We were all waiting for it to happen. Spider-Man: No Way Home had already shown that many legacy Spider-Man movie villains like Doctor Octopus, Sandman and Green Goblin are coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie came and we were all taken aback. No Way Home was everything we hoped it would be. Perhaps it defied all expectations and delivered more than what it was supposed to. And that is no less thanks to the stellar performance of Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin.
This will be a spoiler free review. So you do not need to scroll down hastily if you haven’t watched the film yet…..
Dafoe’s Green Goblin Was A Totally Unexpected Surprise
Every man, woman, and child on this planet knows that Willem Dafoe is a wonderful actor. There is no role this guy cannot nail. No character this guy cannot play to perfection. He did the same with Green Goblin in 2001. He did it again in 2021, about two decades later. Both the times, he played an unhinged and downright twisted criminal lunatic. In No Way Home in particular, the guy completely steals the show.
Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin was one of the few villains who did not just get under Spider-Man’s skin. His sinister aura even pierced the audience. His maniacal laugh and that ridiculously sinister grin made him a comic book movie icon. Such was the praises that were bestowed on him that we still talk about him today after more than two decades.
No Way Home’s Goblin Explores The Character In Depth
In Spider-Man: No Way Home, Green Goblin does just that and much more. Norman’s ability to switch between his benevolent Norman and the malevolent Goblin persona is well-known. It would be foolish to assume that the MCU would not bring this aspect to No Way Home.
The movie aptly uses Dafoe’s acting range to its fullest glory. There was a criticism in 2001’s Spider-Man that by giving Dafoe a full-face mask, they hid the range of facial expressions he could produce on screen. Many people are fond of the Green Goblin helmet but this criticism is somewhat true. Spider-Man: No Way Home gives us the best of both worlds. Early leaks had already shown that the Goblin mask is broken halfway through the movie. We get a Norman Osborn without that iconic Green Goblin mask.
And frankly, Dafoe’s Osborn is way more menacing without the mask than what he was while wearing it.
There are many twists and turns to see in No Way Home. There are some scenes that will take you aback and leave you in absolute awe. Willem Dafoe is a force of nature in the realms of show business. And in this movie he shows that it is not just the writing and the script. The actor maketh the character too. Green Goblin is a villain of many layers. In 2001, Sony’s Spider-Man tried exploring those layers. No Way Home expands upon those layers and gives us a Green Goblin that we never thought could be translated from the comic books to the big screens.
There Can Be No One As Perfect As Willem Dafoe
The world has already moved past the Sam Raimi trilogy. With a new generation of viewers and fans, Marvel is readying the MCU for a new generation of actors. Dafoe’s Green Goblin will probably be lost to time. Maybe in the future Sony Spider-Man movies, we will see a different actor don the goblin mask. But no one could ever be as magical and ghastly as Dafoe as Norman Osborn. No way Home has many things for fans. But the best part about the movie is definitely him.
Willem Dafoe was, is, and always will be a total show-stopper.