Spider-Man: No Way Home, Movie Review

Gavin Herrmann, Staff Writer

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Released: December 17, 2021

Directed by: Jon Watts

Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Jacob Batalon


Warning! This review contains spoilers.


Spider-Man has been a fan favorite since his first appearance in the Amazing Fantasy #15 comic book in the 1960s. Since then, he’s been adapted to countless television shows, books, and video games. The first Spider-Man movie was released in 2002, with Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man, which would lead to several more movies and reboots of the character. Spider-Man: No Way Home features Tom Holland as the web-slinging superhero, and picks up directly from the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home with Mysterio revealing the identity of Peter Parker. Peter seeks the help of Dr. Strange, who he requests to cast a spell that causes everyone to forget Mysterio’s reveal. However, changes in the spell from Peter cause universes to overlap, and thus the greatest crossover episode in cinema history was born.

This movie concept has been a major request by fans for years, and the payoff was incredible. The film was able to bring in both Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire’s spider-men and their respective villains together with Tom Holland beautifully. While the movie might have been built around bringing the trio together, it still feels fleshed out and has a tangible plot. For those familiar with other Marvel films, this one has a very similar mood to it, with plenty of comedy, but a unique and surprising amount of emotion, so much so to bring the audience to tears. I’d like to compliment actors like Willem Dafoe, who played Green Goblin/Norman Osborne, and Alfred Molina, who played Doc Ock/Otto Octavius. Their ability to seamlessly slip back into roles they played decades ago is truly impressive. Dafoe was especially able to become his character and gave me chills when he would switch from a scared and feeble Norman to the sadistic and twisted personality of the Goblin.

While not necessary, I believe that this movie is much more enjoyable if you’ve watched the previous Spider-Man movies, or at least have a basic understanding of the characters and their motives. There are plenty of nostalgic callbacks and many characters have beautiful arcs that can only be caught if you’ve seen the other movies. Even if you don’t fully understand the plot or the behaviors of the characters, the imagery and effects of the movie are absolutely stunning. With some of the greatest and most memorable scenes being almost entirely CGI, it’s incredibly impressive how realistic the interactions between the real world and the generated world are.

Whether it be purposeful or incidental, the film received unprecedented amounts of free advertising. As soon as the trailer for the movie was released, the internet exploded in theories about the plot and if they might finally bring the three spider-men together. This built up an insurmountable amount of excitement for what the movie would bring. This can be seen in a record-breaking $260 million opening weekend in North American box offices. Luckily, the movie was able to walk the walk and became an instant favorite. While some critics believed that this movie relied too much on its nostalgia-inducing factor, the majority praised the film for its magnitude and ability to have a balanced spotlight among all of the heroes and villains. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Spider-Man: No Way Home and I look forward to watching what Marvel and Sony have in store for Spider-Man in the future.