Spider-Man: No Way Home, a last tour of the web [critique]

What is the new (and ultimate) Spider-Man with Tom Holland worth?

Hard to talk about Spider-Man: No Way Home without depriving of its pleasure the public who surely tried to navigate the promo of the last Marvel, itself swaying between the corporatist injunctions to the absolute mystery and the spoils widely disseminated by the promo itself. In short, all this to say that we know from the movie poster that Spider-Man (Tom Holland) will face villains who appeared in the first five Spider-Man films, so Sam Raimi’s first trilogy with Tobey Maguire (initiated in 2002) and the two films of the 2010s with Andrew Garfield. Blame it on a problem with a spell cast incorrectly by Doctor Strange, which turns the multiverse upside down and which will also cause … Hmm. There, we are really entering dangerous territory – in fact, if you think about it, it seems that any attempt at critical speech on the film cannot be deprived of evoking big key elements of the plot – these famous big ones. spoilers. What to do then? We will try to take it easy: but if you ever want to stay absolutely virgin, stop reading now. And here’s the trailer to make you want to go see it ASAP, just in case.

So where were we? Spider-Man has his identity revealed at the end of Far From Home, and he is accused of having killed the gentle Mysterio. Seeing his life crumble, just like that of his close friends, he asks Doctor Strange to cast a spell to erase the name of Peter Parker from the heads of the entire planet. Fate messes up, the multiverse cracks, and villains arrive: yes, the film does reappear Octopus (Alfred Molina), the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), the Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), plus the Lizard ( Rhys Ifans) and Electro (Jamie Foxx). But not Venom (Topher Grace) or Harry Osborn (James Franco). And other surprised characters, of course: in theory, it’s great since the cinema takes hold of a technique – the passages of characters from one series to another – that we thought was reserved for comic book boxes, a medium who does not have to worry too much about the budget. But now, these references and cameos are certainly encouraging, but the film struggles to seize it to do anything other than a big fan service. These characters belong to other productions, so other writings, the actors took between twenty and ten years in the teeth and here they are brutally flattened to the clean formula of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (a pitfall that the pretty Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, also based on the meeting of characters and multiverses, did not have to manage).

Speaking of cleanliness, Spidey tries less to defeat his super opponents than to heal them, each carrying their superpowers like a nasty disease. Is the disease an illness, a nasty cold that can be corrected with serum? We can see this narrative process, fundamentally not very elegant, as a flirtation with revisionism, an attempt to correct and resolve the films from before which had the affront of not following the good old Marvel formula. one of story arcs Producer favorites being the redemption of the never-so-evil ultimately villains (yes, even Thanos). Too bad, because this parallel earthquake remains a good idea for cinema: the reappearance of two other key characters gives rise to an undoubtedly extraordinarily moving scene. We dream of what a more daring franchise would have done with this dizzying cinema possibility of being able to seize its past incarnations: but here we are, we are in the MCU and we must sacrifice to its paradigm. Holland remains charming, Zendaya is great, Cumberbatch is great, the humor is as inconsistent as his characters, everyone has a good time, and the action scenes are even funny enough to keep the attention (a cute scene from highway where Spidey almost does a real job as a superhero, and a chase in the “mirror dimension”) … Beyond his clash of multiverse which nevertheless occupies almost the entire film, No Way Home must also be considered as the conclusion of the Spider-Man trilogy with Tom. Still a paradox to resolve? No, because on that side, things are going pretty well: Marvel has serious experience in the field of super-mishmash, and fans will be in heaven – especially in the end scene, sufficiently open and fragile so that we dying to tell it to you, but there, really, we would enter the path of the most hardcore disclosure – a real path of no return, in short.

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