Since 2002, Sony has released six different Spider-Man movies. During this period, there were three different Peter Parkers (played by Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland), three different Aunt Mays gradually rejuvenated (Rosemary Harris, Sally Field and Marisa Tomei), two different Mary Janes (Kirsten Dunst and Zendaya) and three different Green Goblins (Willem DaFoe, James Franco and Dane DeHaan).
Most of these movies bleed together and reduce the same conflicts in clichés. So even as a result of the splendid charmer 2017 Spider-Man: Homecoming, hard not to feel as Another Spider-Man movie on the horizon is more of a provocation than a treat. It's hard to shake the fear that a new one is sinking into what is now a well-established network of indistinct existence, becoming another Spider-Man movie that was shot solely because studio executives know that people will buy tickets to see a movie. The movie Spider-Man, as terrible as it is.
The best films of Spider-Man draw convincingly in the spirit of the character, his divine seriousness. He is not unbeatable. He does not have a magic hammer. He does not have a magic suit. It's just a child who wants to do what is right, who will risk everything to save us all.
And no Spider-Man movie should ever let its audience ask: What made this one different?
Rest assured, true believers: Spider-Man: in the Spider-Verse do not let yourself down.
The new animated film is a beautiful and slender, a beautiful paean inspired by the legendary webslinger spirit of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, embodying the hope and optimism of his hero in such a classic way. But it also unveils a new exciting terrain – through spectacular deviations from the standard that does not allow the Marvel Cinematic universe and the real action cinema – which gives the impression of being extremely innovative, while remaining traditionally Spidey.
In the spider worm is centered on Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), a character who has lived a busy life in Marvel's comics but does not exist in the MCU's live movies.
Morales is a biracial kid, both Puerto Rican and black, living in a universe parallel to that of Marvel. The spider-man of Peter Parker still exists in this parallel universe, performing daily acts of heroism, as you wish; In fact, the only thing that really distinguishes him from the main universe is that Morales exists in him.
By destiny, morals gets its own powers, similar to those of Spider-Man, but they create for Morales a very unique set of trials, triumphs and tribulations. The proven themes of power and responsibility are present, but they manifest themselves differently for Morales because he lives in a world where Parker's Spider-Man already lives.
Parker This is a great example of what it means to be a hero. Instead of giving Morales the freedom to forge his own kind of heroism, he feels compelled to pursue Parker's legacy.
As a result, his story is less focused on using his power with responsibility, and more. on his responsibility at embrace his power. Morales must learn to accept his own greatness and overcome his personal insecurities in a world that can remind us cruelly at any time that we are not so special.
It's a big challenge, and it's complicated by the young age of Morales. But In the spider worm impressive Never lose sight of the fact that Morales is only a kid, just like Parker when Lee and Ditko created Spider-Man. Although Back home had to this idea, there was a tendency in previous Spider Man the movies to make Parker age – as if being a child and balancing, school, heroism and family was not as valuable as being a super – adult hero.
In the spider worm is quick to dispense with this notion. The screenwriters Phil Lord (who co-directed the film) and Rodney Rothman seem to inherently understand the wide range of joys, fears and uncertainties that all children experience and that all adults know. In the spider worm Treats the emotions of his characters with care and validity, while trying to solve a puzzle that has long bewildered people of all ages: who am I supposed to be? And the scary follow-up: What if I did not deserve that identity?
Spider-Man: in the Spider-Verse is a Spider-Man story that never forgets Spider-Man is human
There is no Spider-Man without the classic saying: "With great power, there is a great responsibility." (Some anecdotes: the original quote is actually: "With great power, you have to also come with great responsibility. ") The creed was born from the death of Uncle Ben, a death that Peter Parker could have avoided if he had not had an error of judgment and a moment of selfishness.
But when we meet Miles Morales in In the spider wormhe does not yet have the emotional maturity to understand the concept.
Morales, just as it was when the writers Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli created it in 2011, is a pre-pubescent preoccupation geek. Like Parker, he is an accomplished student, but he wants to hide this part of himself. He attends a classy school for the rich and the talented, but he wants to become a normal child again, in ordinary high school, with all his friends.
When he gets bitten by a spider and gets new powers, he interprets them first as sudden puberty. But fate clearly has other plans for Morales and, when he attends the death of Peter Parker, it is up to him to play the role of Spider-Man.
While In the spider worm The screenwriters Lord and Rothman could be better known for their humorous work (they have already collaborated on 22 Jump Streetand led by the Lord The Lego movie) The two men have written a thoughtful and nuanced story that explores Morales' uncertainty about whether or not he deserves the powers he has, as well as the guilt and grief he feels at Parker's death.
It is not only the powers of the spider that Morales questions; the privilege of attending the big and gifted school is also an obvious weight in his mind.
As his loving police father reminds him (voiced by Brian Tyree Henry), he is very happy. But in a world where a lot of things happen by chance, Morales seems uncomfortable with the idea that he might be the only one to enjoy his privileges. He also fears taking them for granted.
It is to complicate matters that Morales 'uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali) deals deeply with Morales, but for some reason he does not agree with Morales' father. It follows that Uncle Aaron is involved in bad business. But Aaron can connect with Morales in a way that adults can not. He appreciates and nurtures the creativity of Morales, which Morales' father has never done enough. And if Aaron is not as smart in reading as Morales and has not attended this gifted school, he leads a comfortable and enviable life in town and seems to travel a lot. It seems quite natural that he should become Morales's model.
But when Uncle Aaron disappears unexpectedly, Morales' story begins to focus on the appalling emotional toll of finding his identity and understanding how power and responsibility are inextricably linked. Morales is not friends of his age. He and his father do not have particularly close relationships. And with his new powers, in addition to being a child.
The vulnerability of Morales is one of the main reasons why In the spider worm What made Spider-Man so special when Lee and Ditko created the character is that his story assured young readers that their fears, their emotions and their joys were just as valid and valuable as these great ones. Spider-Man was a recognition that growing up is exhausting and sometimes hurts more than fighting with supervillains. It's incredibly painful when, for whatever reason, you can not tell anyone who you really are.
In the spider worm built on this heritage so as to allow Morales to be frightened, not to be sure of himself, or even to act sometimes without help and without mercy, while never losing sight of his courage and his humanity.
Spider-Man: in the Spider-Verse is a clinic in what animated superhero movies can do
One of the main challenges facing all live action superhero properties is that it is expensive and sometimes impossible to translate lush 2D cartoon illustrations into 3D live action sequences. TV series of superheroes usually do not have the budget to follow the imagination of comic artists. But even the biggest blockbusters sometimes contain scenes that look like a bunch of fight scenes that have been thrown into a mixer.
It's there that In the spider worm has an advantage.
The animation allows Rothman and his co-directors Bob Persichetti and Peter Ramsey to make their scenes even bigger, even better, even brighter than the comic pages that inspired them. They are not bound by the physical limitations of stuntmen, nor by the types of scenery that human hands can build, nor do they depend on CGI. If they can draw and animate, they can do it.
And they took advantage of this freedom to create spectacular fight scenes.
But even more dazzling than fight scenes are the risks that In the spider worm take and the envelopes he pushes. Obviously, the movie does not want to look like a superhero movie – an animated or live action – that you've ever seen.
The film pays tribute to the classic style of comics by playing with the place where your eye is trained. Some clips zoom in to save time, or expand to show how small our hero is in the vast expanse of the universe.
There are also some funny things that happen with verticality and space, because each image apparently contains a hatch that could, at any time, plunge the action into the space below. And all this leads to a beautiful piece, disrupting dimensions, which tumbles, swirls and opens several worlds within worlds, all with breathtaking pockets of animation that need to be explored.
Due to a damaging plan involving a super-collider of the movie's criminal, Kingpin, Morales eventually learns that there are several parallel universes. That's why Peter Parker, who died in the world of Morales, can still exist in another. (This is an idea that has already been implemented in comics and that leaves nicely the door open to the characters who can cross between parallel universes, if Marvel and Sony decided to introduce Morales in the universe of the film real, Marvel Cinematic.)
But In the spider worm also uses the multiverse explanation to experiment with different animation styles and to delineate the boundaries of what a superhero movie looks like. Each universe has its own distinct aesthetic; a character from a future timeline is drawn in a jagged animated style, while another character from a past timeline becomes a peckish tribute to black-style comics. (The voice provided by Nicolas Cage also helps.) All these different styles are then contrasted with the finesse of the world of Morales.
There are times when we feel that the film has been bitten by a radioactive comic book and is transforming before our eyes. It's a beautiful sight to see.
With his risky visual narrative and his scenario of bidding, In the spider worm earn the highest honor that can be given to a Spider Man movie: It makes you want to see more Spider Man movies. Including at least a little more for Miles Morales alone.
Spider-man: in the Spider-Verse will be released in theaters on December 14th.