‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’: This movie has a sense of nostalgia; it truly is bittersweet

Gabrielle Rothenberg, Staff Writer

Spoilers Ahead

The trailer to the newest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe [MCU], Spider-Man: No Way Home, set high expectations, being the most-watched trailer in a single day.  People were speculating many things and coming up with lots of theories. Some thought there would be appearances by past Spider-Men played by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Tobey Maguire starred in the original Spider-Man films pre-MCU. Andrew Garfield starred in the Amazing Spider-Man films, also not a part of the MCU. Others thought that beloved characters like Harold “Happy” Hogan, May Parker, and Michelle “MJ” Jones would die. Afterall, the scene in the trailer showing MJ’s fall was remarkably similar to Gwen Stacy’s (Peter Parker’s girlfriend in The Amazing Spider-Man films) fall at the end of Garfield’s second and final Spider-Man movie. Another popular theory was that Ned Leeds, Peter’s best friend, would become the villain Hobgoblin, similar to the comics. One thing that all fans could agree on is that after seeing the trailer filled with villains from the past movies, Dr. Strange, and even a small scene featuring Wong, this was going to be an epic, must-see, movie.

There were many famous faces and lovable (or hateable) characters in this movie. Tom Holland reprised his starring role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and was joined by Zendaya [MJ], Jacob Batalon [Ned], Marisa Tomei [Aunt May], and Jon Favreau [Happy Hogan]. Some newer faces to the MCU but returning faces to Spider-Man movies included Willem Defoe as Norman Osborn [Green Goblin], Alfred Molina as Dr. Otto Octavius [Dr. Octopus], Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon [Electro], Thomas Haden Church as Flint Marko [Sandman], and Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors [Lizard]. Surprise appearances included Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker (Spider-Man).

After having just watched this movie, I am shell-shocked. 

The movie starts exactly where Spider-Man Far From Home left off, with Mysterio revealing Spider-Man’s true identity. Everyone is divided on whether Peter is a hero or a villain. May, Ned, MJ, and Peter are all brought into the police station and questioned; luckily Matt Murdock frees Peter of all charges. However, the backlash of Mysterio’s video follows Peter and his loved ones, even preventing MJ, Ned, and Peter from being accepted into their dream school. Peter is left feeling awful, thinking he has ruined MJ and Ned’s lives. He makes the choice to ask Dr. Strange for help, and everything goes off the rails from there.

Peter messes up Dr. Strange’s spell and leads villains and later heroes from different multiverses to this universe. 

Maguire’s and Garfield’s Spider-Man’s help guide Holland’s Spider-Man and pass on advice. 

This movie was emotional for viewers of all ages. Peter’s only living family member, Aunt May, is now dead; Peter’s girlfriend MJ and his best friend Ned no longer know who he is, along with everyone else he has ever met. 

This movie has a sense of nostalgia; it truly is bittersweet. No Way Home is one of the most heart-wrenching MCU films, even with all of the tragedy.

The third installment in the MCU’s Spider-Man movies was a fan service film that wanted to leave all viewers happy, which could have been its demise. Luckily, Marvel Studios was able to keep the movie’s integrity intact while pleasing fans.

No Way Home did a great job of developing Holland’s Spider-Man as a hero and a person. It also did an exceptional job at setting up future MCU projects. Viewers were treated to not only an amazing movie but also great post-credit scenes. Eddie Brock [Venom] was seen in a bar before going back to his universe; but not without leaving behind a little gift. Marvel didn’t just stop there, for the first time in MCU history one of the post-credit scenes was a trailer. The highly anticipated film Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness received its first trailer at the very end of No Way Home’s credits. After seeing this trailer excitement is raised even more for this upcoming movie.

However, the movie did have its faults. One of the main ones is that the ending makes the previous two movies meaningless in a way. No one other than Peter knows about what happened because it didn’t happen to them.

Overall, Spider-Man: No Way Home did not disappoint. The movie had high expectations to live up to and it did just that. I would give it a solid 4.8 stars out of 5. Viewers of all ages could reminisce about going to the movies and seeing their first Spider-Man movie, whether it be Maguire’s, Garfield’s, or Holland’s version.