“Spider-Man No Way Home: A Nostalgic Masterpiece”

Aliza Kazmi, Co-Editor in Chief

*Minor Spoilers Ahead*

Flashes of rainbow comic book characters pop off of the screen in front of me as I sit in the movie theater, anxiously awaiting the start of my most anticipated film of the year, “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” 

This continuation of Spider-Man’s story directly follows the shocking cliffhanger of “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” with Peter Parker and his girlfriend, MJ, in Times Square as his superhero identity of Spider-Man is revealed to the public by the villain Mysterio. Peter quickly swings away as the crowd turns against him and names him public enemy number one. And so begins a Spider-Man story unlike any we have ever seen before. 

One of the reasons this movie is so unique is that it is not simply about winning against a villain; in fact, one could argue that it is actually about losing and the trauma that comes with being a young hero. Peter faces new challenges, both in the form of villains and the frightening reality of having his identity revealed. He is interrogated by the FBI, rejected from his dream school, and surrounded by more attention than he ever wanted. 

However, the film was still full of lighthearted and cheesy superhero goodness. Despite the traumatic events Peter has faced throughout his time as Spider-Man, he is still hopeful and optimistic. When faced with five major supervillains, Peter decides to try and help them return home instead of focusing on how to defeat them. Speaking of the five major supervillains, “No Way Home” brought together a superstar cast of returning villains from the previous Spider-Man series, creating an ultimate feeling of nostalgia for OG Spider-Man fans. Although, to the audience’s surprise (and delight!), the villains were not all actually villains, and redeemed themselves by the end of the film. 

And of course, there is that one scene in particular that we had all been hoping for for years: for the first time in Spider-Man history, all three film iterations of everyone’s favorite neighborhood superhero were standing in one room. Fans were speculating for months prior to the film’s release about whether or not Tobey Maguire’s and Andrew Garfield’s versions of Spider-Man would appear in “No Way Home,” with no official confirmation to be found until audiences were sitting in the theater cheering for the three Spider-Men. The interactions between the three heroes were golden–they recreated an iconic meme, supported each other in battle and shared a heartfelt hug before parting ways. Without the cameos of the old Spider-Man actors, “No Way Home” most likely would have lost much of its humor and wondrous appeal.

Besides the sensational cameos (including a cameo by everyone’s favorite lawyer, Matt Murdock, AKA Daredevil) and star-studded villains, the cinematography and music score gorgeously brought life to the film. Most notably is a scene with Peter standing on a rooftop in the rain. J. Jonah Jameson’s voice echoes in the background as the light of his newscast delicately reflects across Peter’s shell-shocked face while the rain pours down. The music is soft and heartbreaking, revealing the pain that Peter is experiencing in that moment. 

By the time the credits were rolling, tears had dried on my face and there were no thoughts in my head, other than, “I cannot believe that just happened.” “Spider-Man: No Way Home” fully shocked me. It brought me joy, it made me cry, and it most of all cemented all of the reasons that I love Spider-Man.