How No Way Home redeemed Spider-Man’s bad villain
While it gave several classic villains another shot in Spider-Man: No Way Home, the movie still redeems the bad villain.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home, currently playing in theaters.
One of the most anticipated elements of Spider-Man: No Path Home was the return of Otto Octavius by Alfred Molina. His Doc Ock was so impressive in Sam Raimi’s Spider Man 2, whether as an arrogant scientist or a sympathetic tyrant who ultimately helped Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker. But as the latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe follows suit, making Doc Ock an ally of Tom Holland’s Spidey, by the end of the movie it’s clear the movie redeems the bad villain.
Otto turns around after Holland’s Spidey finds a flea that heals him and his tentacles, making them partners rather than angry antagonists scrambling for control. As such, he works with Pete and the other wall-crawlers to fend off Green Goblin, Lizard Electro, and Sandman in the finale.
However, that angle seems predictable and makes one wonder what could have been if Norman Osborn was the one who was redeemed. His goblin was an intimidating part of the Raimi franchise, after all, casting a veil that couldn’t even be compared to the Marc Webb films. And while this movie makes it seem like Norman wants to be cured of his split personality, it was Goblin from the start, using Peter to craft weapons and a serum that will mend his Jekyll and Hyde syndrome.
This leads to Goblin insanely beating Pete and killing Aunt May, leaving the MCU’s web manager to consider the murder as revenge. But that direction was obvious, lacking in tension and suspense as it followed what the trailers promised. Instead, the movie could have turned the tide by asking Peter to heal Norman of the goblin.
And the potential manifested in the powerful exchanges between Norman and Peter, where they worked together as scientists, leaving Norman beaming at how proud he was of Dutchman Peter. At this point, Norman was proud of his work, remembering how good he was as a man. If Otto had been the main villain, trying to break the magic box so that they could stay here and take power, it would have aligned with the evil and superior Doc Ock of the comics and acted like a perfect mistake for those who thought Goblin would be the main enemy.
But more than that, it would’ve been great to see Norman working with Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man when he and Andrew Garfield’s version entered the fray. The genie viewed Maguire’s Spidey as a son, after all, so not only would their emotional connection have been organic and sentimental, but it would also have helped Norman overcome the mistakes he made with Harry, becoming the hero his son made. always thought his father was.
Ultimately, having Norman face to face would prove May was right when she begged Pete to give her a second chance. Instead, however, Norman as the villain misses the mark, mostly because there was so much more potential to be tapped with a goblin atoning for all the blood he shed and the relationships he broke. .
To see the movie redeem the bad villain, Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters.
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