‘Spider-Verse’ spins a unique new web: Review


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LEAP OF FAITH. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” released on Dec. 14, 2018, to universal acclaim from critics and audiences alike. The film also garnered the award for Best Animated Film at the 2019 Golden Globe awards, and according to Collider’s Matt Goldberg, for good reason. “‘Spider-Verse’ shows why Spider-Man is such a special character,” Goldberg said.

2018 was a great year to be a Spider-Man fan. The popular Marvel Comics hero had several significant events happen to him across all forms of entertainment in the last year.

Comic book writer Dan Slott wrapped up his decade-long run of “The Amazing Spider-Man” Insomniac Games released the highly acclaimed “Marvel’s Spider-Man” for PlayStation 4, and the wall-crawler had a significant role in “Avengers: Infinity War,” the biggest movie of 2018.

However, Spidey fans were also treated to the biggest surprise in the superhero’s career this year: a full length animated movie. A movie that many now consider being the best Spider-Man film to date.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” released in theatres about a month ago, and I can’t stop thinking about it. The film is just unlike anything I have ever seen, and may just be my favorite piece of Spider-Man media.

One thing that makes this film stand out from other superhero movies is its animation. Several different styles of animation, including 2D, 3D, and stylizing based on classic comic books, are utilized to create an environment like no other.

What makes this extremely impressive is that despite all of the different visual styles, none of them clash together poorly or look jarring. The film makes great use of all these different styles in unique and creative ways.

Of course, it would not be a Spider-Man film without Spider-Man, and the movie goes out of its way to include not one, not two, but six different Spider-Men, all with distinct personalities and with their own character arcs.

At the center of the film, however, is Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), a kid in Brooklyn who just happens to get bitten by a radioactive spider and gains the abilities of Spider-Man.

But thanks to a dimension-opening portal created by the villain Kingpin, Miles is introduced to several others with abilities like him, including a washed-up, middle-aged version of Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man (voiced by Jake Johnson).

I really enjoyed seeing Miles on the big screen, as he has previously been in the comics, but never in film before. I also loved Johnson’s portrayal of the Spider-Man we know and love, providing an interesting take that we have not seen before.

The film does a great job balancing the main story of Miles with the stories of all the other Spider-Men, who include Spider-Man Noir, the talking pig Spider-Ham, and the anime-influenced robot SP//dr.

The action sequences in this are also nothing short of spectacular. From the comic book- influenced scenarios to the hilarious dialogue, all of the big action setpieces offer up everything you could want from those types of scenes.

With all of the comedy and action from the numerous superpowered characters, we are also treated to an emotional main plotline as Miles struggles to not only handle being Spider-Man but also living up to his dad’s expectations.

This plotline really spoke to me, as I can relate to Miles on a personal level when it comes to the relationships he has with his family. There is an especially great scene when Miles’ dad has a heartfelt conversation that I really connected with.

It is incredible to me that a movie can juggle so many origin stories without straying away from where the main focus should be. I have to applaud screenwriters Chris Miller and Rodney Rothman for doing just that.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” expertly combines smart writing with colorful characters, beautiful animation, comic book action, and a lot of laughs. This is everything I think a superhero film should be, and more.

Of course, I’m not the only one who thinks this. Other SHS students who have seen the film can also comment on its brilliance, including senior Cameron Wallace.

“[‘Spider-Verse’] is the most visually stunning film of the year, and possibly of all time,” Wallace said.

Even if you are not really a comic book person or have not seen a “Spider-Man” film before, I still highly recommend this movie. There is something for everyone, and it is definitely an experience you will not forget any time soon.