By Jackson Beach
Recently, I went with my friends to see the latest Marvel movie Spider Man: No Way Home. Personally, I had been looking forward to this particular movie all year despite having enjoyed the other new content Marvel Studios put out in 2021, whether it be Disney Plus original TV shows like WandaVision or theatrical releases delayed last year such as Black Widow and Shang Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings. This was due to the fact that I could not wait to see how No Way Home was able to resolve the cliffhanger from its 2019 predecessor Far From Home while also tying in the concepts of the multiverse as well as characters from Spider Man’s previous cinematic incarnations. However, this experience has an interesting series of personal events l experienced leading up to going to see the movie.
On December 21, 2021, the day I saw the movie, I had just woken up after falling back asleep in the middle of the night. I turned on my phone and I saw my friend Christine had just texted asking if we wanted to go see it. I initially did not want to go that night because of Christine and my other friends had not seen the other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and shows, especially the other two MCU Spider Man movies and anything else with the MCU’s Spider Man, and thus would not understand it. However, I had a change of heart after realizing that I would be selfishly ruining our plans because of context and inter-franchise connections and decided to go see it with my friends.
Once I got to the movies, I had fun watching the movie because of its actions, characters, and emotional depth, as well as callbacks to the other MCU movies and Spider Man theatrical films. However, I really liked the movie for its messages of morality and ethical choice making. This was prominent in the conflict between Peter Parker/Spider Man and his fellow MCU ally Doctor Strange because of their dilemma about what to do with the villains from other universes that had arrived due to a failed spell. Doctor Strange wanted to return the villains to their own universes because of their fates, while Spider Man wanted to cure them of their villainous nature and spare them from their fates due to his “Thou Shalt Not Kill Attitude”. Ultimately, Parker chooses to cure the villains, but this only worsens things, proven by Norman Osborn/Green Goblin taunting him about his morality of not wanting them to die before killing his aunt and escaping with his fellow villains from the multiverse.
When the effects of the spell activate and everyone from across the multiverse starts coming through after the villains are defeated by Parker and his friends, Parker is forced to make another ethical decision. He can either allow the MCU to collapse or allow Doctor Strange to cast another spell. However, the spell will make everyone in the multiverse forget Peter ever existed while sending the other Spider-Men and villains to their realities of origin. He goes through with it, knowing there is a price to doing the right thing, even if it means his closest allies and friends don’t know who he is anymore and he has to leave school. Despite this, he still tries to make a difference in the world as his superhero persona Spider-Man.
I relate to the film’s theme about ethical dilemmas because it deals with a lot of what has been going on for me and the other newsmakers. I have wanted to watch the other MCU content with Christine on Disney Plus in a rational order so she can clearly understand it, but I decided to put seeing a fun movie together over watching everything else before No Way Home. If I had let my self-centeredness and paranoia take control, I would have felt very foolish for ruining what was supposed to be a fun night and would have done what was wrong for the group. However, from this I realized that sometimes you need to put others before yourself and that you have to do what is best for everyone else, even if you feel bad things will happen as a result.