Having only seen Peter Parker brought to the big screen, it was extremely exciting getting to see other spider characters brought into this film. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a beautifully animated film that I can only describe as a homage to comic books. I went in expecting to watch a good movie and came out having decided that this is my favorite film this year.
Miles Morales is a teenager from Brooklyn that finds himself joining a team of spider superheroes after he is bitten by a radioactive spider. Son to a nurse and a police officer, he is put under a lot of pressure and expectations as he struggles to find joy in his life while fulfilling his parents’ wishes at the same time. Attending a school that he describes as elitist, Miles feels the stress of being expected to do well at this school when he feels that he is not being accepted into the setting. He thinks highly of his uncle who he secretly visits when sneaking off the school campus, and is able to freely share his passion for art with his uncle who encourages his artistic talents. While placing his latest design in an abandoned part of the subway, Miles is bitten by a radioactive spider which begins his transition to a spider powered hero.
Our heroes are brought together after villain Wilson Fisk’s underground experiments rips holes through dimensions, forcibly bringing different versions of SpiderMan into Miles’ dimension. What makes this movie unique is its way of treating its atmosphere. The film treats itself as though we were looking at a comic book and does something I would describe as remixing images through vibrancy in colors and shapes. From noises being written across the screen to the comic book style narrative boxes, you never forget that you are watching a comic book being brought to life. I initially thought the movie would be quick to be an eyesore, but I found I couldn’t have enough of this animation and enjoyed just how bright the colors were and how these changes in dimensions become these colorful shapes.
Miles Morales’ parents are key elements to the film and his identity and I appreciated that there was a slow buildup of the plot before Miles was even bitten by the spider. His parents, Rio Morales and Jefferson Davis, are part of his struggles with confidence, though it is never indicated that his parents are anything other than caring about their son. Rio Morales is a Puerto Rican woman that is a nurse and seems indifferent about SpiderMan, and is married to African-American police officer Jefferson Davis who is vocal about his dislike for SpiderMan. Miles’ father’s dislike of the superhero prevent him from revealing his powers to him and ultimately leaves Miles with the stress of having an entire team of spider superheroes yet still feeling alone and incapable of living up to his new abilities’ responsibilities.
Into the Spider-Verse can be taken as a game-changer for the superhero genre of film and leaves me excited to see what else can be done with the comic books that have yet to have their own film. It is a great watch for both comic and non-comic fans, but comic book fans can definitely appreciate the love and care that went into making sure this movie was true to the comic books.
I completely recommend you watch this movie for yourself, appreciate its beauty and go watch it again! Also if you are not familiar with superhero films, make sure you stick around at the end of the movie for a hidden ending after the credits.