Shade Reviews: Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse

Spiderman:into the spiderverse was the best Marvel film released this year. I know that’s a very big claim considering the other titan that is Avengers: Infinity war. However, I teared up, laughed and was charmed by this living comic book of a movie. And that is the best way to describe the vibrant, frenetic, living, breathing, animation of this film. Sony Pictures, who still cling desperately onto the copyright of arguably one of the most valuable superhero franchises out there, had had more misses than hits and more often that not, the best is normally just okay. However, this movie was charming, cohesive, heartwarming, and most importantly, it treated Spiderman with love and respect. When filmmakers love the property they adapt it shows and the directing team showed their love and respect for the hero that is Spiderman. Spiderman is defined by struggle and while this is not abnormal for superheroes, Spiderman is often the most relatable hero out there because more often than not, his struggles aren’t only the superhero ones, but his own personal life as Peter Parker/whoever. This movie also didn’t allow the story to waver despite the number of different Spider folks. The story hinged around the newest addition to team Spiderverse, Miles Morales. Miles is very likeable and his relationships with his family are what cements him as likable protagonist. The film also does the origin of Ultimate Spiderman( Miles Morales) justice by having him struggle to get used to his powers in a fairly fluid and in a way it didn’t feel rushed.

The humor was also great, Nicholas Cage and John Mulaney were arguably the best despite their relatively sparse screen time. You could tell both were having fun hamming up their performances. (Yes including the wonderful Spider Ham). The villains were intimidating and while the main villain Wilson Fisk is nowhere near the epic of the Daredevil version, he is still a great villain. Green Goblin, Dr Octopus( female version), and the Prowler were all great. The Prowler of course is the most interesting, as it is the one with the personal connection to the character. Both Fisk and Prowler are treated with respect in terms of their motives. However, the central thesis of the movie is the best part. Anyone can wear the mask, and they literally say so. The comic book aesthetic and use of corny dialogue and visual jokes really help make the fourth wall breaks amazing. The dig at Warner Bros, the funny jokes about noir as a genre, and the origins literally told via a comic book inside the movie. I kid you not, they use in universe comics to teach you origins faster.

However, the Peter Parker in this film played by Jake Johnson, is also worth a note. This is an older Peter and more cynical one. This choice could have been awful, as the writers at Marvel have always struggled when trying to change up Spiderman. The dude has been fighting crime since he was a teenager and his constant tragedies have stunted his maturity. He loses his marriage due to him being afraid to have children. He is begged to be a mentor after being dragged out of his universe. He is made to see the aftermath of the death of the Peter Parker of Mile’s world. Like every hero story, he is thrust into a heroic story. The hero cannot avoid the calling. As he says to Miles, you don’t get to choose if you are Spiderman. However, Miles’s relationships with his uncle and Father are truly the highlight of his arc. Both men, despite being very different, are both likable and you see them through the eyes of Miles. Uncle Aaron tries his best to support Miles through his interests. This is made more sad by the fact that Aaaron is working for Fisk as the Prowler. Mr Morales, is a police officer and is also hard on his son because he sees his potential. Of course, this causes conflict between the two. However, both of the two men care about Miles and Aaron is not the kind of criminal who would take down his own son.

I think this movie is better than the Avengers simply because it is is more fun and is self-contained. This is partially unfair considering the Avengers: Infinity War is only one half of the full story. I will have to see Spiderverse a second time to confirm if I really like it that much. The last three Marvel movies I loved I ended up seeing the flaws more clearly on a second watch. Two of my favorite stand alone Marvel titles : Thor Ragnarok and Black Panther, showed flaws on my second watch. However, I loved it and I really do recommend Spiderverse to everyone.

Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse

8.5/10

 

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