10:45 pm: My fears and premonitions about Jon Watts, Chris McKenna and Erik SommersSpider-Man: No Way Home were unfounded.. I’m not saying that a big chunk of it, particularly during the first 60 to 65 minutes, didn’t numb me out and at times bore me to death. I looked at my watch at 9:15 pm and went “oh, God, another whole hour to go!” But a tiny bit later everything started to change and advance and coagulate, and the trippier, hall-of-mirrors aspects of the “multiverse” plot started to kick in, and the movie got quieter and more reflective and then joyful…the crowd broke out in cheers three times…and I was suddenly going “holy shit, this is really working!”

Ridiculous as this may sound, it is HE’s conviction that McKenna and Sommers’ SM:NWH script has resulted in one of the most cosmically out-there meta-Marvel experiences ever, not to mention one of the most emotional Marvel sink-ins (and that includes Avengers: Endgame).

As much as I hate to admit this, Spider-Man: No Way Home — despite all the flash-bang-jizz-whizz-whomp-thromp crap that occupies much of the first 60 to 65 minutes, which I hated — is easily one of 2021’s best films. It actually should be nominated for Best Picture because it turns the proverbial magic key — it turns audiences on. I was there and I felt it, dammit. This is what people go to the movies for. It even ends a little bit like Warren Beatty‘s Heaven Can Wait…almost. At the finish everyone applauded.

Yes, the early sections are an unfortunate lesson in FX chaos action editing, and at times the film felt like a fan-service mechanism, a machine, a greatest hits service tray. But the last 45 to 50 minutes are really good. I was totally sold. Call me flabbergasted.