Will Spider-Man: No Way Home Become One of the Most Iconic Movies of This Decade?

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Will Spider-Man: No Way Home Become One of the Most Iconic Movies of This Decade?


On June 5, 1962, a comic book called AMAZING FANTASY #15 changed the world: that comic book was the first appearance of our beloved Spider-Man. Because of Spider-Man’s humanity and relatability to his audience, from balancing high school, life, work, and the unique characteristic of being a superhero, the character quickly became one of the most loved superheroes of Marvel. Stan Lee, the reclaimed American Marvel comic book writer, claims that “the reason why Spidey is so popular is that all of us relate to him,” and many agree that his likeability stems not only from his powers and his suit and the swinging sensation of flight, but that he struggled as a person to live a life as a teenager and balance all aspects of life, while also being a superhero. Tenth grader Nicole Jensen brings up an interesting point about Stan Lee’s intent when creating Peter Parker. She explains that “when the Marvel audience changed to younger generations and teenagers, the goal was to create a character teenagers could relate to and enjoy, in order to inspire kids to fight their obstacles and the difficulties of life.” Julia Oliveira, from the same grade, also comments on the influence of Parker: “since Marvel’s audience is predominantly young people, [she] believe[s] Stan Lee was trying to show everyone how you don’t need to be an adult full of experience in order to help others and do good to the world.” Spider-Man’s battles include depression, family loss, having to work to sustain family members or even being unable to balance enjoyment because of work or studying. Spider-Man’s most constant and real battles are with himself, as he wrestles with ethical quandaries of the importance of him being a superhero as well as the idea of abandoning the city and living his life. Sophomore Agustina Martini mentioned that the character “ is extremely fun and lovable, but also makes mistakes and lets his emotions get in the way of his decisions as any teenager in his situation would.” 


On May 17, 2002, the world changed when the world finally saw Spider-Man come to life on the big screens. This trilogy is regarded as one of the best superhero trilogies ever made, as it contains the pivotal and first superhero movie adaptation. The first two films in this trilogy have rotten tomatoes ratings of 90 and 93 percent. It is undeniable that Tobey Maguire’s charisma and embodiment of Peter Parker were crucial in the success of the first trilogy. Surprisingly, rewatching his films now, the CGI is still incredible, though the screenwriting is sometimes shallow and weak, but the actors and director Sam Raimi were able to make every second of the film enjoyable. Toby Maguire’s portrayal of Peter Parker, who had to deal with family loss, responsibility, paying bills, studying, and being Spider-Man, became a staple of pop culture and an inspiration to many. The Spider-Man scenes were fantastic and well-choreographed, but it was Peter Parker’s daily struggles that truly captivated the audience. Even though the screenwriting was occasionally poor, the characters and villains such as Harry Osborn, the Green Goblin, Doctor Octavius, and many others were well thought-out and loved for having problems just like their audiences and still helping Peter Parker grow. Sydney Choy, a tenth grader, mentioned how the characters are relatable compared to “many characters [that] seem so out of reach.” This first trilogy truly understood the essence of what it meant to make a Spider-Man film and knew how to balance a person’s struggles with the realism of being vigilant. The Tobey Maguire trilogy was the starting point for superhero movies because it demonstrated Spider-man’s awesomeness while depicting Peter Parker’s struggles. 

THE FALL – Andrew Garfield 

Andrew Garfield was made for the role of Spider-Man, but he was never made for the part of Peter Parker. Even though the film had fantastic cinematography, enhanced Spider-Man-coolness, and a talented cast, this film failed to enhance Spider-Man. The only reason the movie isn’t considered a total flop was because of the amazing actors. They were able to work with the poor screenplay and horrible script, even though the film had many flaws, such as Spider-Man being too cool to be Spider-Man and the shallow storyline. But there were some highlights, such as the portrayal of Peter and Gwen’s love story, which was a fantastic way to cinemagraph the struggles of a relationship, but the movie also had a more serious theme as the main love interest Gwen dying at the end of the second film. The Amazing Spider Man 2 was excellent, and Andrew was able to convey everything audiences wanted to see of a spider-man. Still, due to poor writing and themes, he was unable to become the Peter Parker the audience wanted. The movie was a flop; and it got an audience score of 64 percent and an even lower Tomatometer percentage of 51. And it was not able to be as iconic as the first trilogy because the writers were not able to show the challenges Spider-Man faced behind the mask.

THE REUNION – Tom Holland 

Tom Holland is a fantastic actor and a welcome new face to the franchise as he is the ideal blend of Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Even though his films were well-made, with well-choreographed fight scenes, the best CGI of any Spider-Man film and good screenwriting, both of his first films failed to capture the essence of Peter Parker as he relied on other superheroes such as Iron Man; in the end, this version of Peter Parker didn’t have to face day-to-day problems. Another flaw was that the characters around him were not as well developed as in both of Spider-man’s previous films. But, on December 16, 2021, everything changed with the release of the third film in the franchise, which reunites the three Spider-Men in a single movie. As fans of the hero, who watched all of the Spider-Man movies as a kid or even as adults, Tobey Maguire is most people’s favorite since he is the OG (original), and he is the reason most people adore Spider-Man. Then came Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man movies, which were enjoyable despite the flaws, and now comes Tom Holland’s fantastic Spider-Man. It felt surreal when the three of them appeared on the screen together. 10th-grade student Stefano Rossi believes that “Tobey is the best Peter Parker, Andrew is the best Spider-Man and Tom is the most well rounded.” The brotherhood between the three of them made the film unbelievably enjoyable, and the audience couldn’t take their gaze away from the screen for a single second. The film corrected previous films’ flaws while also introducing new elements.

Having a brotherly dynamic made the movie unique, as Tobey was the most serious and experienced, making him the older brother. Andrew is the middle brother who looks up to Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man but also takes care of Tom Holland, who is the youngest and is very influential to both of them.
Yet another highlight from the movie was when Andrew saved Tom’s love interest MJ from falling. It was a way of forgiving himself for not saving his own female counterpart Gwen. While watching this film, it felt nostalgic, and as if everyone in the audience were reliving parts of their childhoods with Spider-Man. The ending was bittersweet because the Spider-Man universe forgets who Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is. Still, it was a fantastic ending to the trilogy as the movie’s last scene was Tom Holland’s Spider-Man web-swinging across New York with a new suit inspired by Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man suit and Andrew’s spider-man suit. This scene finally makes Tom Holland’s Spider-Man fully complete as he is now both Spider-Man and Peter Parker and doesn’t have anyone to rely on. This movie can be considered a masterpiece not only because of its quality but also because of the feelings it evoked in fans of the hero. It shows the growth as a human being, as well as Spider-Man’s and Peter Parker’s over the years, and it’s genuinely emotional as he looks back at the fantastic memories created by this character. The reunion is sincerely explained by senior Maria Clara Quiroga, as she states that “it was one of the most amazing ideas Marvel had in a really long time. Each Spider-Man has influenced one generation and bringing them all together shows the long history of the movies.” This movie is stunning because Spider-Man is one of the most influential and iconic characters of the last century, who was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko to give us hope. As Andrew Garfield said, “he has inspired countless people, girls, boys, men, women, all of us to have the courage to stand up for ourselves more, to stand up for loved ones more, or even a stranger being mistreated and Peter Parker inspires us to feel stronger, he makes us braver, he reassures that doing the right thing is worth the struggle, it’s worth the pain, and even the tears, the bruises, and the blood.”