Spiderman: No Way Home is the third installment in the Tom Holland Spiderman series of movies taking place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is shattering all sorts of box office records and creating a splash in theaters, the likes of which we have not seen since before the pandemic. While, sure, the cameos and return of both beloved heroes and villains as well as the overt fan service scattered throughout the film create the hype that has surrounded it, at its essence, this is a true and classic Spiderman story.
The main criticisms of the MCU Spiderman movies have been centered around the fact that something was lacking. Spiderman, as Stan Lee and Steve Ditko had first envisioned him, is someone who realizes that he has the moral responsibility to proactively use his powers to help others. Homecoming and Far From Home both serve as fun lighthearted adventures for the wall-crawler, but they fail to carry the gravity and conviction held by past spidermen. However, through the tragic death of Aunt May (Marissa Tomey), which we have been exposed to countless times, including the delivery of the timeless “with great power must also come great responsibility,” motto that serves as a moral code for spiderman.
Although having first appeared in previous Spiderman movies, the villains in this movie, notably Dr. Octavius (Alfred Molina) and the Green Goblin/Norman Osborne (Willem Dafoe), pick off right where they left off in their alternate universes.
In addition to being more of a traditional Spider-Man movie and parting ways from the previous MCU Tom Holland films, this film manages to build up Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in ways never before seen. For the entirety of Holland’s debut, he has always been an addition to Ironman, sort of being his assistant and never really being a stand-alone character. With his newfound independence, Holland’s Spider-Man becomes more serious of a character, straying away from the more childish version we’ve seen in previous MCU films. This new sense of darkness and seriousness in the film adds a sense of maturity and importance to the film, providing a sense of gravity to the viewer’s experience. The supporting cast also does an amazing job in facilitating the progression of the plot, enhancing Holland’s actions as Spider-Man.
By: Herschel Karp and Emanuel Barkagan (12th)