If it's true that great powers come with great responsibilities, then Spider-Man: No Way Home's duty was to honor the essence of Spider-Man after 20 years of exciting and troubled cinematic stories. And I say it immediately, without excessive frills or puns: it succeeds. I'm not talking about a perfect film: yet, at the end of perhaps the most touching 150 minutes of the spider's story on the big screen, I think there is no doubt how much the fine comic directed by Jon Watts shines with a singular light, net of any criticism.
A shining light for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which with the content of No Way Home can boast in its filmography a respectable trilogy on the wall climber; but also for Sony Pictures, which after the success of the second chapter will be able to boast of having its own "Endgame" at the box office all over the world. It shines for most Spidey fans, who will have the spider film they have long been waiting for.
Useless and pretext to tell the starting plot of Spider-Man No Way Home. On the other hand, as we have already told you about the first 40 minutes of Spider-Man No Way Home that we have seen, it is quite easy to imagine the progress of the first act. The construction of the developments that will trigger the story in the remaining 100 minutes of the film, even in the general economy of the entire production, remains convincing and is the only segment of the whole work to be "indebted" to the whole approach. adolescent already tested in the two previous chapters of the trilogy.
In fact, in the first part of No Way Home, there is the consequence of Mysterio's perfidious deception, the impact it has on the life of Peter and his loved ones and on his scholastic path, the confrontation with a more experienced hero on what is right or wrong to do. Following in the footsteps of a path to rediscover the Parker / Spidey duo, there is a new story of growth, which is contaminated with the theme of adult life, post-high school journeys and the prospect of college.
But it is when the fateful Multiverse opens that No Way Home changes its face, delves into the cinematic memory of the character, and embellishes his artistic approach, bringing to the screen the faces that give life to the historical enemies of the previous sagas, complete with rearranged musical themes. , but still immersed in the narrative context and in the cinematographic language of Jon Watts and the combination of Marvel / Sony. The film changes face because, in confronting opponents he does not know, the spider weaver played by Tom Holland discovers and explores, perhaps for the first time, what it means to be Spider-Man.
In short, the second act of No Way Home gives life to a process of rediscovery of the character of Holland, which in spite of a very rich and layered cast remains the beating heart of the whole work. The confrontation, physical and moral, with his nemesis also contrasts with the difference of views with Strange, but it is precisely in this phase that Watts's film lends its side to his main weaknesses. The central phase of the film probably provides the most unexpected and unpredictable narrative cues, building an interesting and all in all effective, but imperfect climax.
The growing tension, which arises from a rather simple and light writing trick, is developed a little too quickly, and I believe that at the base of some important narrative turning points a pinch of situationism takes over: small stumbles of the script that, in every chance, they manage to stay in the balance without destroying the narrative foundations of the entire film, while remaining confident that various explanations - from the functioning of the Strange spell to the role of certain characters - may not agree with the whole fanbase.
The third act is, in no uncertain terms, a precious tribute to the values and themes embodied by Spider-Man in comic fiction. Once again the fulcrum of this growth path is Tom Holland, who gives us his most intense and dramatic Peter in an interpretation that can only confirm his already known talent. The last hour of Spider-Man No Way Home manages to be forgiven for every flaw made in the previous two, effectively honoring the historical, moral, and emotional memory of the web weaver.
And this is precisely the main value of No Way Home: its ability to rewrite the myth of Spider-Man, giving it new lifeblood to close one cycle and at the same time open another. Spider-Man No Way Home represents the epilogue of a saga and the restart for something new, drawing strength from a predictable narrative subterfuge to package a sly, shrewd, and intelligent operation of retcon, functional to the continuation of Peter Parker within the MCU.
Believe it or not, No Way Home is a story of origins useful for shaping and reshaping the ethics of this Peter Parker to make him a completely unique and independent icon compared to the other Marvel Studios heroes. And therefore this is precisely the greatest strength of Watts' film: to give shape to the characterization of Spider-Man built for almost three films in order to make the apex of his story a new origin story. An operation that, by heart, no modern fine comic has been able to do.
Jon Watts is a conscious and mature director: his machine accompanies the growth of Spider-Man with the solidity of a craftsman and the air of an author capable of making the most of the many faces made available for his work. . And it is no coincidence that his direction struck us from the very first minutes when he frantically runs through the movements of the characters in the general panic. Just as it is no coincidence that No Way Home contains some of the most successful and best-choreographed action scenes in the entire Cinematic Universe. From the initial confrontation between Parker and Doc Ock, passing from a clash with Willem Dafoe's Goblin during the second act that will strike you with his unprecedented ferocity, up to the exciting and daring final showdown.
And if Holland, as already mentioned, is the alpha and omega of an effective dramaturgical approach to the figure of the friendly Parker, the entire cast of No Way Home is absolutely no less. Molina's Octavius is striking and electrifying, torn between being a villain out of time and an unlikely, frowning ally; a little less successful, but still functional to the story, the performance of Jamie Foxx, who returns to interpret a version of Electro halfway between the perfidy and naivety of the character already seen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
And finally, sumptuous and surprising proof of a Willem Dafoe who returns to push on a marked and distorted expressionism, inspired by the intense close-ups of Sam Raimi while not fully reaching his horror fascination. And the support roster is perhaps even more central in the cinematic deconstruction of this Spider-Man: the finally more central role of the May of a moving Marisa Tomei to say the least, the brazen and innocent tenderness of a Zendaya chemically linked to her Tom. Spider-Man No Way Home is, ultimately, a heartfelt film, an excellent fine comic, a poster of Spider-Man perfectly successful in its emotional component.
Spider-Man: No Way HomeSpider-Man: No Way Home is the cinematic sum of 20 years of Spider-Man on the big screen. It is a film of the heart, which excites and moves in a final act that makes up for some narrative stumbling blocks spread in a second act that is a little too hasty. It is almost a retcon as clever as it is intelligent, which strongly reaffirms the power and effectiveness of the editorial operation so far conducted by Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures.
But, net of an exceptional cast, No Way Home is not just nostalgia: it is a peculiar tale of origins in which Tom Holland remains, from start to finish, the beating heart of a beautiful superhero coming-of-age novel and is, ultimately, an excellent fine comic. The film that many web-weaving fans have dreamed of seeing for a long time.