Movie Review–Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Shelby Simons

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Since 2002, Sony has released six Spider-Man movies. There have been three different Peter Parkers, played by Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland. Three different Aunt Mays, who seemed to have progressively gotten younger: Rosemary Harris, Sally Field, and Marisa Tomei. And two different Mary Janes:  Kirsten Dunst and Zendaya.

The best Spider-Man movies convincingly tap into the spirit of the character: his divine earnestness. He’s not unbeatable. He doesn’t wield a magic hammer. He doesn’t have a magic suit. In all reality, Peter Parker is just a kid who wants to do the right thing. Someone who would right anything to save us all.

And no Spider-Man movie should ever leave its audience asking: What made this one different??

Rest assured, true believers. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won’t let you down.

This new animated movie from Sony Computer Entertainment is sleek and soaring. This movie centers in on Miles Morales, a character who lived a life full of Marvel’s comic books, but does not exist in the live-action MCU. Morales is a biracial kid- he’s half Puerto Rican and half black- living in a universe that’s parallel to ours. Though Peter Parker still exists in this world, performing daily acts of heroism just like you’d expect.

By fate, Morales obtains his own powers that are similar to Spider-Man’s, but they create unique trials, triumphs, and tribulations. Miles, like Peter Parker before him, actively works to find his place in a world where he’s got powers only other Spider-people can understand. Miles is courageous, committed to doing the right thing, even when it puts him at risk. Miles’ parents are supportive, encouraging, making it clear they have high expectations but also love him unconditionally. Peter, Gwen Stacy, and the other Spider-people each have talents, strengths they share with the group. Peter particularly helps train and mentor Miles — and learns something about teamwork and selflessness. Strong diversity within central group of characters.

This movie contains strong messages about friendship, mentoring, perseverance, the importance of power and responsibility, and working with others for the greater good. Our main characters must learn both to trust themselves and to rely on others. As said in the film numerous times, sometimes you have to take a leap of faith to succeed.

Watching the relatively unknown second-generation Spider-Man Miles Morales is a joy, as is watching various versions of previous Peter Parker’s evolve in their own story arc.

With a movie that involves multiple gender fluid characters, characters of diversity, and the importance of trust, this movie was the obvious choice for the 2019 Golden Globes winner for Best Animated Film. It’s dazzling, unique, and easily (personally) one of my favorite Marvel movies to be released so far.


My Rating — 10/10