Movies / Comics Movie Reviews

Spider-Man: No Way Home


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By Hervé St-Louis
December 22, 2021 - 20:48

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The revelation of Spider-Man’s secret identity as Peter Parker starts to ruin his life and that of his entourage. Peter asks Doctor Strange to help him with the situation, hoping it will resolve everything. However, as a magic spell is brought forward, things go wrong and suddenly everyone who knows who Peter Parker and Spider-Man are, across the multiverse converge in one place, making our young hero’s life much worse. Can Spider-Man get out of this latest mess?

I was unable to review this film for a whole week. I saw it on Thursday December 16, 2021. Started the review, but then stopped. This review is not easy for me to write.

Sometimes, I ask myself what makes a classic movie that everyone just loves and remember. I think it takes just enough pathos for audiences to care for the characters and give them something to feel like they are in on the secrets, the jokes or whatever it is that they long to be part of. I Think that Spider-Man No Way Home does that. I don’t quite understand, but this mess of a film will soon become another classic.

I see reviews commenting on how the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man has finally graduated into the real Spider-Man, as opposed to be Tony Stark’s sidekick. What I saw tonight was a mess with everything possible thrown in, to caress and tickle millennials and gen-z for whom the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is what these characters are about. I keep railing against the cottage industry of gurus that have sprung around the MCU now that it’s in and popular to do so. None of those fans would have dared been seen with a Spider-man t-Shirt 25 years ago. Well, most of them were too young. And for others, it certainly was a crime to be a geek.

I sound like an old man yelling at the clouds now. Marvel has succeeded after 80 years to make its characters and universe popular and common knowledge. For years, DC Comics had the opportunity to do just that and more, but it keeps squandering all openings. Now, the concept of a project that was announced as something that would happen in the first Flash movie, way back in 2015, has happened in a Marvel film. Good luck to DC Comic, trying the same plot, even though Crisis is its own staple. Marvel did it first in the movies and better than DC can ever hope for. The Eternals killed the New Gods. The only thing DC ever won, was making Aquaman cooler than Namor.

Peter Parker is an annoying selfish bastard. There, it’s out of my system. That’s why this film exist. The silver linings here, is that the writers drew from the comics to craft this story. I care about the character, still, and I can’t wait to see more of Tom Holland in future Spider-Men films.

I am not sure what else Marvel and Sony can do with the character in the future. Once you have played with the multiverse and previous versions of Spider-man narratively, what else is left to do? Miles Morales?

The recipe for this film was to throw everything they could think about and hope to rekindle nostalgia in millennials, Gen Z and Gen X. We knew that Gen X is all about nostalgia, but we had no idea if this would work for millennials. I can confirm that nostalgia works for all generations. This is the real premise of the film. Throw in as much as possible and claim that the fans are marvelled.

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The sorry situation is that while the story is close to A Brand-New Day in the comics, the comic books are exiting MCU films more and more and becoming their own mythology. It does not mater that Spider-Man is principally a comic book character. Now, trove of fans can have debates about which of the three Spider-Man from the new millennium is the most authentic one. The real Peter Parker, for me will always be the one from the 666 Marvel comic book universe, but I sound like an old man yelling at the clouds when I make such a statement.

Fan servicing in movies is making a film that does not challenge nor surprise audiences. It is about catering to that audience. Marvel Studios has mastered this. When they try something new or ground-breaking as with the Eternals, they are punished by fans and the critics. However, No Way Home will be seen as a masterpiece, even though it made no narrative sense. As everything was thrown in.

There were plot holes the size of the Grand Canyons, such as who will remember what got Spider-Man where he is at the end of the film, but that does not matter. The action distracts viewers and making them feel that a lot of stuff is happening. I got confused quickly with Spider-man on screen. There was so much on screen that I could not care. I understand that my view of this movie is probably divergent with most other people. I did not hate Spider-Man: No Way Home, but it wasn’t my favourite MCU film either.

Rating: 6 /10


Last Updated: January 24, 2022 - 11:00

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