More than anything, Peter Parker wanted a father. Regardless of who is telling the story of Spider-Man, it’s so defined by the loss of Uncle Ben – the original sin that Peter never got over – that it’s so easy to get over the loss that Peter doesn’t. He can’t blame himself: his parents, who went missing long before the story usually begins. The loss of Uncle Ben made Peter so desperately hungry for the image of a father that the most famous members of his rogues gallery were all failed surrogate fathers. Mentors like Norman Osborn and Otto Octavius in Sam Raimi’s movies, Teachers like Curt Connors in Ultimate Spidermanand potential role models turned sour by some force or another, like Adrian Toomes in Spider-Man: Homecoming or Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
The latest story shot from this web, Spider-Man: There’s no way home, initially doesn’t seem to care about any of that history. The movie seems to be an excuse for a multiverse combo, one that pits Spider-Man in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe against the villains in the previous Spider-Man films. At first, it seemed like a fun slugfest but catered to fans, not preloading the emotionally charged Spider-Man stories known. Then, halfway through, There is no way home become extremely invested in Peter Parker and what he lost.
[Ed. note: Major spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home follow.]
One of the smaller things that sets Peter’s version of the MCU apart is that we never see any such early losses. Just like the radioactive spider that bit him to give him his powers, it’s an element of the story that we’ve seen over and over and don’t need to revisit. Instead, Tom Holland’s version of Peter Parker has a new loss: his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), killed by the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe). It was the wound that ultimately left Peter broken, brought down by the death of his idol Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) in Avengers: Endgame, and by the betrayal of his short-term friend Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) forces him into a terrorist attack at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Broken, he withdrew from his friends, and There is no way homeThe real meta magic begins, when Peter Parker at his lowest is lifted by two previous on-screen Peters, played by their original actors, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.
What’s surprising about There is no way home it’s not Maguire and Garfield reprising their roles, it’s the real them character in There is no way home, is present in most of its second half. They don’t just support the current Peter’s story; they get their own bittersweet grace notes. Maguire’s Peter, who has gone through three painful movies for self-sacrifice when Spider-Man asks him, must show two young men that pain can also lead to something beautiful. . Peter of Garfield, whose series is truncate and the story never ends, with more to go: In the space between his last Spider-Man outing, Super Spider-Man 2, and There is no way home, we know that he went on a rampage and effectively gave up on being Peter Parker.
These aren’t just lessons to impart to the current Peter, they’re helping to expand three ways, linking all three versions of the character. One of the most impactful moments in There is no way home happens when Holland isn’t even around, for Maguire, Peter Parker is the best tune-in, telling Garfield’s Peter he’s cool and trying to get him to say it too. “No, you’re amazing – I need to hear you say that,” he said. Garfield’s Peter never does, but in a moment of vulnerability, we can see how much he wants to.
This is something that complicates a completely skeptical reading of There is no way homeThe movie’s script not only uses the other Peters for a cute cameo, but tries to grapple with the slightly different nuances they bring to Peter Parker’s current grief, and how they how meeting each other can help them grow. Because all of them still have room to grow and all of them still so lonely.
What makes the latest version of the character different is that for a while, he hasn’t been. He is recruited by an Avenger, and is assigned a frequently annoyed but ultimately supportive person. He must be part of a team, and he must share his journey with his two best friends. He enjoyed the privilege of having a wealthy benefactor, letting his keen young mind be stretched in ways it could never have at Midtown High. And he has an Aunt May who knows he is Spider-Man and supports him in his heroic work. However, like There is no way homeThe tragedy of the story culminates, Peter knows that none of this will help him in his personal sadness, nor will anyone understand him better.
But as the multiverse brings new tragedy to Peter, it also shows his kindness: For a brief time, working alongside two other versions of himself allows him to feel understood. . For a short time, it brought him brothers.
With this emotional moment, There is no way home to the end of a complicated road that begins when Peter Parker comes in the middle Captain America: Civil War, before he got a nice suit or fought his first alien. Overcoming cumbersome jokes and sometimes confusing plots, There is no way home Director Jon Watts and screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers ultimately chose to center the beating heart of the child behind the mask, who is impersonating a man. This is definitely not a story about Spider-Man, but a story about Peter Parker. And so again, Peter has to learn a lesson in power and responsibility, that one way to make sure bad things happen is to know you can do something to help people, but choose no.
Spider-Man: There’s no way home is a funeral of sorts. Even bringing in Doctor Strange visitors, magic, and the multiverse from the other Spider-Man movies, it removes all that Spider-Man has amassed in previous MCU installments. In his quest to prevent a multiverse catastrophe, Spider-Man loses all of his fancy gadgets, powerful friends, and support systems. When he asks Doctor Strange to erase his memory from the world, he will lose the Avengers who know and respect him, the friends who remember his name, and any sense of family. found to return. The movie ends with a blank slate: Peter Parker in a homemade costume, holding a police scanning app, tries to do the best he can, just because he can.
In this, There is no way home can be read as a startling cautionary tale about the dangers of cinematic universes. The continuity, the crossover, the amazing gizmos that come with cross-pollination of superheroes – none of which will help Peter get up again after he falls. And beyond that, none of that makes him who he is. And he probably can’t be the best version of himself until he chooses to be free of it.
Peter Parker will never have that father, just as he will never see a world where doing the right thing doesn’t come with a hefty price tag. But he can choose to wake up every day and do it anyway, to believe he’s making a difference. And more importantly, because he believes someone out there will see him, and be moved to do the same.
Spider-Man: There’s no way home playing in theaters.
https://www.polygon.com/22840068/spider-man-no-way-home-spoilers-review Spider-Man: No Way Home Epilogue Answers Peter Parker’s Final Question