Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse: Fourth Spidey’s the charm
Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse was my favourite cinema going experience of 2018 by a landslide, and I’m not even much of a superhero fan.
My Spider-Man knowledge ends after Tobey Maguire dad-danced along the streets of New York with an emo fringe and swung his hips from Queens to the Bronx.
Thankfully, Spider-Verse focuses on a new protagonist and is hilariously self-aware to some of its more, laughable, Spider-Men before it.
Teenager Miles Morales is bitten by a radioactive spider and realises that Peter Parker isn’t the only Spider-Man. When a super collider merges multiple universes into Miles’, their respective Spider-People band together to fight a threat that endangers all realities. Miles must rise above his worries as a new hero; going through a handful of self-discoveries along the way.
With every Marvel superhero receiving sequels, tie-ins and spin-offs, I was intimidated to go into one of these films without knowing what’s been happening for the last ten years. Lucky for me, Spider-Verse is entirely contained and requires zero background info on anything else in the franchise. So even those of you suffering from superhero fatigue, this is a fresh and engaging tale that strays far from the formulaic methods of the live action movies.
Spider-Verse is a visually gorgeous movie that thrives in its comic book style. Live action adaptations can only go so far when they attempt to recapture the vibrancy and life that is found in a meticulously drawn comic. Spider-Verse pushes the boundaries of what we should expect out of an animated blockbuster. Little comic speech bubbles and sound effect words pop up during the action but don’t distract you from what’s happening on screen – everything just feels so natural. Miles’ hobby of graffiti/street art is just one of the in-story elements that allow the colours in this film to really *pop*.
I found the narrative to be a great blend of toned-down character development with Miles and hyped-up action with Spider-Man. Exploring the theme of living up to expectations, Spider-Verse never felt like a stereotypical “kid’s film” to me. Sure, there were children in the cinema I went to and they weren’t making much noise so I can only assume they were enjoying the film. However, the kid-friendly exterior and “follow your dreams, kid” narrative never felt distracting or too gushy.
The soundtrack is phenomenal – none of the forgettable score you’re used to hearing in every Marvel movie. I’ve listened to this soundtrack countless times now and it never gets old. I don’t seem to be the only one who thinks this either. Post Malone and Swae Lee’s “Sunflower” boasts a whopping 376 million views with a striking music video using scenes from the film. Additionally, soundtrack standouts “Home” and “What’s Up Danger” have hit a combined 15 million views on Sony’s official YouTube channel.
Although this could cynically be seen only as a ploy to sell Sony headphones (which are, admittedly, brandished throughout), music is a huge part of Miles’ character and a way to express himself in a world that won’t give him the space to breathe. The soundtrack became more of a look into Miles’ feelings than something to just boost the mood of an action scene. Surprisingly, they even got a few minutes of Brooklyn’s own Biggie Smalls to play which caught me off guard. Spider-Verse has a great awareness of its audience and its soundtrack proves that.
So, even if the last superhero film you watched was the angst ridden Venom (2018) or an R-Rated take on the now over-saturated genre, Spider-Verse has a story that will keep you interested in cartoony representations of comic book heroes as long as Miles Morales is there.
I cannot fault this film right now, if I had to give it a score I would have to give it full marks: a 5/5 because I honestly don’t know how they could improve on it, it’s that good.
 All statistics are correct as of writing (09/03/2019)