Villain or victim: Spider-Man questions norm

Payton Willis

In a typical superhero movie, the hero defeats the villain, who usually plummets to their expected death. It’s the basic plot of every Marvel/DC movie. But in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” Peter Parker decides to save the villains and prevent them from ever becoming villains in the first place. 

After Mysterio outs Peter Parker as Spider-Man in “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” his life turns upside down. Not only is Parker’s life affected, but the lives of his loved ones such as MJ, Ned and Aunt May are as well. 

Realizing the danger his family and friends are now in, Parker strives to reverse his wrongdoings. 

 Parker involves Dr. Strange, which makes everything much worse. Previous Spider-Man villains like Green Goblin, Dr. Otto Octavius, Sandman and Electro make an appearance in both their human and villain personas. They are pulled from their respective universes and meet a version of Peter Parker they are unfamiliar with. 

With the mission to return these villains to their respective universes, Spider-Man makes the choice to prevent these men from ever becoming his future foes. Little did he know that two other Peter Parkers, played by Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield, will assist in this huge mission to save their enemies.

In my opinion, the movie did an amazing job blending the villains’ backstories with Peter Parker’s. Seeing what the world could look like without these villains was a refreshing change from their typical demise.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, the movie grossed $804.4 million and is rated 4.8 on a 5 star scale. This high rating is paired with a large influx of positive reviews analyzing the timing, secondary characters and the plot in comparison to other Spider-Man movies. Personally, I believe this is due in part to the change of pace with the twist ending, as well as the advocacy for the villains. 

As a superhero, Spider-Man lacks the poise and temperament that older heroes such as Captain America and Iron Man have. His immaturity is clear when begging Dr. Strange for his life to revert back to normal. He then messes up the spell dramatically due to his childish behavior. It’s clear throughout the whole movie that Peter Parker lacks clear judgment, and this often explains his colossal mess-ups. 

His youth calls into question how good of a hero Parker could really be, but his loyalty to his friends and his kind heart help him persevere and proves how heroic he ends up becoming. Not a lot of heroes would go to the lengths that Parker does in this movie to help not only his friends but also to help his foes as well. 

Brian Tallerico for sums this movie up quite well. “‘No Way Home’ is crowded, but it’s also surprisingly spry, inventive, and just purely entertaining, leading to a final act that not only earns its emotions but pays off some of the ones you may have about this character that you forgot,” Tallerico said. Fans will not see the ending coming, and the inclusion of past and present makes this movie one of the best superhero movies in the genre.

If you like action, friendship and good ol’ fashioned fight scenes, this particular Spider-Man movie is for you! “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is currently available to rent or buy on Amazon and Redbox.