You may have seen Spider-Man saving people on the streets, fighting bad guys in the subway station and trying to make ends meet in between, but what would you say if I told you that there were more Spider-Persons than the one and only Peter Parker? What if you got to know that every universe has its own Spider-Man (one has a Spider-Woman) and when evil threatens the Spider-Verse, they unite to defeat their common enemy and end up in their respective universes because that’s what exactly happens in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse!
The film revolves around the life of one Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) who is a Spider-Man fan, before a freak accident (yes, involving a radioactive spider that bites) turns him into Spider-Man. However, he gets to meet the original Spider-Man, aka ‘Peter Parker’, minutes before Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) beats him to death.
Before dying, Spidey somehow managed to summon all other versions of him from alternate universes who battle against the kingpin in Miles’ universe, to restore balance in their worlds as well as help the kid control his powers, which includes turning invisible!
There are a lot of differences between this Afro-Latino Spider-Man and the one that we know; the former hails from an alternate Earth and, instead of Queens, lives in Brooklyn, is a black student on a scholarship and lives with his parents on the weekends. He befriends Gwanda who turns out to be Gwen Stacy and is unsure of himself unless he realises that with ‘great powers come great responsibility!’ That’s the moment when his life changes from that of a teenager to a fully grown Spider-Man who can take decisions as well as make others regret theirs.
Like Uncle Ben in the original story, there is an Uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali) who isn’t on speaking terms with his elder brother for some reason, whereas Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), Peter Parker (Chris Pine), Spider-Woman (Hailee Steinfeld), Peter Porker aka Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) and even Spider-Noir (Nicolas Cage) help in mentoring Miles, while being in ‘his’ universe.
The post-credits scene also features a Spider-Man from the future but hey, you have to watch the film to know about it. All I can say is that when you are into the film, you will not think much about the plot and how it happened because it’s told organically and through the eyes of a teenager whose character develops with the passage of time, literally.
The animation in this Spider-Man movie is unlike anything I have seen before, as you get to see visual boxes as well as dark noir treatment with 2D and 3D characters, all in one frame. It’s like a movie version of a comic book that keeps you engaged from start till finish. The dialogues and the antics of each and every Spider-person keeps you engrossed in the storyline and takes it forward; not dragging it like films where the action is secondary and the character development is primary. Overall, it’s a perfect film for the fans of Spider-Man as it makes you realise that it’s all about courage, being white or black doesn’t matter at all, anywhere in the universe.
Published in Dawn, Young World, November 29th, 2018