will’s review published on Letterboxd:
the great classical work of our times, the stories that never fade, the images that continue throughout the times even though we can't inherit them. they come out like a whirlwind, like the thrust-into of being. this film starts off with multiple threads of grief and loss, pain and suffering, and spider-man can't see it, both too arrogant and incapable -- because what can spider-man really do? the farce of the upside-down kiss is just another crack in the reflection of peter's world, all in the form and plain to see -- the suit comes to him as temptation into further loss, compounding; sandman gets tied to his uncle's murder, and he's betrayed once more by harry, who too lives in the form. they all live in the form, and here is the first film since i saw the third murder last year that externalizes a thought into the frame and asks us and those actors within to participate -- pete recreating uncle ben's murder, only for it to dissolve in the ending. reality opens up, that there are no easy narratives, that people doing bad things adhere to causality like anything else. we see it so clearly in something like nagai's devilman, specifically yuasa's devilman: crybaby: people are already demons, already venomous, ready to lash out given the context. someone else's problem raining down upon your shoulders, maybe? and what wouldn't you do to try and save someone precious to you? and sure, sandman isn't given enough time in this world, in this hugely ambitious, herculean effort -- but does anybody else? how many people don't get the time for their full-scale tragedy? how often are we just witnessing people surviving? but raimi and team give us everything he deserves in one of the great cascading endings i've ever engaged with. because it all comes down to the death of harry, he who had died and lived again just to reconcile it all once more at the glimpse of his true death. pete was betrayed, harry was betrayed (and all the emanations intersecting) -- but who are any of these people? just glimpses of still lives, everyone propping up their own facades of those around them, crafting their own narratives.
but harry chooses to trust in something else other than the flood of memories -- he chooses pete, the person who had been there all along, the image of his eternal friend. there, between pete and mj, the full weight of the trilogy and this film as a standalone collapses in mere seconds. nothing left but a swan song, to play out the death echoing another.