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‘Into the Spider-Verse’ a fun-for-all family film

December 21, 2018
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This image released by Sony Pictures Animation shows Miles Morales, voiced by: Shameik Moore, in a scene from “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”

More than just another superhero movie, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” completely turns the genre on its head. Captivating and visually fantastic, the unique animation serves the film well, its comic-book-inspired stylization reminding everyone of both the origin and the future of Spider-Man. Just as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids, “Into the Spider-Verse” is an empowering origin story about how self-discovery.

After being accepted to a new boarding school, Brooklyn native Miles Morales is accidentally bit by a radioactive spider. Developing mysterious powers, Miles soon realizes that he was bit by the same type of spider that Spider-Man was. However, before he can learn to control his powers, evil billionaire Kingpin uses a machine that combines multiple universes into one. Discovering that there is more than one Spider-Man, Miles and his new super-powered friends have to work together to defeat Kingpin and return to their own universes.

One of the most distinctive aspects of “Into the Spider-Verse” is its unique animation style. Dazzling and risky, it makes Miles Morales’ world all the more his own. Although it would be easy for the animation to overpower the overarching themes within the film, the confident execution of the visuals are instead used to enhance it, creating an immersive, one-of-a-kind space. Though in the first act the animation can come off as clunky and hard to follow, its importance within the story is proven during the more energetic scenes. While the plot of “Spider-Verse” is about growth, the visuals within it are just as reflective of the growth and reimagining of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how it tells its stories.

Though the visuals are, without a doubt, eye-popping and exciting, the story itself is just as enjoyable. Though the Spider-Man franchise has been constantly reinvented for better or for worse, “Into the Spider-Verse” makes the character feel fresh. It understood why fans love the Spider-Man character, and worked with our already-present adoration to have us love Miles just as much. Its understanding of humor and ability to make us laugh and cry is a similarly strong point, embracing the absurdity of heroes, villains and multiple universes and allowing us to laugh along with the characters and the strange situations they find themselves in.

Taking a step back into the heavily franchised history of the character, “Into the Spider-Verse” successfully brings back the best parts of the Spider-Man and his various trials and tribulations while also bringing him into the modern, colorful world. Allowing the audience to discover what it means to be a superhero alongside Miles, the authenticity and genuine heart in the film shows through. Fantastic watching in the theater, I found myself liking “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” more and more after my first viewing.

Grade: A

Rose Dunton, originally of Nampa, has been living in Pocatello for the past four years. Proficient in Japanese, she is an avid film buff.

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