Spiderman — Into the Spider Verse

More people should watch this movie.

Lots of Spidey people

I mean it’s just an ANIMATION movie, better watch a live action superhero flick like Aquaman instead. Right? Well if you want to miss out on one hell of a ride.

This latest web-slinging superhero movie produced by Sony (does NOT take place in the MCU) features Miles Morales as the main Spiderman. Miles who? My first reaction as well.

Spoiler alert

A little intro for you noobs, Miles is a teenager in Brooklyn, has family issues, gets bitten by a spider…becomes Spiderman. Then whilst testing out his powers, he saw Peter Parker from his universe DIED (I did say spoiler alert) — oh and Tobey Maguire should have voiced that Peter Parker, just imagine the feeeelss — and Miles lost his hero, someone to guide him along the way. Right on cue, 5 other Spider-people from different universes appeared outta nowhere; hence the SpiderVerse.

Visual Style

Ever since Toy Story came out in 1995, most animation movies have largely followed down this Pixar route in terms of visual style and for good reason, its crisp, clean and easy on the eye. Into the Spider-Verse completely moves away from this style. Have a look at the trailer below.

The wildly different, comic-book inspired visual style is by far the most striking thing about this movie. Better yet, this “let’s try something crazy” mindset wasn’t confined to the visual arts department; its embedded pretty much everywhere else.

Comic book on the big screen

Like maybe introducing six different Spider-People origin stories in one movie? How on earth is that a good idea?!! Remarkably, Spider-Verse manages to pull this off seamlessly through great writing, acting and the afro-mentioned striking visuals; it’s as if you’re reading a comic book, but on a huge screen and someone else is flipping the page.

Villain

Spiderman, animation, seems like a recipe for a nice, calm, kid-friendly movie. So for the antagonist, they went for Wilson Fisk/Kingpin complete with a menacing voice and huuge frame. He starts the movie by killing Peter Parker, kills Miles’ uncle and creates a hole in the space-time continuum resulting in different Spider-People from alternate universes transported into Miles’ New York City. The motive; to bring his dead family back to life. Bonkers.

As crazy as that sounds, Spider-Verse somehow manages to make it feel personal, letting audiences understand Kingpin’s motives, maybe even feel sorry for him. They nailed the villain in this one.

Peter B. Parker

The master and the apprentice

The other Peter Parker — the one who didn’t die — deserves a special mention. His relationship with Miles is the best part of the movie. Peter in this case is no longer the hero he once was, he suffers from depression, a spent force and the spark is clearly no longer there. Pairing this with the up and coming Miles with Peter as the not so ideal mentor, was a masterstroke.

The movie takes its time to build the characters and Miles’ relationship with his family. He has a complex relationship with his father and also his uncle, the search for the ideal mentor is another major storyline of the movie.

Of course what makes Spidey such a beloved superhero is the Man aspect behind Spider-Man. What makes Spiderman special is he is relatable, he isn’t super-rich, a genius and can just build machines or can fly through the air whilst shooting lasers out of his eye or maybe lift a large hammer. He’s an underdog, we all love underdogs m̶a̶y̶b̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶’̶s̶ ̶w̶h̶y̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶h̶e̶a̶r̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶s̶o̶u̶l̶ ̶s̶u̶p̶p̶o̶r̶t̶s̶ ̶L̶i̶v̶e̶r̶p̶o̶o̶l̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶o̶u̶g̶h̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶b̶r̶a̶i̶n̶ ̶k̶n̶o̶w̶s̶ ̶w̶e̶’̶r̶e̶ ̶n̶e̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶g̶o̶n̶n̶a̶ ̶w̶i̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶y̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶w̶e̶’̶r̶e̶ ̶d̶e̶f̶i̶n̶i̶t̶e̶l̶y̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶w̶i̶n̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶l̶e̶a̶g̶u̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶y̶e̶a̶r̶ ̶w̶h̶e̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶ ̶g̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶h̶o̶p̶e̶ ̶d̶u̶d̶e̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶k̶n̶o̶w̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶e̶v̶i̶t̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶c̶l̶i̶f̶f̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶e̶d̶g̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶m̶o̶r̶e̶ ̶c̶l̶o̶s̶e̶r̶.̶

He’s just a normal kid with real-life problems. He’s figuring out his place in the world and inevitably screws things up. But no matter how many times he gets down, no matter how many failures he’s had, how dire the situation may be, he finds a way. Grit. Determination. Through sheer force of will. This movie captures that brilliantly not only in Miles, but in Spider-Gwen — who is the next most interesting character after Peter — Spiderman Noir, the anime-inspired Peni Parker and even Peter Porker 🤣.

Amongst the many mentor like people around him, Miles finds that he doesn’t have to be someone else. H̶e̶ ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶g̶r̶e̶e̶n̶ ̶a̶r̶r̶o̶w̶. He just has to focus on being Miles! And that’s great.

Give it a go

Conclusion

The plot is similar to a lot of the other coming-of-age superhero movies before. But Spider-Verse manages to make this storyline feel fresh, grabbing characters from all over the Spidey universe, taking advantage of the vast scope an animation medium provides to cobble these characters together in a way that not only makes sense, but doing it justice.

So give it a go, watch it. Show the studios that we want more of this great storytelling, excellent voice acting, and bold direction.

I give Spiderman: Into the Spider Verse an A.