Spoilers! Every fist-pumping, fan-pleasing moment in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home,' ranked
Spoiler alert! The following post details important plot points and the ending of "Spider-Man: No Way Home," so beware if you haven't seen it yet.
With “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” the Marvel Cinematic Universe went full on into the Spider-Verse, pulling in beloved heroes and villains while also leaving Tom Holland’s teenage do-gooder with an uncertain yet hopeful future.
“No Way Home” closed out this chapter of Peter Parker’s life in epic fashion. After having his secret identity as Spider-Man revealed – and with his college hopes as well as those of girlfriend MJ (Zendaya) and best pal Ned (Jacob Batalon) at stake – Peter works with Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) on a spell to make people forget the revelation that ends up going awry.
People who know this bit of superhero information arrive from across the multiverse, and Peter and Co. are tasked to round up a crew of MCU-debuting villains from Tobey Maguire's and Andrew Garfield’s “Spider-Man” eras: Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Electro (Jamie Foxx), Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) and the Lizard (Rhys Ifans).
Who else in the multiverse knows Peter Parker is Spider-Man? That’s right, various Peter Parkers. Maguire and Garfield reprise their past roles to team up with Holland’s Peter and take on the bad guys (who don’t want to go home) at the Statue of Liberty.
The culmination of 20 years of Spider-films doesn’t mess around when it comes to character introductions, tragic deaths, monumental fights or end-credit scenes. Here are the most rousing, fan-pleasing moments in “No Way Home,” ranked:
9. Hey, Daredevil’s now in the MCU!
The authorities come after Peter when he’s outed as Spider-Man, and he enlists the services of blind lawyer Matt Murdock – aka Hell’s Kitchen hero Daredevil, with Charlie Cox reprising his title role from the Netflix “Daredevil” series. Matt’s a pretty mild-mannered guy, but even Peter’s impressed during a meeting at his apartment when a brick is thrown through the window and Murdock catches it from behind in midair. “I’m a really good lawyer,” he quips.
8. Venom learns about the Avengers in an end-credits scene
Holland’s Spidey makes an appearance at the end of “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” and the favor is returned in “No Way Home” when Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and his strange alien-parasite buddy Venom (also Hardy) temporarily wind up in Peter’s universe. Eddie is at a bar in Mexico where he gets a crash course on the MCU: “Hulk? And you thought ‘Lethal Protector’ was a (crap) name!” a drunk Venom tells Eddie). The weird pair get sent back to their world, though not without ominously leaving a bit of black alien Venom goo behind to seek an unwitting host.
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7. Peter fixes a grateful Doc Ock
Instead of beating down the evildoers who’ve come to his world or sending them to their doom, Holland’s good-hearted Spidey decides to help or, in some cases, cure them. A few are fine just the way they are, but Peter does a lot of good for Doc Ock: With mechanized tentacles attached to his spine and causing madness in his brain, Peter uses his science know-how to bring back the kinder, gentler Otto Octavius.
6. Doctor Strange gets a glimpse at pure ‘Madness’
While most Marvel end-credit scenes tease a bit of the next MCU movie, “No Way Home” goes the next step and rolls out a trailer for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (in theaters May 6). The first footage leans into the consequences of futzing with the multiverse and Strange enlists the help of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). The trailer shows a glimpse of new heroine America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), plus old foe Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) has a warning for Strange: “I hope you understand the greatest threat to our universe is you.” That line leads to Strange facing a dark version of himself (seen in Disney+’s “What If …?” series) who snarls, “Things just got out of hand.”
5. Aunt May’s demise features a familiar line
Unlike past Spidey entries, the MCU films never showed Peter’s origin story from the comic books, but a tragic “No Way Home” scene pays homage to it when his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) is fatally injured by the Green Goblin’s glider. “With great power comes great responsibility” are her last words to her crying nephew, and that famous line (uttered by a dying Uncle Ben in the comics) helps connect Holland’s hero with Maguire's and Garfield’s versions when they all meet.
4. Tobey Maguire’s Spidey prevents a murder
After May’s death, Peter wants revenge on Goblin in the Statue of Liberty battle, so the hero picks up the glider and aims to use the very sharp end on the fallen villain. Maguire’s Spidey, who goes back quite some time with Dafoe’s insane baddie, is a wise sort who talks the teenager out of killing in cold blood, though the Goblin sticks a very sharp object into the helping hero for his efforts. It turns out he’s OK, though, and Holland’s character injects Goblin with the antidote for his madness.
3. Andrew Garfield’s Spidey has a moment of redemption
In 2014’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” Garfield’s hero is unable to stop his love Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) from falling to her death. He gets another chance in one of the most gripping “No Way Home” scenes, as MJ takes a nasty drop from the Statue of Liberty but this alt-Spidey is able to save her before it’s too late, leading to an emotional moment for him and a definite weight being lifted off his shoulders.
2. Tom Holland’s Spidey makes a most fateful decision
The villains are taken care of, yet more threats are about to enter their world when Holland’s Spidey tells Strange to conjure a spell that will make everyone, even his friends, forget that Peter Parker exists. Peter shares a final kiss with MJ and a hug with Ned before his entire existence changes. Some time later, Peter drops by the coffee shop where MJ works and she has no idea who he is, and he’s seen renting a ratty new place, beginning a new life but throwing on the familiar costume as the film ends.
1. A couple of Spider-Men walk into a new world
Perhaps the most cheer-worthy MCU moment since Captain America wielded Mjolnir in “Avengers: Endgame” is when, thanks to Ned using Doctor Strange’s Sling Ring to find where “Peter Parker” is, dimensional portals are opened and through them walk Maguire's and Garfield’s characters. It's a hugely entertaining sequence for fans who never thought they'd see these Spideys onscreen again, much less meeting each other, and one that gives both actors a chance to show how cool and different their superheroes were.
And in case anyone was wondering, three Spideys are better than one.