It’s no secret that “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is the best-animated movie of the year and one of the best movies of the year as a whole. From its characters to its visuals, there truly is something in Marvel and Sony’s latest film for everyone to enjoy. This is the story of Miles Morales and his hero’s journey as the newest version of the Marvel Comics poster child Spider-Man. His journey through the movie is captivating and really adds a sense of realism to the story. After attending a press screening of the film, these were some of the things that stood out the most as the best parts of “Into The Spider-Verse.”
1. Miles is more realistic than his comic counterpart
While in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, Miles simply comes off as Peter Parker with darker skin, the movie adaptation of the character makes him seem quite different from the original web slinger. From the film, it is clear that his personality and upbringing are far different from that of Peter. Throughout the movie, we see Miles listening to hip-hop music, spray-painting on walls and actually having a decent social life. Something of note is how much more of his Hispanic and Black culture is included in his character in this film which is often minimized or ignored in the comics in favor of a character more similar to that of Peter Parker. The very first scene of Miles establishes his difference in character and background, clearly portraying that this would not be another clone of Peter Parker.
2. Music Selection
The movie builds on its uniqueness with the choice in music for most scenes. While some music choices do feel odd in certain scenes, the majority of the time, the music adds to the drama of a particular scene and emphasizes the emotion. The choice of modern hip-hop and R&B over the normal rock or orchestral style “Avengers” music really makes Miles feel more authentic and less generic. The soundtrack features artists such as Lil Wayne, Post Malone, Swae Lee, Ski Mask, The Slump God, XXXTentacion and several others. The addition of having these artists create songs for the movie rather than just using licensed music seems better and makes every song feel more real and logical for the corresponding scene in the movie.
3. Spider-Man References
The attention to detail is insane with many subtle hints to the outside world and other media hidden within the backgrounds and passing lines of dialogue. Fans of the latest Spider-Man video game for PS4 are in for a treat as it seems every available suit from that game has made its way into the movie. That’s not the only reference to other Spider-Man media however. Previous “Spider-Man” movies, specifically the Sam Raimi trilogy, are alluded to in passing lines and scenes. Even less subtle are some of the characters that many fans are sure to recognize once they make their on-screen appearance. Fan favorite heroes and villains appear as well, and this attention to detail building off of previous media truly feels like service to the fans.
4. Alterations of the original story of Miles
While changing the normal comic book origins of a character is usually a negative quality of most superhero big screen adaptations, the alterations made to the origin of Miles actually make sense and add to the overall themes and chemistry of the movie. In the Ultimate Spider-Man and Spider-Verse comics Miles Morales is a well-established hero far before any events of the Spider-Verse takes place. Connecting the two stories, however, makes sense as well as adding more significance to the hero’s journey that Miles goes through in order to become the iconic web slinger. While this does mean that some stories and characters needed to be cut or minimized for the action to happen, it still makes the story feel interwoven and connected.
5. The Animation
While the bar for an animated movie from Sony has been set fairly low since the release of “The Emoji Movie” in 2017, “Into The Spider-Verse” destroys all expectations for an animated superhero film. Every moment is beautiful and has been created in amazing detail, which adds to the immersion of the universe. The animation is especially highlighted during the fight scenes in which colorful art styles and fast-paced animations are used to convey the action. There are also many hidden details in the background such as album covers from many pop culture artists to alternate versions of things such as Coca-Cola and Snapchat. Little details like this are important as they make the world feel more real and detailed. This movie is so beautiful that even without the great characters and story, it would still stand out for the amazing visuals throughout.