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The biggest Spider-Man: No Way Home plot holes are actually pretty exciting

Published Dec 21st, 2021 11:26PM EST
Spider-Man in No Way Home trailer 2
Image: Sony

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Spider-Man: No Way Home’s opening weekend was even bigger than initially believed. The latest Peter Parker adventure earned $260 million during its first weekend, enough to propel the movie to second place after Avengers: Endgame. The total opening weekend take sits at $600.8 million, making No Way Home the third-largest worldwide launch after Endgame and Infinity War. That’s hardly a surprise, considering all the hype that preceded it. And the movie is easily one of the best live-action Spider-Man titles in Sony’s history — it’s undoubtedly the best MCU Spider-Man. But the film isn’t perfect. No Way Home has a few plot holes that viewers can’t overlook.

Some of them aren’t important, but there is a significant issue that we have to address. It’s an exciting plot hole to discuss for the future of Peter Parker inside the MCU and outside of it. Beware, as we’ll be discussing No Way Home spoilers below.

Setting the stage for No Way Home

My biggest gripe with Far From Home is that nobody else intervened against Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). In a world that experienced extraordinary events, nobody helped Peter Parker (Tom Holland) save the day in Europe. Well, you could argue that Happy (Jon Favreau) stepped in with Stark technology, but Peter’s superpowered friends were nowhere to be found.

What matters is that No Way Home would not be possible without the events of Far From Home. This time around, the absence of the Avengers is not a plot hole. The action in this Spider-Man movie happens over a couple of days at some point in November 2024. We see MJ (Zendaya) removing Halloween decorations from the coffee shop, so that gives us a good guesstimate of the timeframe.

From the moment Peter bothers Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to the final battle, only two days pass. That might not be enough time for the Avengers to assess the threat and decide to intervene. Even Wong can’t be bothered to come back early from his trip.

Wong in Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer sceneImage source: Sony

The No Way Home plot holes

Still, nobody considers calling for help to deal with this multiversal incident. And that is a problem. Even a refusal to assist Peter Parker would do, as long as someone in charge of the Avengers offered some sort of explanation. It’s actually surprising that Peter doesn’t consider looking for help beyond MJ and Ned (Jacob Batalon).

The minor problems

While we’re at it, there’s one more tiny plot hole that you’ll find annoying in No Way Home. Peter just learned that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) was off-world during the events in Far From Home. Yet, he didn’t attempt to inquire who had manipulated him into taking action in Europe against Mysterio. After all, fake-Fury got Peter to fight Mysterio, which led to the world finding out that he’s Peter Parker.

Marvel can explore this storyline in future movies and TV shows, such as Secret Invasion on Disney Plus. But we’re still looking at a minor No Way Home plot problem that could have been handled better.

Also, how is it that a part of Venom (Tom Hardy) escapes the final spell? The rest of the SSU antihero vanished when Doctor Strange cast his spell. That seems rather convenient.

The more serious No Way Home plot holes

We’ve already established that the No Way Home action takes place over two days. In that time, Peter fights the villains no less than three distinct times. That’s a lot of action for the MCU’s friendly neighborhood hero, which certainly made the news. It’s the kind of action that would alert the Avengers.

Doctor Strange scene from Spider-Man: No Way HomeImage source: Sony

But you know who else would pay attention to that? The two other Peter Parkers. We only get Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire late on the second day in the movie. What have they been doing on the first day? Where did they sleep? What did they eat? Does Garfield’s Peter even have money? Their Spidey sense must have been tingled all day long before Ned found them. Yet, they don’t appear to be shaken. After all, they too have no way to reach home as far as they’re concerned. Peter Lang’s (Paul Rudd) initial reaction in Endgame would be more appropriate rather than their calm.

What I’m trying to get at is that the older Peter Parkers could have found the MCU’s Spider-Man a lot faster. All of the news and the popularity of superheroes on this earth are enough for them to look for Peter Parker Prime. After all, the two non-MCU Spider-Men make a point of being anonymous. But they could have already learned this reality’s Peter Parker isn’t anonymous. They would then have an easier way to find him on their own.

Having Ned portal in the two Spider-Man variants was an incredible scene in No Way Home. But it doesn’t change the fact that we’re looking at a medium plot hole right here.

While we’re at it, curing villains is also one of No Way Home’s medium plot holes. It sets a dangerous precedent for superhero movies, especially No Way Home sequels. If “curing” villains is a possibility, then why not do that with every villain that Avengers have to face. Whether it’s a Spider-Man villain or a different antagonist.

Don’t get me wrong; villains don’t need to be killed on screen. And it’s great to see them redeem themselves. That doesn’t mean they don’t have to answer for their crimes once they do.

Spider-Man in No Way Home bridge fight sceneImage source: Sony

No Way Home plot holes can be exciting

This brings us to the most important No Way Home plot hole and the most exciting one. We guessed correctly ahead of the premiere that two of the five villains will switch sides along the way. It happened with Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) early in the movie and then with Doc Ock (Alfred Molina). They both helped Spider-Man in key moments of the film. And even Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe) did help Peter work on cures for the villains. We also had an emotional Electro-Spider-Man moment when Jamie Foxx’s character had a chance to talk to Garfield’s Spider-Man.

Then Sony and Marvel put all these villains back to their timelines. But they’re not villains anymore. They’re cured, therefore not supposed to do bad things. Some of them don’t even have superpowers any longer. All of that is a huge issue, much bigger than the previous No Way Home plot holes.

In his desire to do the right thing, Holland’s Peter Parker actually changed the course of the realities of the villains. The Maguire and Garfield Spider-Men are aware of the multiverse now, and they know their villains are no longer bad guys.

But if Endgame and Loki taught us anything is that you can’t change the past. So the villains that died in the non-MCU Spider-Man movies can’t survive in their original timelines. They’d create alternate branches from the moment they return to those realities. Even the Spider-Men might create alternate realities. And if those realities have active TVA authorities, they’re in trouble.

Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home ending sceneImage source: Sony

The easy fix

Sony and Marvel might have gone for a happy end version for these actors’ villains, and that’s quite understandable. But it’s also a huge headache to explore.

The Doc Ock-Spider-Man relationship is the best example of that. The Doc Ock that we get in No Way Home comes from the moments that preceded his death. But the Maguire Spider-Man is much older, having already lived those events. Inevitably, when Doc Ock goes back home, he’ll create a branched reality where his Maguire Spider-Man is still young. That Spider-Man has no idea Otto is now cured.

I did say this No Way Home plot hole is the most exciting one. That’s because it gives Sony the chance of reusing its non-MCU Spider-Man variants. Andrew Garfield has been trending after the No Way Home premiere. Fans are already asking for a The Amazing Spider-Man 3. Such a movie could give Sony a Spider-Man variant of its own that would fight against some of the SSU characters that appear in other films, like Venom and Morbius.

Separately, rumors about a standalone Jamie Foxx movie as Electro have appeared online. The events in No Way Home, including the big plot holes above, could deliver an interesting Electro story down the road.

These early rumors are all the more interesting if Sony and Marvel plan to make more Spider-verse live-action movies where multiple Spider-Men and Spider-Women would meet.

Then again, these three different Spider-Man franchises were never part of a bigger plan. Reconciling everything is impossible, so some No Way Home plot holes are inevitable. Thankfully, No Way Home is a great movie overall, and you can easily ignore these plot issues.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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