The new Spider-Man is more than just a comic book reboot
It might be easy to think that the time for superhero movies has passed. The seemingly endless sequels and franchises that have been taking over the industry in recent years have all started to look the same. No one needed another reboot.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has restored and modernized the superhero comic genre with its evolved style of animation, engaging storyline and fresh characters. Both comic skeptics and die-hards can take something of value away from Sony and Marvel’s latest project. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, also the creative directors of 21 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie, have produced something that any audience can enjoy and admire.
The story is based on the pre-existing Spider-Verse comic series, where all different versions of Spider-Man from parallel dimensions come together. The film, however, puts Miles Morales, a Black-Latino teen from Brooklyn at the forefront of the story. He’s joined by other members of the Spider-Verse, including the original Peter Parker, and Spider-Woman, and pig version Peter Parker to name a few. Together, they fight a new enemy unlike any they have faced before.
While the crossover plot idea isn’t exactly new, what ties the movie together is a dynamic, almost psychedelic comic book animation style. With vibrant colours and multi-layered depth and movement, the creators used every bit of space on the screen to push the boundaries of what animation can do. Every scene feels like being pulled inside the panels of a comic book.
Fitting to the animation style, the story is engaging and refreshing. Every turn in the narrative feels genuine, surprising, and natural. Every one of the characters is unique and charming. Smart and well-placed humour makes it easy to forget that it’s a G-rated movie.
The soundtrack, featuring artists such as Vince Staples, Lil Wayne, Duckwrth and Post Malone, is a fantastic addition to a movie that defies boundaries. It brings an energy and intensity that’s hard to find in a family film.
What’s even more interesting than the visuals or music, is the true heart of the story. Through the eyes of Miles Morales, we struggle through self-doubt and deal with the negative side of great expectations. We experience the reality of a kid carrying too much on his shoulders. In facing the impossible, we learn how to take a leap of faith.
As far as originality and creativity are concerned, Into the Spider-Verse has set the bar high for 2019 and has broken new ground on what we can expect from animation and the future of the film industry.