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Moral Problems in “Spider-Man: No Homecoming”

Don’t form your opinion on public policies or set your moral clock for the newest superhero movie. There aresome flaws. But first, the good news: congratulations to the Disney Corporation subsidiary, Marvel Studios. Despite the promise made earlier this year by the president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, that the (increasingly politically correct) studio would take its Big Leap Woke, and partial compliance in in the form of a box office bomb called “The Eternals”,“Spider-Man:No Homecoming” premiereda few weeks ago and shows no signs ofwokism. And, with more than $1.1 billion at the box office worldwide, it definitely won’t fail.

That’s not to say they haven’t tried. The Daily Wire reported that Marisa Tomei, who played Aunt May in the current franchise, lobbied for her character to be a lesbian. Apparently, the love of money is not just the root of all evil; it can also be the root of idiotic ideas. Aunt May isn’t such a good moral guide in the current movie, but at least we don’t learn anything about her sexual appetites.

Instead of nailing or rubbing in your face the typicalsignal of LGBT+ virtue , the new movie allows viewers to enjoy their popcorn while enjoying what made the Marvel Cinematic Universe great in the first place: humor, action and the feeling that the studio doesn’t hate its own fans.

Peter Parker/Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is the deliciously clumsy and clumsy figure we all love, interrupting Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Strange incessantly as he tries to weave a spell to make everyone forget what the evil Mystery( Jake Gyllenhaal) had revealed in the previous film, “Spider-Man: Far From Home”: Spider-Man’s secret identity.

The humorous scene is the trigger for adisorder in the multiverse, bringing Spider-Man’s adversaries supervillains from multiple parallel universes (also known as earlier Spider-Man franchises). This gives us the opportunity to experienceaction and humor, as Spider-Manneeds to huntand imprison these figures so that Dr. Strange can send them backto their own universes.

It’s also the opportunity to reward fans delighted to find all the old villains: Willem’s Green Goblin, Jamie Foxx’s Electro, Thomas Haden’s Sandman, Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus and Rhys Ifans’ Lizard. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man turns out to be no match for these figures, so we are treated to a combo offanservice: the appearance of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield,Spider-Menfrom these universes /parallel series, to help combat them. It’s a good fun moment with lots of action scenes that culminate in a wonderful fight aroundthe Statue of Liberty.

I don’t want to reveal too many details, but I will say that in the end everyone has fun. Except, I suppose, those curmudgeons who are content just to destroy other people’s cinematic universes. This is not a great movie, but a hobby that provides pleasant entertainment.

Even so, however, and at the risk of being a boring conservative and killjoy, I must record the problems with the moral compass of the film. It’s fair, after all. There are more ways to be wrong than gay lobbying and more ways to stray from the path than to becomewoke. One might object that if it’s just fun, why complain about a little escapism? But, as Tolkien observed, we judge escapism to be good if it simply helps us to escape for a few moments the burden of our duties or if it helps us to escape forever from the ideas of our time that imprison us.

The problems with“Spider-Man: No Return Home”, as one might expect from a movie about heroes and villains, lie in the nature of thefightingevil and the very nature of evil. The first we can call the problem of progressive perfectionist activism, while the second is the problem of evil as an externality.

The first problem we can consider less serious, since many adventure plots begin with the feverish stupidity of youth being carried into action by the sympathy of adults. That Dr. Strange spell that, with the hilarious Holland/Parker interruptions, is designed to make everyone forget that Peter Parker and Spider-Man are the same person, but ends up importing supervillains from parallel universes to wreak havoc on the protagonist’s life, was released because of the problems Parker faced in getting into a top-notch university. That’s right. Although he’s not guilty, and the cops don’t charge him, the murder Mysterio tried to pin on him in the last movie, all this multiverse chaos occurs because Holland/Parker, his girlfriend MJ (the serious and beautiful Zendaya) and his best friend Ned Leeds (charismaticJacobBatalon) are suffering from badfame and…Having trouble getting into MIT.

IfHolland/Parker is not guilty of the murder, we can at least say that he should spend some time in prison with Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman and other celebrities indicted after the Varsity Blues investigation? All these real-world people did was falsify some test results and, r, pay some admission fees, coaches, and deans to get their kids into college. Parker/Holland convinced Dr. Strange to try a dangerous spell that ends up releasing supervillains who cause millions of dollars of damage and undoubtedly shed some blood in their rage across New York City.

As I said, I don’t want to give too much importance to this. Teens do stupid things and everything. But it gets worse. Dr. Strange realizes how ridiculous the deal with Parker was (given that the crisis is due to college admissions and Parker’s friends didn’t even appeal the MIT decision before agreeing to a powerful magic involving mind control) and then find out what your spell has done. In anger, he orders Holland/Parker to capture the supervillains so he can dispatch them to their home universes, avoiding the usual comic book problems of altering the structure of reality.

After capturing these characters and placing them in forcefield prisons under Strange’s mansion, however, Holland/Parker discovers that the reunited supervillains were snatched into their own universe before they were about to fight their own Spider-Men and die . After retrieving the troubled Norman Osborne/Green Goblin from the charity Aunt May works for,Holland/Parkerimagines a plan to, through chemistry or computing,cure all the villains assembled. When Dr. Strange sensibly tells him that this is a stupid idea,Holland/Parkerstealsthe box containing the spell with which supervillains are to be dispatched and takesStrangeon a chase that ends up withmagetrapped in the Mirror Dimension . He then lets the assembled villains out of their cells and takes them to his friend’s apartment to work on the cures. As you can imagine, this doesn’t work very well and we have a lot more destruction before the movie ends.

What a perfect example of a progressive perfectionist activist. As one of the Soros-funded public prosecutors, Holland/Parker will let the bad guys loose to do a little social work and neuropsychiatry on them. It will solve the root causes, you see. In another world, especially a cinematic universe, it might be different, but this kind of activism in our world not only leads to a lot of computer-based legal battles, but a lot of misery. Around here,that kind of thinking leads to record numbers of murders,asmore than a dozen cities in the United States– including my own St. Paul, Minnesota–reachedin 2021, about two weeks before the film’s December release date.

This problem of how to deal with evil is not, however, the film’s worst problem. That honor goes to the notion of what makes people bad in the first place. Holland/Parker, not knowing much about these figures from their parallel universes, determines based on the stories he has heard that they are all just supervillains because of the accidents, involuntary or self-induced, that gave them their powers in the first place. So, with the help of the other two Spider-Men, all he has to do is find chemical or technological solutions for these figures and force them to take the cure. And then they’ll be good.

Oh, if only it were that easy. But it has been a particular temptation of our time to believe that evil is not a matter of will, but a quirk of brain chemistry that can be managed by technology or pills. John Henry Newman described this temptation in his essays of 1841 that make up the series “The Tamworth Reading Room”. He noted the mistake of “believing that our true excellence does not come from within, but from without; not forged through personal struggles and suffering, but following passive exposure to influences over which we have no control.”

I have no doubt that some who commit crimes are insane, but the that guarantees that, freed from, say, the power of electricity or the power of sand, Max Dillon/Electro or FlintMarko/Sandmanwill not want toexercise powerover others again? Marko’s story was, after all, that of a criminal who gained superpowers – his will was already corrupt. And while Dillon only turned to crime after falling into a vat of electric eels, his own rebellion against Parker’s cure in this film shows that the charge he receives from power over others is not dependent on electricity.

Do not misunderstand me. I enjoyed the action as much as anyone, but I couldn’t help but smile when my ten-year-old daughter told me, “Spider-Man and his Aunt May caused all their own problems.” Chestertonsays that we can live without literature, but not without stories. The reason to defendRobin Hood and Spider-Man is that they teach us basic lessons about the moral structure of life in fun and fantastical ways. “Spider-Man: No Return Home” avoids the most obvious of our contemporary lies about reality, but it also paints a flawed understanding of evil, both on how to fight it prudently and how it is closely linked. to us humans.

© 2021 The Imaginative Conservative. Published with permission. Original in English.

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