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Spiderman No Way Home - Review *with spoilers*


Please, heed the warnings, the following article will discuss key plot points of Spiderman: No Way Home. If you do not want spoilers, now's the time to click away! 

No Way Home is without a doubt one of the MCU's most ambitious projects to date, it juggled a massive number of characters masterfully, and delivered a satisfying ending not only to the "home" trilogy but also to a trilogy of Spiderman trilogies (well, almost - sorry Andrew!)... Something that even Star Wars couldn't do. 

The most drastic change that anyone will notice is the tone... Gone is the happy and almost carefree Peter of past movies, as he sees the full weight of his decisions fall on his -and his friend's- heads. Spiderman is no longer New York's favorite hero, and no Matt Murdock cameo, however badass, is going to change that. 

"-How did you do that? - I'm a really good lawyer." 

So what do you do when your life is unraveling? Call a sorcerer friend, of course! Doctor Strange's presence in this movie wasn't a secret, but learning that he lost the position of sorcerer supreme to Wong certainly was. Though it does explain why Wong was featured in Shang-Shi instead of Strange.

Peter's lack of maturity and experience is much less amusing in this movie, and causes a series of catastrophic and seemingly unstoppable events that keep on knocking him down. 

Going into this, I was curious to see how the movie would handle 5 villains at once, their introduction, or should I say re-introduction makes us understand right away that the Raimi-verse villains are going to take center stage. 

It was amazing to see a whole theater clap and cheer just for one of the Goblin's grenades... It was also proof that Marvel and Jon Watts were right to be so confident in people's knowledge of Spiderman lore that they didn't waste any time on clunky exposition, the same way that they glossed over Spidey's origin story in Civil War

What's most heartbreaking in this movie is Peter's lack of control. He didn't get to choose to reveal his identity, and every choice he makes afterwards to try and right his world ends up backfiring horribly. As he tries to help the villains get back to themselves, and succeeds to cure Doc Octopus, he and Aunt May are conned by the Green Goblin and it all ends in a big showdown between the three of them that ends with May uttering the famous "with great power comes great responsibility" line with her dying breath.

"No good deed goes unpunished" 

This moment will certainly go down in history as one of the MCU's most gut-wrenching, as Peter is once again framed for the chaos that the fight created and flees the scene in tears, leaving May behind. Unlike the other Spidermans, this Peter is a pacifist, he doesn't want to kill anyone, but somehow death still follows and haunts him for the whole movie, not unlike Far From Home

You know what I'll discuss now, the moment that we were all hoping for but didn't think to be possible. As Ned discovers that he can control Strange's Portal ring, possibly hinting at a greater future for him in the MCU - beyond being just the comic relief minority best friend, he tries to reach Peter Parker... and gets what he wished for, kind of. Because it's not our Peter that steps out, but Andrew Garfield in the same suit that he wore in his last movie... and as the whole theater is still trying to recover he tries again, and makes Tobey Maguire appear, in regular clothes, though he does reveal later on that he has his suit underneath. 

This choice of costumes was very interesting to me, and reminded me of a post that circulated online some time ago saying that Andrew Garfield was a great Spiderman and Tobey Maguire was a great Peter Parker... Well, this movie certainly proved that Tom Holland is great at both! 

By far the most interesting part of this movie, and what made it feel like such a love letter to the Spiderman franchise, was how the first two Spidermans (Spidermen?) rose to the occasion and stepped into the roles of mentors, passing on their knowledge and in a way the Spiderman mantle to the MCU Spidey. 

Seeing these three interact and goof around was one of the highlights of the movie, filled with little Easter eggs and callbacks to previous movies and even cartoons. I'm still a bit disappointed that the question of why exactly Spiderman 1 didn't need web shooters wasn't answered !

All of it felt very purposeful and helped the story move along organically, making it one of the best fan-service-heavy movies of all time, easily surpassing Endgame

The final battle was especially satisfying, who would have ever hoped to see three Spidermans swinging around the most recognizable symbol of NYC ? Or seeing Spiderman 2 finally get a chance at redemption for Gwen's death? Or Doc Oc fight against Electro? 

The choice of a Green Goblin / Peter 3 standoff was very smart, he was the first big villain in a Spiderman movie and the last of this trilogy, allowing for an incredibly enjoyable full circle moment as Peter 1 stops Peter 3 from going full John Walker on the Goblin with the glider, and getting his own kind of redemption for all the events that followed Orman Osborn's death. 

As the fight draws to a close, and the multiverse starts to unravel, Peter faces his toughest choice yet: being forgotten by everyone or having hundreds of thousands of other villains come through. Strange who - as the character with the power to solve everything in all of five minutes - got dismissed after the first 10 minutes in true Marvel fashion, gives him the time to say a final goodbye to his friends - including Spiderman 1 and 2. 

Of course, he chooses to be forgotten, ending the movie on a soft reboot that might accomplish several things: allow Peter to join the Young Avengers along with Wanda's twins, Kate Bishop and cie., or maybe allow Sony to make its own Tom Holland Spiderman movies independently from the main MCU canon... let's hope for the first option! 

So... what's next? I can easily see Peter falling victim to the Venom offshoot from the post credit scene... maybe as a new suit like in Spiderman 3? Or as a fake ally inhabiting this universe's version of Eddie? Maybe he'll start working for the Daily Bugle, to finance his degree and vigilantism? 

Though all of this is still conjecture at this point, what we can be sure of is that like much of phases 3 and 4, this movie pushed its hero to his limits and put him face to face with the consequences of his actions. He slowly realized that he can't have it all and that even the best of intentions can end horribly, Tom Holland delivered one of his best performances to date, delivering with heartbreaking efficiency the emotional blows of this movie. 

Peter finished the movie as close as we've ever seen him to his Comic Book self: alone, unknown and really broke. He has nowhere to turn, no way home.

What did you think of this episode? What do you think will happen in the future? Leave your thoughts in the comments bellow!

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