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Review: Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse

Written by tha - bang from the blog Movies and Things with Thabang on 10 Dec 2018
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So the unbelievable has happened. Sony has produced a better Spider-Man movie than Marvel da-da-da-da-doom…

Yeah, we continue to live in a golden age of comic book movies and Sony seems to have a learned a thing or two from its failures with The Amazing Spider-Man or is the magic due to Lord and Miller’s involvement?

These are the guys who produced the 21 Jump Street reboots, the Lego movie and the Batman Lego movie... so this review (ish) will be about what makes this Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse one of the best Spider-Man movies ever.

1. It's a Spider-Man movie: The movie questions and defines what makes Spider-Man...uhm Spider-Man.

Is it just Peter Parker who makes Spider-Man, Spider-Man? Or is it uncle Ben's immortal advice? Is it the costumes? Or is it the ethos behind an everyday man (teenager) punching above their weight?

The cool thing is the movie answers this question with no ifs or buts.

2. The themes: One of the cool themes of Spider-Man movies has been the idea of fatherhood, where Peter’s relationship to uncle Ben, as Peter's father figure, helps Peter understand the world.

Thereafter Peter tries to define for himself what kind of a hero will he be with uncle Ben's influence... so Into the Spider-Verse gives Miles Morales three father figures that he needs to navigate.

Aside from the three father figures, he then goes up against the mythos of the Peter Parker Spider-Man.  

3. Heart: From the death of uncle Ben, the upside down kiss to Homecoming's prom scene ... Spider-Man always knows how to genuinely tug at the heart strings and Into the Spider-Verse has a lot of scenes that do exactly that, from heart-touching moments to moments that are deeply moving.The Spiderverse has it all.

The humour also works on the same levels - there's the funny haha stuff and the poignant stuff.With the success of the Black Panther soundtrack watch out for the into the spiderverse soundtrack. Whoever thought a Spider-man soudtrack would be something to note ,but in Miles Morales universe thats ruled by hip hop aesthetics from graphity to beats,the soundtrack is a factor.

4. Animation: The animation embraces the comic book aesthetics way better than Ang Lee's Hulk movie did.

Lord and Miller's team does a better job at giving you a sense you are watching a living and breathing comic book turned into a movie.

They even take it a step further by mixing 2D and 3D seamlessly in one movie. Mixing different styles of drawing, animation to give a semblence mix of different types of genres all in one movie.

5. Miles Morales:  Miles Morales is not a black-Latino version of Peter Parker, unlike what MCU did with Peter in Homecoming turning him into mini-Tony Stark in a Spider-Man suit.

Into the Spider-Verse shows why Miles is different from Peter but also what similarities he has with Peter Parker and all the other versions of Spider-Man. Miles is an embodiment of why there is a need to diversify without diluting.

The other cool thing is a new interpretation of the hero lend itself to new interpretations and motivations of the villains; Kingpin and the Prowler benefits from it. So do we, the viewers. As they are given more character motivation and a more impctful relationship to the hero. 

6. Celebration: Into the Spider-Verse is a celebration of what Spider-Man is; from honouring the good, the bad and the ugly of Spider-Man.

The good being the Sam Raimi movies being set as part of the canon of this movie, the bad being the over commercialization of the brand (such as the breakfast cereal) and the ugly is the idea that only the white dude from New York can be Spider-Man - the film debunks that without devaluing who and what Peter Parker is.

I can’t wait for more Spider-Verse movies where we see Spider Gwen, Black Silk and even Miles Morales in an individual adventure.

Into the Spider-Verse is a celebration of Spider-Man. It’s a soft reboot, pivoting away from the traditional hero whom we associate with Spider-Man and opening a universe of possibilities of different mantle holders to the iconic name and brand.

I hope it earns Sony a well deserved Oscar or two, and more sequels with Miles Morales, Spider Gwen and company... hopefully more solo movies.

It felt like: Sony finally got the big team-up movie they've been trying to make for years, with a dash of the magic of The Lego Batman Movie, courtesy of the producing and writing team.

* a dud ** ja nee *** ya zaa ****almost perfect *****Instant Classic.Buy this 

Actors in this post: Mahershala Ali


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