The five Spider-Man films prior to Tom Holland’s debut in 2017 are a part of my psycheTWITTER/@ARTZSAM

I thought I had gotten over Marvel, I really did. I have a deep-rooted love for The Avengers, Captain America and Iron Man, but I never really considered myself that invested in the rest of it. I mean, I must be a fan because I’ve seen all of them, but I have always been more than aware of their shortcomings; I didn’t like Age of Ultron, I didn’t think that Civil War lived up to the hype and I can take or leave the new Black Widow film. But with just three minutes of Zendaya, Tom Holland and (bizarrely) Benedict Cumberbatch, Marvel has reeled me back in. What is it about the trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home that got me so excited? I put it mostly down to nostalgia, a love for superhero films pre-2012, and a style of cinema that we haven’t seen in a very long time. To be honest, I don’t think that we’ll be seeing that old-school superhero film style this time, in December, when this film comes out, but the mere concept of a ‘multiverse’ is enough to get me interested, in the hope that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will be reprising their roles alongside Alfred Molina, Jamie Foxx and Willem Dafoe.

My weakness for Andrew Garfield’s version of the character definitely comes from the time at which the films were made, rather than the quality of the workTWITTER/@CULTURECRAVE

I just turned 20, which apparently makes me old enough to be appealed to by nostalgic fan-favourites. The five Spider-Man films prior to Tom Holland’s debut in 2017 are a part of my psyche, although I admittedly don’t return to them as much as Star Wars or Indiana Jones. My weakness for Andrew Garfield’s version of the character definitely comes from the time at which the films were made, rather than the quality of the work. They’re not good! But a lot of us look back on them fondly because of what they meant to us as children. They might have been films shown to us by our parents, or shared experiences that helped us make friends. Some of the first Marvel Cinematic Universe films might also serve this purpose; I remember seeing the first Avengers film in 2012 and feeling an exhilaration that has rarely been matched by any follow-up. So to see familiar characters in this trailer felt exciting, I’d imagine in the same way that really big Marvel fans felt about the Endgame or Infinity War trailers. I’m agnostic towards Doctor Strange, but the Green Goblin? Now you’re talking.

Spider-Man: No Way Home isn’t going to be groundbreaking, but it increasingly looks like it’s going to be a massive hit”

But it isn’t just nostalgia, because I am a fan of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. Apparently, this is a bit of a hot take, but the teen movie style of Homecoming especially marks these films as slightly separate from the rest of the MCU. Of course, their reliance on Tony Stark (and now Doctor Strange) sits them firmly within the narrative arc of the series, but I tend to feel that Homecoming is less of a superhero film and more of a coming-of-age story. It contains some classic rom-com tropes, such as the villain being the dad of the love interest, not to mention that Tom Holland was actually a teenager when he shot it (not something that has been a given in previous films).

'there is a lightheartedness to these films'TWITTER/@YOUNGKBAEKCHAN

However much is at stake, there is a lightheartedness to these films that I believe to be a real asset. I genuinely think that Homecoming and Far From Home are interesting and compelling Spider-Man stories (perhaps because I have never so much as touched a Marvel comic book); from the performances of Tom Holland and Zendaya, the tone of the storytelling and the embarrassing PowerPoint presentations, you believe that these people are just kids, trying to look out for themselves and accidentally saving the world. Spider-Man being in high school is a fact of the franchise, but something that wasn’t very well conveyed until Homecoming (and Into the Spiderverse, but that’s a whole other ball game).

Of course, this is all within the context of the Marvel Universe, and so any gushing reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt. There will always be a rather predictable third act, a sense that the (often white, straight, cis male) superhero protagonist isn’t really deserving of our empathy, and the knowledge that you could go and watch 20 other films to fulfil the same desires as the one you just witnessed. But these Spider-Man films have a heart that sets them apart.


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As I’ve gotten older, it’s become clearer that these are just films, and it’s a bit trivial to get overly excited about them. But it’s also entirely unnecessary to be overly critical; who am I to say that someone’s favourite film is objectively bad? And who are you to tell me that I can’t enjoy two hours of some talented actors clearly having a great time? Spider-Man: No Way Home isn’t going to be groundbreaking, but it increasingly looks like it’s going to be a massive hit, providing both nostalgia and an original narrative, as well as being visually astonishing. I think my thoughts can pretty much be summed up in one tweet: