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Spider-Man: No Way Home: Why One Big Andrew Garfield Scene Is The Marvel Movie's Best Moment

Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man 2
(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing)

Spider-Man: No Way Home quickly established itself as one of the best Marvel movies of all time, and part of that is due to its sheer amount of jaw-dropping moments. However, for all the callbacks, nostalgia, and twists, one moment stands above the rest. That moment belongs to Andrew Garfield, who joined Tobey Maguire in returning as Spider-Man years after his original turn as the character ended. 

There’s a lot to love about Andrew Garfield’s reprisal as Peter Parker. With that said, I don’t think any scene in the movie is as powerful or as emotional as when he saves Zendaya's MJ from her fall towards the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home. It’s a scene that does so much, while at the same time doing so little, that it’s hard not to stand up and cheer when it happens.

Mary Jane falling in Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Image credit: Sony)

Why Amazing Spider-Man Saving MJ Is The Perfect Storytelling Moment

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has its shortcomings, but it is the first Spider-Man movie that features one of the Marvel hero’s defining moments. The death of Gwen Stacy is monumental, especially in the context of Andrew Garfield’s Peter, given their relationship. Peter tried his best to save Gwen and even managed to snag her with a web. Unfortunately, his tactic wasn’t effective enough, and he’s unable to save Gwen from her fate. 

Spider-Man was ultimately devastated that he couldn’t save Gwen, and there’s more evidence suggesting this in his re-introduction in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Andrew Garfield’s Peter confirms to Tom Holland’s Peter he knows all about loss, and when Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man asks him if there’s someone in his life, he awkwardly brushes off the question and claims there isn’t someone out there for him. As a viewer, it isn’t hard to imagine losing Gwen did a number on him and made him feel unworthy of loving anyone else out of fear he couldn’t protect them. 

Fast-forward to the big fight scene in Spider-Man: No Way Home, MJ falls from the scaffolding and appears to be on a fast track to reunite with Marisa Tomei's late Aunt May. The Amazing Spider-Man jumps into action without a second thought and dives towards MJ before grabbing her and landing safely on his own feet. When they are both in the clear, he asks if she’s ok with tears in his eyes. This time, he saved the girl, and though this Peter Parker has no romantic ties to Michelle Jones-Watson, it’s clear in his eyes that he’s relieved he was able to save her. 

Unmasked Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

How Amazing Spider-Man Saving MJ Tells So Much While Being Subtle

What I love about Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man saving MJ is that it’s told from start to finish without holding the audience’s hand throughout the experience. If you’ve seen The Amazing Spider-Man 2, you know exactly why that save is so important to Peter. He got a chance to save someone who fell in the same way as Gwen, and he succeeded. 

The scene's best aspect, though, is how calculated and fluid this Peter's method of saving MJ is. It comes off as something Peter’s played back in his head many times over. By the time he’s faced with another opportunity to save someone from a free fall, it’s almost like muscle memory that he’s able to pull off a safe and effective save. 

Of course, we have no way of knowing whether this is the first or umpteenth time Andrew Garfield’s Peter faced that obstacle or not. The fact of the matter is that he knew exactly what to do when the time came, and that’s all that really matters. With that said, why does this save matter more, especially if it isn’t the first time he’s saved someone falling from a building or some other structure? 

The answer, I believe, is because all of the Peter Parkers connect on an emotional level, regardless of their situations in life. Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker may not have an MJ in her life, but he still knows what it’s like to love someone as Peter Parker. I’m not someone who’s well-versed on being empathetic to the feelings of my variants, but if there’s someone who I think understands me in ways no one else could, I’d gotta think it’s them, right? 

Tom Holland as Spider-Man in "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Why This Scene And Not The Other Ones?

Look, I’m aware it’s incredibly bold to claim Andrew Garfield steals the show in a movie that sets the stage for Tom Holland’s next era of Spider-Man. In Spider-Man: No Way Home alone, we see Holland's Peter lose his aunt, fight Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin twice and make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save the world. We expect great things from Holland’s Spider-Man, though, and anything less would be a disappointment. 

Sure, I had my suspicions that Andrew Garfield was in Spider-Man: No Way Home before its release. What I legitimately didn’t expect is that I’d see some payoff to the tragedy shown in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and that one scene would leave me hungry for more adventures with Garfield’s Spider-Man afterward. I won’t go so far as to say one scene redeemed that sequel, but it was about as good of a way to make me want The Amazing Spider-Man 3 as anything else.

To top it off, I can confidently say I’m most excited about the idea of a new movie with Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man. I’m also interested in the theory that he’s the Spider-Man of the universe that Morbius resides in, and honestly think those two would make a good team. I’m also cool with some other entirely unrelated adventure set in his original universe from the movies, I’m not that picky, really. I just want more of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, and it’s thanks in large part to that wonderful scene. 

Spider-Man: No Way Home is still in theaters and continues to crush it at the box office. I’m ready for it to arrive on streaming so I can revisit it from the comfort of my own home, and, of course, look for more reasons to justify Andrew Garfield’s continued involvement in Marvel movies. 

Mick Joest
Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.