There is no way back.. Why did we fall in love with the last Spider-Man movie?

A soft light filters in from the cinema screen to the sides of the auditorium, the audience stops chatting, and their eyes fix on the just-starting movie: “Spider Man: No Way Home”, the sequel to the John Watts trilogy. From time to time, as the scenes went on, the hall rippled with fanfare and the cheers of the spectators overlapped with their applause.

Let’s pretend you were there, or maybe you don’t need to; Because if you aren’t, the echoes are likely to have already reached you. You finish watching the movie, you walk down the hallway that leads out of the place, with a question about how much the movie deserves the momentum around it, and if it’s really good. What has prompted millions of people to flock to Spider-Man in theaters since it premiered on December 15? And how was this work included in global box office revenues until it was ranked the first movie to exceed the billion dollar barrier in the time of the pandemic in just less than fourteen days? Could there really be light at a far point at the end of the tunnel?

That spot on the wall

Something so attracted writer and editor Stan Lee that he couldn’t take his eyes off a spider crawling on a wall (1). It’s just a thought that he took the Spider-Man character from him, and went to Steve Ditko to draw it. What if that visitor stung someone, endowing them with uncanny faculties, agility, the ability to stick to most surfaces, and a proactive sense of approaching danger? What if that person is not yet twenty?

Stan Lee

Hence, Stan Lee chose a radical departure from the established norms of the comic book superhero. In the early 1960s, youngsters in superhero comic books were usually confined to the status of a supporter of the hero who exceeded them in age and experience (2), but the Spider-Man series broke with what was common, and made its hero in high school student “Peter Parker” who hides his secret identity, He lives in Queens.

Unlike young heroes like Robin who had been taught by Batman, Spider-Man had no one to teach him, so he had to learn in the most ruthless and lasting way: experience. Stan Lee insisted that he should not be called the boy, as he was going about with people of his age at the time; Because he wanted the character to age as the series progressed, and not to put him below other superheroes (3).

The character took a position on the edges of things, between being close to it and being away from it, between success and failure. Suddenly, the parents step back from the photo and Peter Parker grows up with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Stan Lee deliberately shows these developments in order to evoke readers’ sympathy and closeness to a hero who represents them. Stan Lee wanted a character who would come alive, engage him, and spare no effort to sew her own red and blue costume.

Marvel did not initially accept giving the lead to a hero who is not yet fully mature, and with all his shortcomings, romantic traits, and chronic fears that readers may associate with subjective obsessions about rejection, inadequacy, loneliness, and anxiety related to work and money. They also thought the character’s spidery nature would alienate the audience, but its impact was resounding.

From the start, Spider-Man’s demeanor and attitude have been all but neutral about the prevailing superhero rules, as he does not dedicate his supernatural faculties to fighting crime so much as to gain fame and fortune. Only a tragic accident such as the murder of his uncle caused by a thief turns the entire series on its moral course, thrusting Peter Parker into the realm of crime-fighting, with his typical adolescence and his own sense of humor.

It was only a short period of time until Stan Lee won the bet, and Spider-Man was heard around, moving to the world of video games, TV series and movie series, to a series of cinematic quotes of a character since the turn of the millennium, and distinguished series emerge, most notably directed by Sam Raimi and John Watts.

Sam Raimi.. the hero behind the mask

Spider-Man films are devoted to the character, character and narrative of its hero. The credit goes first to director Sam Raimi in his movie “Spider-Man”, starring Tobey Maguire in both parts, during which he answered a decade-long dilemma about how to adapt the character cinematically without compromising its essence.

As much as Raimi was involved in making an exciting movie about a superhero, he devoted an original part of his work to exploring the depths of the hero behind the mask, and the difficulties and tribulations he faces, no matter how teenage and superficial they may seem. After that, Raimi smoothly moves his character to the world of major responsibilities, highlighting how Peter deals with it and the extent of its power over him, making the moment of loss a starting point, after which the hero resolves to take responsibility and accept the consequences of his decisions and mistakes that cost him his job, the girl he loves and his best friend(3 ).

But Raimi is originally a horror director known for his classics, most notably the movie The Evil Dead, in which he employed the self-shot or “Point-of-View Shot” as the filmmakers know it, before he summoned this technique again in the second part of Spider-Man. . In this type of shot, the angle of the camera shows us what the character sees about something or an event, to find in front of us a helpless victim fleeing from something frightening, or keeping looking at something terrifying.

In one scene, Doctor Octopus visits Harry Osborne and demands large amounts of tritium (an isotope of hydrogen) (4). Not only does the super-villain walk to Osborne’s front door, he uses his tentacles, robotic arms to climb the side of the building, displaying his dominance over the scene. Harry gets nervous when he hears noises coming from different directions, and when he realizes its source in front of him his pupils dilate, and he slowly looks down the edge of the balcony to see the tentacles of Octopus pounce on him and attack him. Remy expresses Harry’s unease through close-ups of his face and the reflection of what he sees, seeing as we are someone who has no choice in what he’s facing.

Forgotten endings

After Riley, director John Watts came to praise the theme of choice in his trilogy, starring Tom Holland, which he completed with the last part, “Spiderman.. There’s No Way Back,” noting in his title that Peter Parker will not only reap the consequences of his actions, but that whatever decisions he makes will result in them. His fate is irreversible.

Director John Watts.

Watts has built a bond between three generations, bringing together the three actors who have together starred in Spider-Man films over the past twenty years, from Tom Holland to Andrew Garfield to Tobey Maguire in a first of its kind, by embracing the idea of ​​parallel worlds that tell you that An exact copy of you lives in an alternate world of yours.

This was one of the main reasons for the film’s resounding success, it invested directly in Spider-Man fans, both from the generations that lived through the first three parts at the beginning of the millennium, and down to today’s teens. This becomes clear when one of the film’s heroes rescues the girlfriend of another hero, in an interesting mixture of three tales, as if they are all multiple versions of the same character, and the same spirit.

In addition, the film pays great attention to humor, which was employed to bridge the age gap between Spider-Man and all the other characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and to establish an equal balance between the dramatic moves followed, as it is distributed over parts of the dialogue, until it fades in the end as things get darker, Let us note that the core of the scenario is in fact based on the spell of oblivion.

What does oblivion represent but a hole in which missed opportunities fall in exchange for new ones? What Peter faces is the same question that all superheroes have faced about what it means to be a superhero, but the difference here is that we see him at a critical stage in his life, which is post-high school. From the first moment, we see his life unraveling after revealing his identity, and how this hinders him from entering the university. Just as Raimi Loghi established his main character and tracks his slips and endeavors between two worlds, so did Watts more directly, by removing the mask of his hero in public at the conclusion of the second part and exploiting that event as a prelude to the current part.

It was this that prompted Peter to turn to the magician Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in order to erase with his magic what was stuck in the collective memory of him. Peter deflects the spell in the middle, fearing that his girlfriend MJ and best friend Ned or Aunt May (Marissa Tomei) will fall out of his memory and eventually rob him of everything he cherishes.

But all this does not mean that it was not possible to make a more compact film in less than 148 minutes, especially since this length exposed obvious holes in the processing, such as the presence of Doctor Strange, which seems unjustified, as if it was simply found to facilitate plot intrigue without revealing His relationship with Peter from the ground up, and Strange’s acceptance of extending a helping hand to Peter completely contradicts the features of the wise person that Marvel has long drawn to him.

Moreover, there is no sufficient justification for Peter to change his attitude toward the gathering of the wicked who have passed through his time-hole and the quest to bring them home, to his fight for a second chance because his aunt’s conviction is consistent with that. One does not take such a firm position without indications and harbingers that were not prepared for it before then.

Watts also continues in an unfinished narrative novel, which he combines with his tale when he meets its three protagonists. To show us the nobility of pain in one direction and submission to anger in another, as if it were a trade-off that obliges Peter to choose whom he would like to end up with. In one scene near the end of the scenes, “Maguire” tells Peter Garfield that he is wonderful, trying to persuade him to repeat it: “You are wonderful, I want to hear you say that,” but Garfield never does that, even if it seems in his eyes that he wants to say those words and believe them. The meeting of the three of them makes space for understanding even for a short period, and Peter realizes in the end that perhaps he is not completely alone, all he has to look around and see many faces that are worthy of heroism, but also disappear behind the mask.



  1. Stan Lee on how he created Spider-Man – BBC News
  2. Spider-Man
  3. previous source
  4. How Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man Became A Classic | The Art Of Film
  5. Superhero Filmmaking: Spider-Man’s Sam Raimi and the POV Shot

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