Review: Spider-Man – Into the Spider-Verse

Does an animated Spider-Man fit in the Marvel lineup?

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Review: Spider-Man – Into the Spider-Verse

David Auth, Contributor

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Sony Animation’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” came to theaters this past Friday–wowing casual and hardcore fans alike. While some think that the character of Spider-Man is becoming stale, “Into the Spider-Verse” finds more ways than one to reinvent the hero and keep the story fresh.

The first thing that viewers notice about this film was the style of animation. The entire movie is vibrant and vivid, and it creates a weird psychedelic effect that stays faithful to the comic books. The characters and the city look like hand drawn panels straight from the pages of Marvel, yet they move in a way that you wouldn’t expect. I spent the entire movie looking at the finer details and seeing how each frame was different from typical 2D animation.

Another thing I loved about the film’s style was the use of words across the screen similar to the “whams” and “kapows” of the Adam West “Batman” TV series, which adds to the living comic book effect. The movie was a new visual experience worth watching.

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The second thing that made this film so good was the music that accompanied it. Many current popular artists like Post Malone, Swae Lee, Jaden Smith, Nicki Minaj, Aminé, Lil Wayne, Ty Dolla $ign and Vince Staples all lended their voices to the soundtrack, which are featured throughout the film. Each song adds a lot more emotion to the scenes, and the main character is even seen listening to some of them. While it’s a small addition, it makes the protaginst more relatable to the audience this film was intending to reach.

Another aspect of the film that made it so great was the development of the characters. While the main plot consists of the typical good guy versus bad guy story, there are smaller subplots that make it a much more personable film. Kingpin, who is a villain, that some may recognize from Sony’s “Spider-Man” video game or Netflix’s “Daredevil,” is the villain for this film.

Kingpin’s motives are different from most portrayals of him, which adds some depth to the classic character. While most villains want to take over the world or something along those lines, Kingpin just wants to bring back his family. By trying to do so, he opens up doors from different dimensions, which is where the story begins to get crazy.

In addition to the villain, protagonist Miles Morales is given plenty of screen time for character development. While most superhero films introduce the character’s powers early into the story, Miles doesn’t figure his out until the story is almost over, which allows the plot to focus on his own personal growth as well as his struggles as a normal citizen rather than your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

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The last thing that made this film so amazing was the cast that voiced the characters as well as the characters themselves. The Spider-Man that we’ve known this whole time is Peter Parker, a white male in his early to late 20’s, but the Spider-Man that leads the charge in this take on the character is one that is new to most viewers. Miles Morales was a character introduced in 2011, and he is a much younger take on the superhero–making the movie revolve around a changing of the guards between the old and the new.

While this is Miles Morales’s first appearance on the big screen, Peter Parker is still around to help teach him the ropes along with four other iterations of the superhero, which makes this a movie that focuses on many different “Spider People” rather than one singular hero. Spider-Gwen, a female version of the hero, Spiderman Noir, a black and white, trench coat wearing private eye, SpiderHam, a pig version of the hero, and SP//dr, a Spider-man robot all fight alongside Miles Morales to help save the day.

If the hilarious addition of all the diverse renditions of the hero wasn’t good enough, the voice actors made the film even better. Mahershala Ali, Zoë Kravitz, Chris Pine, Nicholas Cage and John Mulaney all voiced prominent characters and helped to make this movie what it is. While this movie is not connected to the rest of the live action Marvel Universe, it is definitely one that you don’t want to miss.

 

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