This article was originally written for the East Brunswick High School newspaper “The Clarion”.
Since Tobey Maguire first hit the silver screen as Spider-Man in 2002, several more film iterations of the iconic wallcrawler have come soaring off the pages and into theatres. None however, change up the Spider-Man movie formula more than the recently released Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Spider-Verse is an animated take on Spider-Man but instead of following Peter Parker as our main character, we instead follow Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), an Afro-Latino Spider-Man created in 2011 as a part of the alternate Ultimate Marvel Universe. Morales is being mentored by an old and jaded Peter B. Parker (the main Marvel Universe Spider-Man, played by Jake Johnson), while grappling with his new spider powers and also trying to take down Kingpin before his interdimensional collider destroys the multiverse.
The story very loosely adapts the 2014 comic event “Spider-Verse”, though it only stays true to the aspect of alternate Spider-People in the form of Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham and Peni Parker with the robot SP//dr.
The film uses a unique animation style, using techniques found in comic books such as lines or Benday dots (to simulate shading), motion lines, expression words like POW! when a character hits or animating ‘on twos’ in order to give each tiny movement feeling and importance.
Needless to say, this film has garnered stunning reviews commending it’s art style, music, writing, acting and more. It has a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and even earned the Golden Globe for and an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Picture.
Students here at EBHS feel similarly about this film. Sophomore Andrew Petrocelli noted that Spider-Verse “was absolutely amazing to say the very least. From everything to the pacing of the film to the character development throughout, there isn’t a dull moment. This movie gave me an emotional thrill from a Spider-Man movie that I haven’t received since Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man 2”. Petrocelli compares this movie to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 released in 2004 which is/was regarded by many fans to be the greatest Spider-Man movie ever and one of the best superhero movies ever.
Another sophomore, Jade Enna, calls Spider-Verse “one of best movies I’ve seen in years. It was so good that I needed to see it twice. The animation was so beautiful and made the movie feel so alive. I would 100% recommend watching it” Enna talks more about the animation, commenting on how it brought a sense of livelihood to the movie that rivals the styles found in movies from Disney, Pixar or Dreamworks. Where some animated movies strive for hyper-realism, Spider-Verse is able to use a style that seems true to its comic book roots that aids in conveying a compelling story.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman and is produced by the duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller of The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street fame.
This groundbreaking animated movie featuring unique visuals, an amazing soundtrack and a star studded cast is definitely a must see for any fan of the webhead.