A Deep Dive Into No Way Home/ Evan Espinoza

On Dec. 17 last year, Marvel Studios and director Jon Watts released a third installment of their Spider-Man trilogy, No Way Home. Before this trilogy, two other major series of Spider-Man films have existed: Sam Raimi’s trilogy (2002-2007) and Marc Webb’s series (2012-2014). While Raimi and Webb’s movies had nothing to do with each other or the current era of Spider-Man movies, their creations just may have paved the way for the best Spider-Man film yet in Jon Watts’s No Way Home.

Before fully dissecting the newest Spider-Man movie, it is important to remember one that came before it. In 2018 the animated film Into the Spider-Verse made fans of the web-slinging hero very aware of the possibility of a “multiverse” where different versions of Spider-Man coexisted. While this film had nothing to do with the ongoing trilogy from Watts, it gave fans a fresh look at what was possible in Spider-Man’s world. This theory or possibility of one day seeing multiple versions of Spider-Man on the big screen was coupled with the long-lasting debate of which Spider-Man is the best. The debate ranges from quality of films, to actors, to the love interests, etc. However, when the possibility and idea of seeing all three of these major versions of Spider-Man in the same movie came to light, many fans daydreamed of seeing their favorite Spider-Man of old once again. Tobey Maguire of Raimi’s series and Andrew Garfield of Webb’s series are beloved in their respective roles as well as Tom Holland in the current era. The closer it got to Dec. 17 last year, the possibility of seeing them together became a very real, and more importantly, expected possibility. 

No Way Home exists as pure fan service. While some may view fan service as something that can destroy a movie while trying to please too many audiences-and this is the case in some films-it may not be the case in the newest Spider-Man film. The expected possibility of seeing all three versions of Spider-Man finally came true when No Way Home was released. The fans were delighted to see Tobey and Andrew back in action as Spider-Man once again. The big question is, did it work? The answer is yes. No Way Home is fan service executed near perfectly. Not to say that the film was without flaw, but it was everything a fan of the former Spider-Man series wanted and more. Not only did fans get to see their favorite Spider-Man again, but the same villains and respective actors that made those stories great also made their way back to the big screen. One thing that made the possibility of seeing Tobey and Andrew expected by fans was the reveal of some of those former actors reprising their villain roles in the trailers. The whole build-up to the film basically teased fans of Tobey and Andrew’s return.

No Way Home accomplished something special and not often seen. It is important to remember that all these different series were not originally intended to be connected in any way. By the end of Raimi and Webb’s stories, they simply existed as what they were, and fans had to accept them and that was final. Any questions about the beloved characters played by Tobey and Andrew or their stories were left unanswered. No Way Home managed to give fans and those characters some closure and really bring their stories to a more complete place. As for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, his story is not yet complete, and Jon Watts brilliantly set up the continuation of his story at the end of the film. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is now embarking on a totally new and different journey without any help. He’s alone and independent and fans will get to witness a new form of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man get to build himself up from practically nothing.

Fans of Spider-Man all over the world expressed their love and joy for No Way Home. Here at Mississippi College, Kaleb Jefcoat shared his thoughts on the film and reflected on how exactly his life was changed in a single scene. “Andrew Garfield, I got a lot of respect for him. I feel like they closed his character well and did him justice. He caught MJ … and that changed me,” Jefcoat said regarding a moment that deeply impacted him. “I would say it’s the best Marvel movie I’ve ever seen in my life.” 

Mississippi College’s Spencer Hayes also shared his thoughts and how he appreciated each Spider-Man’s story coming full circle. “Since both of their [Tobey and Andrew] series have semi-unsatisfying last outings… this movie [No Way Home] did them all a lot of justice,” Hayes said. “Andrew’s Spider-Man saved MJ, Tobey’s Peter came to terms with continuing to be Spider-Man, and Tom finally became the Spider-Man he’s meant to be after being mentored by the others.”

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