Marvel Mondays: “Spider-Man: No Way Home”


Mason Glod and Audrey Scafati

After much anticipation, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” finally hit theaters on Friday, Dec. 17. The Marvel Monday’s team, Mason Glod and Audrey Scafati are here to give you their full thoughts.

What are your initial thoughts on the movie? Did it live up to the hype?

Mason: This movie was so much fun and definitely lived up to the hype. The film accomplished everything it needed to accomplish and more. It was fun, funny, emotional, relatable, resonating, and everything in between. This was just such a great way to end Tom Holland’s Spider-Man trilogy.

Audrey: “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was nothing short of amazing. I thought it perfectly lived up to the hype, and it definitely deserves all of the praise that it is continuing to get. Tom Holland, as per usual, did an excellent job in his Spider-Man role, and I thought that it felt like such a comic book movie with the writing and action scenes. After some disappointments in “Black Widow” and “The Eternals,” I thought that “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was the perfect MCU movie. It filled a hole in my heart that I didn’t know existed.

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” brought back villains from past movies to fight Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. How well did the film handle these characters and the multiverse angle?

Mason: I think the movie handled it well. Going in, I was worried the multiverse aspects would be confusing and convoluted. Still, they definitely explained it well, and everything made sense. The returning villains were all fantastic and felt ripped out of their movies but also worked in this new world. Specific shoutout to Jamie Foxx, who I thought did excellent work in his short screen time. I think he finally made the character his own.

Audrey: Overall, I thought this movie handled the multiverse pretty well. The only hint of a multiverse that we have gotten before “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is the existence of the other Pietro in “Wandavision.” This is the first time the multiverse has been fully confirmed in an MCU movie or show. I think that all of the villains they brought back were awesome. Their overall story-arcs were definitely given some justice and love, and that is one of the many things that this movie did correctly. Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina reprised their roles so beautifully, and this movie was made whole by their outstanding performances.

What did you think of Zendaya and the MJ and Peter Parker romance?

Mason: Honestly, this was the first movie where I finally thought their relationship made a lot of sense, and I saw a lot of chemistry. Zendaya was fantastic in this film and really seemed like Holland’s partner, not just girlfriend. I thought their relationship really worked and was honestly the film’s emotional backbone. Zendaya really is a modern talent to watch.

Audrey: Zendaya herself is just amazing. I think that she plays a really cool and awesome version of MJ, who is way more than just Peter Parker’s girlfriend. The relationship between MJ and Peter has been developed really well in this trilogy. The evolution from friend to crush to girlfriend was really natural and in no way forced, just like their relationship in this movie. The chemistry between Tom Holland and Zendaya is so genuine that it definitely rubbed off on their characters and overall helped the story.

How was the other supporting cast (Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan)?

Mason: Everybody really brought their A-game to this movie, and it showed. Benedict Cumberbatch was really great, and I am excited to see him continue his performance into “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” Batalon and Tomei continue playing their characters well, and Favreau is consistently hilarious as Happy Hogan. Without spoilers, other surprise cast members really steal the show and provide some of the best scenes in the movie.

Audrey: I agree with Mason. This movie would not be what it was without every single supporting character. I love Jon Favreau and am a bit disappointed that he was not given more screen time. Marisa Tomei did a fantastic job as Aunt May and has throughout the whole trilogy in being Peter’s only family. Jacob Batalon was given so much screen time alongside Zendaya, and together they were phenomenal as Spider-Man’s “men in the chair.”  

Without spoilers, what did you think of the ending and where it leaves Spider-Man in the MCU?

Mason: I thought the ending to this movie was absolutely brilliant and left Spider-Man in an unexpected but incredibly exciting place. The ending really embraced the magic of the Spider-Man character and made me so happy. I want to see 10 more movies with Tom Holland. The after-credits scenes also hinted at cool future storylines that I definitely want to see.

Audrey: There is so much opportunity with where they left off in this movie. It feels obvious to me that there has to be more Spider-Man movies with Tom Holland because of the way things were left with him. I don’t know in what form…, but a satisfying (and happy) ending with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is required (please and thank you). 

What are any flaws you have with the movie?

Mason: I definitely do not think this is a perfect movie. Some scenes meant to be heartfelt and genuine come off cheesy and ingenuine. The fan service is also high in this movie, and while that is fun, it sometimes feels unnatural. I also think this movie is slightly too long and becomes unfocused at points. However, the movie has so much spirit and so many fun moments that these slight flaws do not really matter in the end.

Audrey: Unfortunately, I have one thing that I cannot stop thinking about with this movie, and it rubs me the wrong way. I feel like Doctor Strange’s character was not true to who he actually is. It does not settle with me that Strange would just be okay with doing a potentially harmful spell so the world can forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Bringing Peter to the Mirror Dimension in an attempt to stop him also just felt weird. Maybe I’m just being paranoid or looking for something wrong in this movie, but when I imagine Doctor Strange, I imagine a rule follower and responsible adult, not one who would do a spell just to do it.

Any final thoughts?

Mason: With all of the hype and exciting things in this story, the movie only works because of its lead actor, Tom Holland. Holland really shines in this movie and delivers a stellar performance with a lot of range. While I have loved Holland in the role, this is the first time where I have 100% felt that he IS Spider-Man. The MCU has had a crazy 2021 with a lot of content, and this was such a great way to end it. This movie is just fun and filled with passion. I can’t wait to watch it again and again.

Audrey: This movie has been talked about for what seems like years now. After all of the talking, teasers, and hype, this movie DELIVERED. There were laughs, tears, and moments that made “Spider-Man: No Way Home” feel like it could go on for hours, and it still wouldn’t be enough. People (myself included) cannot stop talking about this movie. Go. See. This. Movie. This is setting up such an intense lineup of releases for Marvel in the coming year, and I could not be more excited.