Miles Morales has the Perfect Debut in ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the best thing Sony has released in years! It was so good that it honestly makes up for the two terrible The Amazing Spider-Man films, as well as the Venom film earlier this year. I’ve been waiting for a Miles Morales’ Spider-Man film ever since it was teased that Donald Glover would take up the role in the reboot a few years ago. In fact, it was even an Easter Egg in the show Community around that time. (Picture below.)
Now, we finally got Morales in a film, and at first I was sort of upset that it was going to be animated (not live-action), but my god was this new movie beautiful. The animation is jaw-dropping and perfectly encapsulates the character, bringing him to life like we’ve never seen before. The 3D style does take some getting used to, however, it’s the most realistic vision of bringing a comic book to life that I’ve ever seen (sorry Sin City film fans). It’s a visual experience that’s unlike anything else in the genre, and a perfect adaptation for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The story is set up so perfectly as well. It was a genius move to have the first act focus on setting up Miles Morales as a character and his relationship with his family—the best of which is his relationship with his father, Jefferson. A genuine father-son dynamic that focuses mostly on their mutual love for each other, while at the same time sets up Miles need for independence and growth. Also, this shouldn’t be a surprise with writers Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman from The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street at the helm. Furthermore, they do a fantastic job with creating the perfect version of Kingpin (even though my heart still goes out for Michael Clarke Duncan’s version of Wilson Fisk in the 2004 Daredevil film). He’s absolutely terrifying in the film, and part of that definitely has to do with his oversized stature. Yet, to make the plot work where Kingpin creates rifts in the space-time continuum and opens parallel universes in order to gain access to all Earths takes some great storytelling.
All in all, the story just works…I know, sounds crazy. How could a story featuring many Spider-People, including a literal Spider-Pig, work when Sony had trouble just characterizing Peter Parker? All of it comes back to Miles’ journey to become Spider-Man; it’s purposefully a slow build. Honestly, Miles really only becomes Spider-Man in the final few minutes of the movie, and the rest of the time he is an underdog—a teenager who doubts himself and the role he must play. However, because he is so genuine in his desire to become the masked vigilante, he not only shocks his mentor Peter, but the audience as well. There was a literal standing ovation at the end of my screening and many children left the theater saying that Miles is their Spider-Man, which is something rare in a third party Spider-Man project that was made by Sony and was an animated feature.
The other Spider-People in the film are fun and don’t take away from Miles at all. I particularly enjoyed Nicholas Cages’ role as Spider-Man Noir, but the primary relationship is between Peter and Miles. It was a brilliant choice to have Peter Parker in this film to be a jerk who doesn’t want to be Spider-Man anymore. It only raises Miles status as a superhero. It’s a refreshing take on an origin story as most of the film focuses on Spider-Man training and adds a lot of suspense going into the climax of the film, as we want Morales to succeed in his mission of returning everyone to their home world. The film also ends with a homage to Stan Lee, who passed away recently, which genuinely made me tear up. This film is one that will stand out because of its respect for Lee’s work, and it definitely ranks up there as one of the best Spidey adaptations for the silver screen.
Lastly, the soundtrack is one of the best to come out in years. I don’t remember the last time I bought a soundtrack for a movie, but this film’s music was a definite purchase for me. The melodic beats of Post Malone perfectly accompanies Miles’ journey. He even uses the song “Sunflower” as a means to calm himself down in one scene, so he can better use his superpowers.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse embraces everything Spider-Man is. It’s definitely not a movie to watch without knowing Spidey’s history, as there are lots of call backs and references to other films. Nonetheless, it’s the perfect beginning for Miles Morales to take on the role as the New York City saving superhero. It’s a memorable big screen debut, and I honestly can’t wait for more Miles Morales in the future.