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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Swings to Greatness

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Roxana Shahmohammadi, Staff Writer

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Despite being the 7th movie and 4th iteration of Spider-Man in the last 16 years, Sony Animation’s Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse opened to critical and audience acclaim on Dec. 14, 2018. The movie is entirely separate from the MCU despite being a Marvel movie, and even has its own version of characters present in those movies, providing moviegoers with two entirely different versions of the same beloved characters in different types of movies that explore different themes and ideas. It has so far made $305 million globally on a budget of $90 million, with a sequel and a spinoff already confirmed to be in the works. The movie has been nominated for and won multiple awards already, most notably the Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice Award for best animated movie. It also picked up an Oscar nomination. The accolades are well deserved, as Spider-Verse is a fantastic ride throughout, with beautiful innovative animation, charming and interesting characters, and a poignant and emotionally engaging plot that result in a beautiful and unique movie that breathes new life into the stale genres of superhero movies and animation.

The movie follows Miles Morales, an Afro Latino teenager who is bitten by a radioactive spider, transforming him into Spider-Man. However, after he meets Peter Parker, Miles learns that he is not the only Spider-Man and that others like him have been dragged into his dimension through the portal opened by the evil Kingpin. Miles has to team up with his counterparts in order to close the portal, saving his dimension and returning the others to theirs. The plot of the movie is very different to anything we have ever seen in a Spider-Man movie, down to its protagonist. Even though Miles Morales is a relatively unknown character from the comics who many dismiss as a knockoff of Peter Parker created for the sake of diversity, his character in this movie is fantastic and entirely different from Peter. This movie’s Peter, who is an older broken man who’s hit rock bottom, is also a new and interesting take on an old character. The rest of the spider-people (and pig) all provide their own unique personalities and backstories, resulting in a charming and delightful group dynamic. Miles’ relationship with his family, particularly his father and uncle, is also well done and emotionally poignant. The villains are incredibly fun to watch and everything comes together to perfectly convey the movie’s main themes of family, friendship, growth and identity.

However, as fantastic as the plot and characters are, the most impressive thing about Spider-Verse is without a doubt its animation. The movie was animated using brand new techniques and aspects of both 2d and 3d animation, resulting a completely unique look. It is also stylized as a comic book, with elements such as screens split into panels and thought bubbles above characters heads. The animation is beautiful throughout, but shines particularly in action scenes, particularly the colorful and breathtaking climactic battle. Every action scene is engaging in ways that live action ones simply cannot compare to. Each character from a different dimension was drawn in a different style (such as anime and old cartoons) which make even scenes where characters are just talking visually interesting. The directors have stated that they intended to make a movie where every shot was beautiful enough to be framed, and they have succeeded.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a fantastic and unique movie with compelling characters, exciting plot, and gorgeous and innovative animation in a genre known for its lack of variety. It is easily the best Spider-Man movie and one of the best superhero movies ever. If the Academy didn’t regularly snub animated movies for the Best Picture category, this movie would have gotten a nomination. It is nearly perfect, with my only issues with it being some unnecessary narration and jarring placement of songs. Overall, Spider-Verse is a brilliant movie that I would recommend to people of all ages. Watch it in theaters: this is the type of movie that deserves insane box office profit, this is the type of movie we want to encourage Hollywood to make more of.

 

4.5-5/5

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Swings to Greatness