His name is Peter Parker. He saved the city, fell in love, and saved the city again, and again, and again. I’m pretty sure you know the rest.
Seriously, we’ve already seen two origin stories of “Spider-Man” and three different Peter Parkers in the last two decades, that I no longer tear up whenever I’m reminded of Uncle Ben’s tragic death. If anything, at least 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is a breath of fresh air, taking us to a universe where Peter is an Avenger in training. I can’t blame you though if you’re already starting to feel Spidey fatigue. We’ve seen him save the city, fall in love, and saved the city again countless times that yes, it really does feel like we already know the rest.
Except, we don’t.
Enter the Spider-Verse. A much-needed remedy to the fatigue that gives us several Spider-Beings with equally interesting origin stories. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” features the cinematic debut of Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), a teenager who discovers that he has acquired the same powers as Spider-Man. Just when he thought that he has no one to help him learn the rop–ermm–webs, the Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) opens up a portal to other dimensions, bringing in different Spider-Beings from other universes.
Miles Morales might be new to casual moviegoers, but he has actually been alluded to in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, confirming that he does exist within the MCU. Remember when Spider-Man did an awful job interrogating Donald Glover’s Aaron Davis? Aaron mentions that he has a nephew, and in a deleted scene, he actually calls his nephew “Miles”. In “Spider-Verse”, Miles and Aaron still has a connection, but in more ways than one.
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a refreshing treat, not only because it gives us a new webslinger to root for; it also offers a modern, eye-gasmic animation like we’ve never seen before. The best way to describe it is like seeing a graphic novel come to life – complete with motion lines, speech bubbles, and quirky onomatopoeia. The best part is that the characters from other dimensions also have their unique animation styles – the Japanese schoolgirl Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) keeps the anime-ish visuals of the futuristic Japan where she’s from. Spider-Noir (Nicolas Cage) comes from the 1930’s, and has a bleak, black-and-white animation. Peter Porker aka Spider-Ham (John Mulaney) is a cartoonish creature with loony-toony superpowers. All these colliding visuals feel so weird yet so right, and together with the faced-paced action and unique storytelling method, it’s one helluva spectacle.
The animation is great, but it’s the film’s self-aware humor that leaves us gagging. It’s brave enough to make fun of its predecessors, and smart enough to use Spider-Man memes. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a film made by fans for fans. Be sure to stay for the post-credits for the ultimate gag.