Over 16 years ago Sony Pictures released the first theatrical version of Spider-Man. The Sam Raimi lead feature ushered in a new area a film. The Comic Book Era. That original film has lead to blockbusters such as Iron Man, The Dark Knight, and The Avengers.
We have since had 2 reboots to the franchise, as well as numerous story-lines involving the Peter Parker character. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse brings Ultimate Spider-Man, Miles Morales, to the big screen.
The story of Into the Spider-Verse is not uncommon from that of previous Spidey stories. Miles (Shameik Moore) is a middle school student in New York, attending a private school for bright young minds. Miles has a very similar origin to that of Peter Parker. Both are bitten by a radioactive spider, excel as students in school, and are heavily influenced by their uncles.
The biggest difference with these characters is that Peter was alone as the only Spider-Man. Miles has the luxury and curse of following in the footsteps of Parker’s Spider-Man. This rings true for the both the character of Miles and the film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
What I Liked
This is the Spider-Man movie I never knew I needed. Having grown up with the Raimi films as my introduction to the superhero genre, Spider-Man has always been my number one. Before this film I never thought their should be another Spider-Man besides the Peter Parker version. Boy, was I wrong.
Into the Spider-Verse gives something new the the superhero genre that has yet to be seen. A stylistic influence ripped straight out of a comic book. Spider-Verse benefits from it’s animation style, and it’s ability to mix different types of animation.
The animation style creates a universe allowing for the multi-dimensional story-line to exist. Miles becomes the Spider-Man in his universe after The Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) creates a portal to multiple dimensions. This portal leads to the Peter (Chris Pine) of Miles’ Universe to perish at the hands of The Kingpin.
The portal not only causes the demise of Peter Parker, but it allows for multiple Spider-Mans to travel to Miles’ universe. These include an older, overweight Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) turned Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), and Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn). These Spider-People team up to fight The Kingpin and stop the multi-verse from collapsing in on itself.
“With great power, comes great responsibility.”
The relationship Miles develops with Peter B. Parker and Gwen Stacy allows for his character to grow into a hero we want to root for. Miles has always looked up to Spider-Man, but after meeting the man under the mask he begins to understand being a superhero isn’t that easy. Miles not only learns what it takes to become a hero, but he also teaches Peter B. Parker and Gwen Stacy a lesson that they both can take with them.
The heroes are not the only ones that had great character moments. Into the Spider-Verse also has two great villains in The Kingpin and The Prowler. Wilson Fisk’s Kingpin is a character whose motivations you understand. Although you understand the character’s goals, it is hard to get behind his methods of achieving his goal.
The Prowler is a integral to the character of Miles Morales. I won’t spoil the outcome or significance of the character, but his relationship of Miles proves to be his “Uncle Ben” moment.
What Could Have Been Improved
I have very little complaints in regards to this film. It is a perfect Spider-Man movie. That being said, I was unimpressed with some of the multi-verse Spider-Man characters. Spider-Ham and Peni Parker added very little to the overall story.
The reason I won’t put Spider-Man Noir into this category is that he was more believable in this universe than that of the previously mentioned characters. Even though I did not enjoy these two characters, it did not take away from my overall enjoyment of the film.
Being the ninth theatrical version of Spider-Man, Into the Spider-Verse builds off all these previous adaptions as well as forging it’s own path. Backed by a great story, phenomenal animation, and excellent voice-work, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a must see film for all cine-files.
Overall Score 5/5
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