Screenshot by Mark David Magat
When Do I Know I’m Spider-Man?
When thinking of Spider-Man, the go-to image is the original himself, Peter Parker. But in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, we welcome not one, but over six webheads. In the front and center of this story is Miles Morales. But is having all these characters and all these plots a good thing and do they connect well? And a bigger question: Are we ready for a new Spider-Man? This is an astounding “yes”.
With Great Power:
This movie has a lot of heavy hitters in terms of Spider-Men and women from the Marvel comics, yet they don’t get as much limelight as Peter Parker. Morales and Stacy are probably the biggest names outside of Peter Parker, but this movie introduces a handful of them, such as Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Ham, and introduces them quite well.
The standout is, of course, our lead Spider, Miles Morales. If you didn’t know much about Morales, this movie does a beautiful job of introducing him, with his family and his ideals. And the change of his motives for becoming Spider-Man is done very well. For those of you who have read the comics, it is slightly different.
Also, the alternate universe Peter Parker they use is a different style from traditional Parker but still works for the core of the character. He’s older and more beat down and overall struggling emotionally. And the way Parker and Morales interact and play off each other is comedic at first, but then emotionally heavy and gratifying towards the last part of the second act and all throughout the last.
Of course the other webheads get their chance to shine as well, not as much as Morales and Parker, but they do tend to stick to the background. Their intros are done with hilarious and informative descriptions of the characters and they add a lot to being Spider-Man other than being a dude who fights crime with spider powers.
Comes Great Responsibility:
This movie has a lot to live up to; Spider-Man 2 is regarded as the best Spider-Man movie ever and Homecoming comes in at a very very close second. Also this is the first Marvel movie to be released after Stan Lee’s death so this movie has a lot to live up to. Thankfully, there are not many problems with the movie to bring it down.
The weakest link is of course the villain Kingpin. They do try to bring you some backstory and some emotion to him, but he is still pretty weak and lacking as a character.
Also, the use of a technique called “bathos” is used a bit more than I would personally want in the first act and half of the second. The term “bathos”, is used for comprising an emotional scene with humor. The movie has amazing scenes in the beginning that could have hit home and driven the emotion and shown what Spider-Man is about, but instead, they make you laugh.
The compromising emotional moments at the beginning aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Spider-Man is a humorous character and life isn’t all sad or happy at one moment, it’s a mix of a lot of different emotions going off at the same time, but I feel there are places they could have lightened up on the humor.
It’s a Leap of Faith:
This movie isn’t perfect, but it is really close. The characters are done well at the least and done almost perfectly at best. The story is written really well, though there are some minor issues. And overall, I highly recommended this movie.