider-Man who he is: A hero who fights for everyone else and does what’s right. They all eventually fight the five villains into the most epic third act battle ever. “No Way Home” really captivated the chemistry and whimsical quirks each Spider-Man has. A reason why I never felt this movie was bad for having too many characters was because they built the chemistry so well. Each Spider-Man had great chemistry together and with the villains. Bigger was indeed better for this movie.
The last part as to “No Way Home’s” success is because of the last battle scene. MCU’s Peter fights goblins, and with every blow Peter lands, you feel his sadness and rage. His fist feels heavier and heavier as he wants revenge for May dying. Peter is then stopped by Maguire’s Spider-Man giving him the sign to let go of his anger. This small interaction between Goblin and Holland’s Spider-Man with Maguire’s Spider-Man shows us what growth in a hero looks like. It writes a fan service of Maguire being the mentor and Holland finally accepting his responsibility and moral value of being Spider-Man.
The film’s ending writes a perfect ending but a beautiful new start for Holland’s Peter Parker. When Strange does the final spell to make everyone forget Peter, which includes Ned and MJ, Peter goes to MJ’s work to make them remember. However, after seeing how much their lives change, Peter lets them be. This scene makes us see that Peter wants to protect his friends by making sure they can’t be hurt by him again. He sacrifices his relationship with MJ for her safety, A classic comic Spider-Man move all fans have seen before. This last part creates a big maturity spike for what is to come for Holland’s Spider-Man.
“No Way Home” has managed to exceed every critic and fan’s expectation and satisfaction meter. The film will no doubt go down as the best Spidey film ever. It makes you reevaluate who Spider-Man is and why people love him. The film did what other Spider-Man films lacked for fans: Spider-Man not having a happy ending. It also shows us what being Spider-Man looks and feels like. Spider-Man has come a long way since his first appearance in “Civil War”, but it’s clear to see that this ending is a true curtain call for this era of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Cj Flores is the editor-in-chief of The Express. Follow him @cj_mcanfores