Into the Spider-Verse swings ahead of other superhero films…
A superhero movie is a hard thing to get right. How do you transform the source material into something the general public will enjoy without disrespecting long-time comic fans? Fortunately, this Christmas, Sony Pictures Animation has given us something that everybody is going to love. Into the Spider-Verse, directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman, is a flawless marriage of comics and film that unites the best features of each medium, giving us a truly insurmountable superhero movie.
At first glance, some might find it easy to dismiss it as nothing but a kids’ cartoon, but if you take a closer look and you’ll see this is a huge step forward for the superhero genre and blockbuster films as a whole. Its inimitable animation, using a pop-art style, visual sound-effects and lack of motion blur, throws viewers head-first into a living graphic novel in a way no live-action film could.
This also gives the writers the freedom to spin a crazy, high-stakes story that sees a team of web-slinging heroes attempt to prevent to collapse of the entire multiverse. The main focus of Spider-Verse is Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), an Afro-Latino teenager who becomes Spider-Man following a familiar bug bite and the death of his world’s Peter Parker (Chris Pine). Of course, with this being a movie about alternate universes, we also meet a bunch of other spiders, such as an older Peter (Jake Johnson), a Spider-Woman (Hailee Steinfeld) and even the Looney Tunes-esque Spider-Ham (John Mulaney).
Despite being such an outlandish story, Spider-Verse has so much heart. Miles is arguably a far more relatable and believable character for the 21st century than Peter Parker ever was, and the presence of a mother and father gives his origin story a whole new family dynamic. There are plenty of emotional moments throughout the film that will touch different people in different ways, including a tear-jerking Stan Lee cameo. The synchrony between the voice actors, writers and animators gives weight to every scene, be it uplifting, sad, shocking or funny.
The movie is further brought to life by a killer soundtrack featuring artists such as Post Malone, Vince Staples and Jaden Smith. Unless you’re a hip-hop fan, you might not want to find the album on Spotify when you get home, but it’s undeniable that these tunes fit perfectly with the tone set by the rest of the film. A distinct, original set of tracks is something almost all superhero films are lacking, making this another reason why Spider-Verse is swinging ahead of the rest of the genre.
There’s never been a superhero movie quite like Into the Spider-Verse. By taking a leap of faith, it will undoubtedly set a new standard for the genre and revolutionise animation techniques like few films ever have. It’s a completely different take on Spidey compared to what anyone has seen before, but as Peter tells Miles, “what makes you different is what makes you Spider-Man.”
By Jamie Morris