In the 50 or more years that Marvel has been producing content, it’s come in many forms. Firstly, in its ever-famous comics, then in their popular television series’ and most recently a string of smash hit blockbuster movies. Through many of the films, Sony has been there to guide the various projects, with the pair teaming up again for this full-length animation.
Following Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), a fan favourite but usually overlooked character in his journey to becoming Spider-Man, he must face Kingpin (Live Schreiber) and his technology capable of creating a rift in parallel universes. Through these rifts, we get to meet a whole bunch of Spider-‘People’ including Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) and some lesser known incarnations.
The movie is completely bonkers in the best of ways and will undoubtedly become a cult hit. For fans of Spider-Man, it really hits the mark, with backstories, unknown characters and spot-on comic to film profiles. The animation, in a 3D style, is bright, colourful and like stepping into a comic book, from the normally undetected dots on faces to the cleverly placed captions and sound effect bubbles. Not only does this make the film great for kids, but it’s been brought out at a time that parents will remember growing up with the comics. It might take the eyes a few minutes to adjust to the animation style, but when they do, the audience is in for a real treat.
What’s so unusual of the Morales family is that they’re that, a family. No shocking parental fatalities or vengeance stories to turn Miles into a hero, it really is just a case of being in the wrong place, meeting with that fateful spider. And it’s this tightly knitted family that pull the movie through and allow us to feel so engaged with the storyline. Whether it’s the Morales or the spider-people, it’s clear that family is at the base of it all.
At a PG rating, you might be quick to presume that compared to other superhero movies, Into the Spider-Verse would be dulled down and slower paced but if anything it’s the contrary. The chemistry between Moore and Johnson is one of a great double act, creating some very funny – if awkward – moments and great one-liners. Using a soundtrack including The Notorious B.I.G, the music is fresh and fits Morales’ Brooklyn upbringing. And the action, though kept at a PG level, is just as thrilling and holds its own pegged against its predecessors.
The movie manages to introduce a brand-new character, hold a strong storyline and have the audience genuinely hyped for the possibility of a sequel. Where origins movies such as Green Lantern (2011) and Venom (2018) focused too heavily on the background of a character and big budgets, Into the Spider-Verse is just a fun, innovative movie. Suitable for the entire family and far enough apart from the Marvel universe for even the newest of fans, it’s exciting to see what might come of this new branch of film.
Image: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.