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Spider-Man: No Way Home Spins an Exciting Web

by Sarah Soliman

Spider-Man is swinging over to The Picture House! The latest Marvel film, Spider-Man: No Way Home, has been an enormous hit with both audiences and critics: calls it “spry, inventive, and just purely entertaining,” and over at Entertainment Weekly they say the film is “tender and funny and a little bit devastating.” This is one of those films that is an exciting theatrical experience and a moving emotional experience, too.      

No Way Home is actor Tom Holland’s third Spider-Man film, and it’s his sixth time playing the role — this version of the character was first introduced, not in his own film, but in Captain America: Civil War, and he later appeared in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, as a crucial part of the emotional arcs of those films. 

But Spider-Man has loomed large in pop culture since long before Marvel took over blockbuster cinema. It’s safe to say that for anyone not plugged into the comic book world, Spider-Man was the most famous of Marvel’s characters. There have been multiple TV shows, live-action and animated, featuring the character. In fact, since Spider-Man first appeared on television in 1967, there hasn’t been a decade that didn’t have its own Spidey series. More importantly for No Way Home, though, is the character’s legacy on film. 

In 2002, the world got its big-screen Spider-Man in Tobey Maguire, and one of the great superhero movie villains in Willem Dafoe. The follow-up, Spider-Man 2, is still widely considered the franchise’s best installment, with an emotionally resonant performance from Alfred Molina as the vengeful Spidey antagonist Dr. Otto Octavius. Anyone who has seen the trailers for No Way Home will know that Spider-Man’s past with Dafoe’s Green Goblin and Molina’s Doc Ock returns to haunt our hero.  

After the disappointment of Spider-Man 3, cinema took a five-year break from everyone’s favorite friendly neighborhood superhero. Then came The Amazing Spider-Man, with actor Andrew Garfield stepping into the suit. Although that film and its sequel are less beloved than the Tobey Maguire and Tom Holland films, the excitement around No Way Home is giving people a chance to better appreciate Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man.    

No Way Home is a film looking back on the past of the Spider-Man legacy, and also considers how to bring it into the present, and how to move it forward. And it’s having a whole lot of fun with it, too.        

Spider-Man: No Way Home is playing now at The Picture House. Tickets are available online or at the box office.