Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is Ultimately Amazing, Sensational and Spectacular
When it was announced that Sony was going ahead with plans to make their own Spider-Man movies while allowing the character to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I was skeptical. This skepticism continued when it was revealed the studio was working on an animated Spider-Man film starring Miles Morales who I was not all that familiar with. This changed about a year ago when the first trailer for Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was released. Since then I had been eagerly anticipating this movie to hit theatres.
The film directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman stars the voices of Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, John Mulaney, Nicolas Cage, and Liev Schreiber and presents a familiar tread. Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) gets bit by a radioactive spider and gains the powers of Spider-Man who has been operating for ten years. A selfish, but relatable experiment by the film’s big bad, Kingpin breaks time and space and soon Morales learns there are multiple versions of Earth, each with their own Spider-Person. We meet an older version of the original Spider-Man, Peter B. Parker, Spider-Gwen, and a colourful (or not so colorful in the case of Spider-Man Noir) supporting cast of Spideys who band together to set things right.
Shortly after the opening credits of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, comes the realization that you are being treated to next level animation. It truly feels as if the panels of a comic book coming to life in front of you, especially during the scene where Morales gets bitten by the spider. We even get panels of text pop up throughout, especially when the newest Spider-Man is coming to terms with his newfound spidey sense. It often feels that there is really no need to pay the extra money to see a film in 3D or better, but Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse changed my opinion on this for the first time in years.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse also manages to balance heart and humour. A lot of this heart comes out of the death of Spider-Man and the introduction of Peter B. Parker (this will make more sense once you see the movie, but trailers did show Miles Morales standing over Peter Parker’s grave).
If you aren’t familiar with Marvel’s Ultimate comics which is where Miles Morales originates, or if you have been keeping up with the trailers for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, you don’t expect Spider-Man’ untimely death. When we meet Peter B. Parker, it feels like he is our Spider-Man, the one we came of age with during Sam Raimi’s trilogy from the early to mid-2000s. For this reason, it hurts to see him down on his luck, estranged from Mary Jane, jaded from years of being everyone’s friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, and a little too full of pizza (though “thick” is in isn’t it?).
Don’t get me started on the scene where Peter B. Parker and Aunt May see each other in Queens but we also really get attached to Miles Morales throughout these scenes as well as prior to his introduction to the older Parker though interactions with his family, especially his uncle. Morales has a similar bond with his uncle Aaron as Peter Parker does with Aunt May.
Then there is the scene where New York is mourning the loss of their Spider-Man and residents walk through the streets wearing Spidey costumes and masks similar to the final scene in V For Vendetta. Miles Morales purchases a costume from a shop and is rang through by a familiar looking man named Stan who tells Morales not to worry, the costume always fits eventually. This was the first posthumous Stan Lee cameo we have seen since the legendary comic creator’s death which was emotional but also reminded us that we often have to grow into our new life roles, whether we are the new Spider-Man or not.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse also continues 2018 streak of the revival of the movie soundtrack. In January we got Black Panther: The Album and A Star Is Born in October. The music from these albums played an important part in the films as does the soundtrack of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. While “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee might not sound like it has much to do with Spider-Man, the song is integrated into the film when Miles Morales sings the song on a couple of occasions and makes the song more important both in terms of the film and as a single.
If you are a hardcore Spidey fan, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a real treat but it also serves as an introduction to a universe that has so much depth and interesting characters. Films like this, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, and Lego Batman before it proves that just because the movie is animated doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously, even if the film itself isn’t entirely serious. There is a lesson throughout all the Easter eggs, and the lesson of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is that anyone can wear the mask, and be the hero that Spider-Man represents. Miles Morales learns this throughout the course of the film, and it feels way less “forced” and not a copout like in The Last Jedi.
While Peter B. Parker might be my Spider-Man, the directors ultimately did an amazing, spectacular and sensational job introducing Miles Morales and making a generation of established Spider-Man fans care about the new Spidey. It will be exciting to see where Sony goes next with the exciting and endless possibilities of their Spider-Verse.
PS- Definitely wait for the end credits scene, especially if you are a long time Spidey fan and lover of meme culture.