By Anastasia Scott
*Warning: Minor Spoilers for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse*
Over the last decade, superhero movies have taken the world by storm. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has produced nineteen films alone and the DC Extended Universe is slowly but surely adding more films to their repertoire. Hollywood producing these huge blockbusters has brought comic books and superheroes more into the mainstream media. However, with these serious gritty films, while still good, do sometimes take themselves too seriously, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has brought back the bright colors and fun of comics for all audiences.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Spider-verse), is an animated film featuring Miles Morales, an afro-latino teenager, who is bitten by a radioactive spider that gives him the abilities of a spider such as climbing walls, hyper awareness, etc, essentially Spider-Man’s gifts with a few extra quirks specific to him. When Kingpin tries to reach other universes, five different Spider-people appear, including a 1930s detective, a talking pig, and an old world weary Peter Parker. They have to stop Kingpin before he can tear the universes apart and also find a way for all the Spider-people to get home.
It is so hard to pin down what makes this film so amazing, but we can sure give it a try. For one, the movie is animated, which means that they can do so many things that a live action film can’t. The film really uses this to its fullest. Unlike Dreamworks or Disney that strive to make their films look as realistic as possible with each eyelash and hair perfectly rendered, Spider-verse decides to make the character Kingpin literally as big as a car or let Peter Porker (aka Spider-Ham) pull a wooden mallet from nowhere. They used the fact that this film is animated to its full extent instead of trying to make it look like if it were live action. The animation also looks straight out of a comic book, and I’m not just saying that the characters look like their comic counterparts I mean they literally have text boxes on screen and the animators put the dots used in printing making scenes look like they were direct carbon copies of comic panels.
The story is also wonderfully constructed. Instead of using the same old character designs over and over again, the story follows Miles Morales in a universe different from the one we are familiar with. Peter Parker aka Spider-Man is blonde haired and blue eyed, Doctor Octopus is a woman, and Scorpion is a spanish amputee. Instead of just making the universe exactly the same as the one we’re familiar with, they were able to surprise audiences by changing things up and making it exciting. Adding five other Spider-people also might have seemed like an impossible task but it was still wonderfully done. Gwen Stacy, Peter B. Parker, and Miles Morales still got the most screentime however it didn’t feel like the others were just there to be there, it felt like everyone had their purpose and the chemistry between the actors and characters was spot on to make their relationships seem realistic.
Overall the entire film was well executed. There are already plans to make a Gwen Stacy film along with a Miles Morales sequel and talks of other Spider-people getting their own films. If they continue to make films as good as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, I have no doubt they will be as successful as their predecessor.