Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider- Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.
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2018: Spider-Man’s Big Break!
2018 was a big year for movies. Disney has been pumping out movies from Marvel and from their own as well as Pixar. We had Avengers: Infinity War, Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet. The Playstation 4 has also been busy releasing their exclusive games such as Marvel’s Spider-Man and God of War. Besides games, Sony also releasing their own movies to compete against Disney and other animated movies. First they released Sony’s live action movie focusing on Spider-Man’s antihero Venom on October. That movie had mixed reviews, but it got a lot of popularity that a sequel is in the making. On December of 2018, they released an animated movie focusing only Spider-Man’s world through the eyes of Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man version. This movie was so amazing that it took away the attention from Disney’s animated movies. With Sony releasing two movies and giving us the experience Spider-Man in the game, 2018 was the year dedicated to Spider-Man fans. Loosely based on 2014’s comic titled “Spider-Verse’, Sony wanted to do a movie focusing not just one Spider-Man, but other versions in one cinematic experience. Whether focusing on Peter Parker, the iconic character well-known for being Spider-Man, the movie wanted to use Miles Morales as the protagonist. Miles Morales is a Afro-Latino character created in 2011 and made by comic writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sarah Pichelli. He was introduced in the Ultimate Fallout issue #4 and he became the new Spider-Man after the original hero, Peter Parker, was killed. In this movie, fans had the experience to see this Spider-Man origin story in a whole new revamped story. Does this movie deserve the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature? Read this review and find out!
Story – A Spider-Man Origin story about Miles
The movie begins with a young teenager named Miles Morales as he prepares to live at a boarding school. Despite being a smart kid, Miles struggles in school as he feels like he has to meet his police father’s, Jefferson Davis, expectations and succeed in life. Rather hitting the books, Miles would rather listen to music and do graffiti art. One day, he decides to hang out with his uncle Aaron Davis who supports him on his hobby. Aaron takes him to a secret underground tunnel to create his art and unknowingly, Miles gets bit by a spider. The next day, he experiences some odd changes on his body such as sticking to the wall. Confused, Miles goes back to the underground to do research on the spider that bit him. While investigating, he encounters Spider-Man fighting against Kingpin’s minions in a underground portal device called the collider. With Spider-Man’s interference, the dying hero protects Miles and prevents the collider from working. With the death of Spider-Man, Miles believes he is the next hero will become Spider-Man and he wants to stop Kingpin from using the collider. As he tries to be a hero, he comes across a Spider-Man from a different universe named Peter B. Parker. Through series of events, Miles meets other Spider heroes and he must learn to use his powers to send these heroes back home and restore order to all universes.
Characters – Spider Heroes vs Villains
The protagonist of the movie is Miles Morales and he becomes the new Spider-Man after the original hero was killed. Joining him we have a Spider-Man from another universe who is named Peter B. Parker. This Peter is a hero in his universe, but he also deals with personal issues such dealing with a divorce from his wife Mary Jane. This movie includes other Spider-Men heroes such as the female hero and rockstar Spider-Gwen, 1940s hardcore vigilante Spider-Man Noir, a anthropomorphic cartoon hero Spider-Ham, and the techie hero with anime aesthetic Peni Parker and her Spider mech companion named SP//dr.
On the villain’s side of the movie, we have the ringleader named Wilson Fisk also known as Kingpin. Kingpin wants to use the collider, a device used to alter time-space and open up universes, to find and bring a different version of his late wife and son to his universe; the family from his universe was killed. Working for him we have the behemoth fireball throwing monster Green Goblin, the purple mask and deadly armed minion Prowler, the hardcore albino African-American gangster Tombstone, the cybernetic Mexican killer Scorpion and the evil scientist Olivia Octavius also known as Doctor Octopus.
It’s up to Miles to stop Kingpin and his crew from tampering the universes and save his friends from disappearing.
Review: An animated movie that feels like an animated Spider-Man comic book
After the unsuccessful movie of The Emoji Movie, did Sony give fans amazing Spider-Man movie? In my opinion, yes! As someone who favors Spider-Man out of the Marvel universe, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, is a movie worth seeing. The story felt original, but yet it also relied on some comic book references. They kept the idea of Miles becoming aware of his powers and his calling of being a hero after the death of Spider-Man like the comics and we got an original story that shows how the these heroes come together. In the comic book of Spider-Verse, Spider-Man and his team of arachnid heroes had to fight a villain named Morlun who wanted to rid of all Spider-Men. In this movie, Kingpin wants to create a device to bring his family, by manipulating universes and taking a copy of his original family. You can’t help but sympathize with him with his goal, but you are also reminded that he is a villain and his actions speaks otherwise. I really like the focus on Miles as he grows from an awkward teen to being a confident superhero. The themes of him growing up is apparent and one of my favorite scenes is when he embraces his powers by doing “Leap of Faith” when lunging off a building and swinging. Seeing Miles’ origin story from beginning to end is a fun ride and we learn about his struggles as not just a superhero, but a person who wants to do the right thing. Another character I like was Peter B. Parker. I like how the movie made him a mentor to Miles and showed him the difficulties of being a hero. The connection with Miles and Peter as student and teacher was enjoyable and I like this type of relationship more than MCU’s Tony Stark and Peter Parker. The iconic line “Leap of Faith” plays a huge role in the movie and I can feel it resonate whenever I hear this line. I like Gwen Stacy’s design in this movie and how Sony made her look like a tough-girl, rockstar hero. I really like the communication between her and Miles as they worked together and it was interesting how the movie hinted some romance. The movie does an awesome job on visuals and the music. The overall movie gives off a comic book aesthetic and Sony clever plays it along with making each of the Spider-Men heroes a different appearance. Spider-Man Noir was black and white like a Frank Miller graphic novel, Peni had an anime appearance and Spider-Ham looked like something from a Looney Tunes. The music choice of the movie was simply fun to listen and it matches the setting of New York. The song Sunflower by Post Malone is my favorite. One of the coolest visuals I seen was the final battle with Miles and Kingpin and how they were fighting in the collider. Sony added so much colors as if you were watching a fight within a lava lamp.
Despite the movie looking gleaming and compelling, this movie does have some set backs. I feel like the movie should have invested more on the side characters. In the movie, Miles seems to look up to his uncle Aaron and we learn that he loves his uncle and seeing him work with Kingpin was devastating news for him. We learn that Miles’ father, Jefferson, has estranged feelings towards his brother and Aaron tells Miles that they were close, but things changed when Jeff joined the police force. I wanted to learn about these these two characters and what led them to split. Likewise to Aaron, I wanted to learn more about Miles and his feelings towards his dad. Jeff wants what’s best for his son, but Miles doesn’t care about achieving highest honors and he wants to express himself through his art. The movie briefly shows the disagreement with these two and I wish we got to see more in this movie. In regards to characters, I wish we got more character interactions and background with the heroes and the villains. In the heroes side, I we got more information with Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir and Peni. It was cool to see them in action and hear their dialogue interaction with Miles, but I wish we got the time to learn more about them. Maybe I am nitpicking, but I would have love to see more of the villains as well. Green Goblin was ultimately killed and had a small amount screen time and villains like Tombstone and Scorpion only appeared for fight scenes and not much. I really like the Prowler and how he appeared like a menacing villain to Miles and Peter.
It took a leap of faith for Sony to give us another Spider-Man movie and this movie became one of the best animated movies that defeated Disney’s flicks of 2018. Without relying on other companies like Disney with the Avengers or Fox’s X-Men, Sony reminded us that they can do a Spider-Man movie with the right people and target audience, fans of Spider-Man can enjoy this movie. Having Miles Morales as the focus was a great choice and using his teen youth for character development in this modern era. Having Peter as a mentor was a change of pace, but it was also new and different in this story. The story was fast paced and the action was fluid. Despite a huge cast of colorful characters, we finally got movie that allowed us to see many versions of Spider-Man and I can’t wait to see the upcoming sequel in which will appear on 2022.
What did you think about the movie? Comment down below.