‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ full of art, character growth


Everyone knows the origin story of Spider-Man, but do they also know the story of Spider-Man’s successor?

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a computer-animated film telling the story of Miles Morales, a teenager struggling to fit in at his new school and to fulfil the expectations of his parents, especially his police officer father.

Miles can’t seem to catch a break, for not only does his father disapprove of his wish to display his art through graffiti, but he also disapproves of his admiration of New York City’s local superhero Spider-Man. However, one day when Miles’s uncle Aaron leads him down to an abandoned subway station to paint graffiti, everything changes for Miles when he is bitten by a radioactive spider.

After experiencing the bite’s odd symptoms, Miles later returns to the subway station to discover Spider-Man battling villain Kingpin’s lackies and trying to destroy a particle accelerator, a device used to open up different dimensions.

Soon Miles is tasked with helping destroy the particle accelerator and stopping Kingpin’s plan of disrupting the balance of the universe while he struggles with trying to control his newfound powers and realizes he may need help from multiple dimensions in order to stop Kingpin.

Whether you’re a fan of Marvel or not, this movie has something for everyone to enjoy. The story-telling is full of humor, emotion, action and adventure. Though perhaps what stands out most in the story is the character development.

Miles is at that state in his life when he’s trying to discover who he is while also struggling with meeting the expectations of those around him. Getting bitten by a radioactive spider doesn’t help to lessen the weight on his shoulders, but it does help him distinguish his identity and what he wants.

Viewers see Miles go from a withdrawn, awkward teenager to a brave, energetic hero determined to make an impact and to help defeat Kingpin instead of sitting on the sidelines sulking about his struggle to hone his new abilities. Miles is shown as having flaws just like anybody else and having to fail multiple times in order to learn to wield his spider powers.

Most human-turned-superheroes don’t just wake up and kill it at using their powers with no training or mistakes beforehand.

But while Miles is the central protagonist, the film doesn’t leave the other characters in the dust like some animated films tend to do at times. Miles’s father plays a significant role, showing a man passionate about his job but also desperate to grow close with his son again and protect him.

Other characters like Peter B. Parker and Kingpin also have great characterization and are portrayed as more than one-dimensional. Peter B. Parker’s character gives a twist on the Peter Parker everyone expects, while Kingpin is shown as more than a man with evil intentions.

This stimulating storyline is given the best-deserved visuals and soundtrack anyone could ask for. The inspiring plot combined with the vibrancy of the comic-styled animation and the pleasing tracks just sugar coats the entire film and makes it that much more pleasing to behold.

The animation of the film follows a comic-inspired style that feels like a comic-book come to life. From the delicious bursts of various colors during fight scenes to the visualization of certain words coming out of the characters to emphasize their feelings, the overall movie is just so enjoyable to watch and difficult to tear your eyes away from for fear of missing even a moment of the stunning artwork.

The soundtrack definitely ties all the rousing pieces of the film together with its various hip hop tracks that nicely represent the protagonist’s ethnicity as well as his positive and brave personality. Artists such as Post Malone, Nicki Minaj, Juice Wrld, Swae Lee, Lil Wayne and the late XXXTentacion are featured on the soundtrack.

Post Malone and Swae Lee’s “Sunflower” is one of the most popular and memorable songs of the movie with its dreamy, bouncy ballad-style that soothes the ears. Jaden Smith’s “Way Up” provides an electric and up-beat sound used to emphasize Miles’s desperation and determination to stop Kingpin, while “Scared of the Dark” by Lil Wayne, Ty Dolla Sign and XXXTentacion is a track with softer piano and hip hop beats that are used to display Miles’s fear of potentially facing death and failure.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a refreshing piece of animation that no one knew they needed. While everyone may be familiar with the original Spider-Man, Miles’s story of becoming Spider-Man is a must-see for anyone who enjoys Marvel or character growth in stories. This recent addition to the Spider-Man franchise is no doubt a new fan-favorite and will hopefully inspire future animated movies in the future.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)