Into the Spider-Verse: A Labor of Love

Madeline Muller

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There’s absolutely nothing at all like Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and that’s a great thing. In a decade where superhero movies have dominated both box offices and the imaginations of fans worldwide, it is hard to stand out, to entertain in a way that is truly new, and still be widely accepted as a good movie.

Spider-Verse does all of these things to a “T”.

First, the plot is original and relatable to anyone who watches the movie. Miles Morales is a New York teen who is struggling to meet the expectations of his family and yet still be himself. Attending a new school where he feels isolated and alone from his classmates, he becomes even more separated and distant from his immediate family. Then, the impossible happens, he’s bitten by a radioactive spider, and Miles promises to destroy a supercollider that will decimate his home for good after the Spiderman of his universe dies.

Yes, people die in this movie. And no one comes back.

Along the way, he’s met by other Spider people who have been sucked into his dimension by the supercollider and are variations on typical Spiderman characters: an emotionally scarred Peter B. Parker(Spiderman’s secret identity) who is experiencing a midlife crisis, the graceful, yet closed-off Gwen Stacy(A Spiderman love interest), a Noir 1930’s Spiderman who enjoys Rubik’s cubes, a tiny Japanese girl with a mechanical suit, and, finally, a Spider-Pig who can’t seem to get the hang of this dimensions physics. Together, they attempt to get back home, destroy the super-collider, and, on the way, become more developed people whose lives are infinitely better than before.  

Next, visuals. Striking, appealing, and comic book-like, they aren’t the normal style of animation that typically comes in a PG movie. The characters and scenes come in and out of focus, overlaid in different tones and colors, letting the audience focus on one character without the camera directly focusing on them. However, when Spider-Verse chooses to focus in on a character, you know it. The dark-suited character of Kingpin, a crime lord in New York who is the main physical antagonist, is a massive, hulking presence who takes up almost the entire screen almost every time he is visible His visual appearance represents his impact on the plot: he is an overwhelming and fantastically dark piece to the story who puts everything in motion.

Then, the sound. The soundtrack to this movie is completely in sync with the story with songs from artists such as Post Malone and Nicki Minaj. Even the small bits, the jarring sound effects and accompaniments to scenes, blend into the storytelling as if they were pieces of dialogue themselves. There’s an art to the sound, a special skill of making it not noticeable one moment and then the prime subject the next, such as the song that comes in the climax: “What’s Up Danger.” Performed by Blackway and Black Caviar, the song is perfectly in time with the main character Miles Morales’ development into Spiderman, rising in intensity and beat as he realizes what he can be, what he is. The audience’s hearts go along with the beat and the beat becomes the story just as much as the visuals and characters themselves.

Overall, the striking visuals, sound, and plot all contribute to the movie to make it one of the best Spiderman movies ever, but in the spirit of the movie, the aspect that pulls it all together is the collective love and passion that emanates from every source. This movie is a labor of love and it would be a shame to not experience it in its full glory.

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