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“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” redefines the hero

Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE.

By Tiffany He, T/E Life Editor

I honestly didn’t expect much as I walked into the theater to watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. After coming to know all the evolutions of Peter Parker, from the classic Tobey Maguire, to the suave Andrew Garfield, and finally the lovable Tom Holland, I was fully prepared to watch the same timeless story play out again: start out with some radioactive spiders, watch Uncle Ben die (again), and maybe learn about great power and great responsibility along the way. I thought I knew all there was to know about Spiderman. Turns out I was extremely wrong.

To start, he isn’t just Peter Parker. The Spider-Verse hosts a cast of heros from Penny Parker, a peppy anime girl to Peter Porker, a spider pig. But the spotlight mainly focuses on Miles Morales, a self-conscious teen from New York, struggling with school, puberty, and the effects of a radioactive spider bite. Along with his newfound abilities, Miles has to learn the weight of expectations and responsibilities by simply taking a leap of faith, taking control of his fears, powers, and the world around him.

The story is also just a lot of fun. It is complicated enough to not bore the audience and also intertwined with touching scenes, especially the tear-worthy Stan Lee cameo. It also knows how to poke fun at itself, alluding to cliches and from the franchise, using repetition and cheesy comedic pauses for emphasis too (I’m looking at you end-credits scene.)   

The film also did an incredible job balancing the old with the new, especially with the art. The mix of contemporary animation styles, while playing homage to some classic comic book charm with motion lines and pops of bright colors, creates a seamless flow of fantastic visual storytelling, sweeping you away a beautiful rendition of New York that has to be protected. This fresh new take on this timeless story has definitely set the bar high for upcoming animated films.

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