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Seeing Spider-Man: No Way Home With a Crowd Is a Glorious Experience

Tom Holland as Peter Parker walking through a protest that says Devil in Disguise

Getting to see Spider-Man: No Way Home in general is a fun experience, but there is something addictive about going in with an audience of equally eager fans for a movie that is this big. Press screenings are one thing, but for my second viewing, I went with other Spider-Man fans on opening night, and it was a much different time. The press screening had cheers and excitement, but it was not to the same level as the opening night crowd, and while I was the loud one in a press room, everyone shared their excitement and joy throughout the entirety of No Way Home in a public theater, and it was great.

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Maybe it was because we were all a group of fans or maybe it is because we were just excited to all be finally seeing this movie we’ve been waiting to see for years, but there was an energy in that opening night screening that was amazing and fun, so let’s talk about some of the highlights.

**Spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home lie ahead. You’ve been warned.**

Peter Parker saying what the fu- in Spider-Man: No Way Home

Starting off the movie, we already had people screaming because, at the end of the day, it is a Spider-Man movie. But within the first few sequences of the movie, we got Peter getting in trouble with the FBI for his involvement with Mysterio, all leading to none other than MATT MURDOCK showing up to help him with his legal troubles. Yes, that Matt Murdock, and yes, that Charlie Cox. For fans of Daredevil, seeing Matt Murdock in the flesh once more was a wild experience, and it was beautifully met with a shot of just Matt’s cane to clue us in before showing us Charlie Cox!

He’s only in one scene, and he basically tells Peter that he’s not in any legal trouble, but the court of public opinion isn’t going to be on his side. But he does also tell Happy that he needs a good lawyer because there is Stark tech missing. Peter doesn’t learn about Matt’s alter-ego or the fact that he’s talking to someone who manages to keep his vigilante ways a secret, but he might have a clue seeing as a brick gets thrown through their window and Matt catches it without missing a beat.

While the movie had cheers for the return of villains like Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock, Jamie Foxx’s Eletro, and Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, the biggest cheers of all came in the third act of the film. As Peter Parker is trying to cure all his villains so that they do not have to go back to their universes to die (so, you know, a very Peter Parker reaction to this), he realizes that there are just some villains who don’t want to be saved.

In this case, the Goblin. Norman is tormented by the Goblin inside him, and when Peter is in the midst saving Doc Ock and the rest of his foes, Goblin turns on them all and gets some of the other villains on his side—which results in the death of Aunt May, a moment that truly shocked the entire audience. Getting to hear her tell Peter, “With great power, there must also come great responsibility” was an emotional punch to the gut.

Spider-Man great power great responsibility panel from the comics.

But that pain for Peter? It led to some of the greatest screams I have heard in a movie theater in recent years. Peter is obviously upset; he’s hiding from everyone he still has who cares about him, but Ned (who has Doctor Strange’s stolen ring) is talking about finding him and accidentally opens up a portal to Peter—a much taller Peter in a different suit.

Truly, I wish I could bottle the experience of having people realize that Andrew Garfield was in this movie and crack it open whenever I need some unadulterated joy. Granted, the minute I saw him turn around, I knew, but having people just constantly whisper “oh my god” around me and lose it when he took his mask off? Or when Tobey Maguire appeared and the man behind me just whispered, “He’s beautiful”?

All of it just was a reminder of how much Spider-Man means to people. The excitement and the joy came from 20 years of loving these movies and this character in live action. It was a bunch of adults who grew up with Peter Parker getting to see everything we have loved come together in a beautiful way, and I just wish we could relive that opening night magic over and over again.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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