Spider-Man: No Way Home Swings High at the Box Office

Audrey Smith, Writer

During these unprecedented times, fewer people have been going to the movies. However, Marvel’s latest installment in its cinematic universe, Spider-Man: No Way Home, has pointed to a resurgence of movie going.

And clearly the movie did not disappoint considering its over $1.5 billion performance at the box office since its release on December 17. It was also widely considered before its release to be the most anticipated movie of the year.

The anticipation mostly comes from seemingly endless rumors revolving around the cast list, the plot, and the minimal amount of information fans were given about the film from Marvel.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is the MCU’s third Spider-Man film starring Tom Holland as the title character. The movie also stars Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, and Jon Favreau. Like previous MCU Spider-Man films it is directed by Jon Watts.

Although, fans of the previous Spider-Man films (the Sam Raimi trilogy and Marc Webb duology) will see some recognizable names amongst the cast list. This includes notable villains played by Jamie Foxx, Willem Dafoe, and Alfred Molina.

With the inclusion of previous characters from other universes, one might ponder how they ended up in the MCU’s world in the first place.

The plot picks up right where Spider-Man: Far From Home left off with the film’s villain, Mysterio, exposing Spider-Man’s identity as Peter Parker. With the chaos that ensues, Parker pleads with Doctor Strange (Cumberbatch) to make everyone forget that he is Spider-Man. However, the spell Strange casts goes wrong causing characters from the other Spidey universes to seep into Holland’s world.

With what seems like a doozy of a plot, Watts once again proves he can pull off anything. The film has received both critic and audience acclaim, especially for Holland’s performance.

Jennifer Bisset from CNET notes, “The darker, PG-rated material pushes Holland to burning, emotional places.”

In an interview with Marvel, Holland expressed gratitude for the opportunity to play Spider-Man, especially during this monumental film. He elaborated, “This film really is a celebration of three generations of cinema. I was delighted to kind of be at the helm and be the captain of the ship.”

Critics have also acclaimed Dafoe, Molina, and Zendaya for their performances, especially when it came to more emotional scenes. Manohla Dargis of The New York Times argues, “They soften rough edges, sell jokes, break hearts and add to the movie’s total coherence.”

Marvel also once again proves that despite how many characters require CGI, they can always make the visuals look realistic and not distracting. For example, both Molina and Dafoe required deaging technology that makes them actually look like they jumped right out of the early 2000s.

However, like most Marvel films, No Way Home follows a similar act structure to its predecessors, which could feel repetitive to viewers. And with a two and a half hour run time, viewers who are not typical Marvel fans might find the plot to be dragging, although Watts does a good job at keeping a good pace.

Also, if you tend to like going into movies blind, you may want to stay off social media for this one, as most platforms are riddled with spoilers (particularly around a significant plot point).

Overall the movie has managed to impress audiences everywhere, considering it’s currently the 8th highest grossing film of all time. Personally, I believe if you are not the biggest fan of Spider-Man or Marvel movies, No Way Home is a fun, action-packed movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

And because it seems everyone in the world is talking about this movie, you should probably go see it to see what the fuss is all about!