“Spider-Man: No Way Home” Redefines the Franchise


Ava Soleibe, Staff Writer


Dreams come true in the third installment of Tom Holland’s take on the familiar superhero. Fans have speculated about the weaving of Spider-Man universes, resulting in abstract rumors. If anything, these rumors have added to the anticipation of the newest Spider-Man film.

In “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” infamous Mysterio divulged Spider-Man’s identity, jolting Peter Parker’s life into a focal point of public interest. Desperate for the anonymity he had, Parker turns to Doctor Strange for a spell reversing the effects of Mysterio’s actions. Said spell backfires exceptionally. In other universes, where a green goblin terrorizes, a nightmarish lizard lurks, and a glorified battery shocks New York City, other Peter Parkers are saving the day. Every character who knows definitively that Spider-Man’s true identity is Peter Parker is transported into the universe that we’ve previously solely seen Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in. This shattered the multiverse, and it shattered Marvel cinematic history.

Preceding Holland, Andrew Garfield starred in the duology of The Amazing Spider-Man films (2012-2014). Prior to Garfield, Tobey Maguire brought the character to life for the first time on screen (2002-2007). Emotion exuded from theaters around the world when all three appeared together. Dramatic mask removals and struts out of fiery portals from Garfield and Maguire led to unparalleled audience reactions. While watching, I was floored. My eyes were wide open during the entire two hours and 28 minutes.

Three different Spider-Men. Three different directors and perspectives, three different actors, and numerous influences. Each Peter Parker has felt great power and great responsibility when becoming the iconic character, and it is inevitable that everyone has their favorite.

Tobey Maguire was brave enough to swing into the role first. What draws fans back to this first round of films is the emphasis on Peter’s internal conflict. Consistently, he is presented with the choice between himself and others, proving his virtue repeatedly. This results in scenes where Peter experiences feelings of isolation, agony, and burnout. His vulnerability provides timeless relevance.

Andrew Garfield arguably has the freshest outlook on the character. His Peter Parker is adventurous, sly, and reckless. It makes his Spider-Man origin all the richer because it is a story of found purpose. Garfield’s genuine portrayal and amusing one-liners are not lost in “No Way Home.”

Tom Holland has two things that the other Spider-Men lack: a spot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a relatable teenage experience. The balance is what is so intriguing about his character. One day he is making quips with Captain America, and the next he is counting down the minutes until chemistry class ends.

“No Way Home” revisits and says goodbye to pieces of the Spider-Man world by whisking away viewers into a gripping story. This film attaches to the part in ourselves that is still a little kid running around in a superhero mask. It reaches out to the part in all of us that knows there is still hope.