Think of the last movie you saw. Write a review of it.
I’ve done a couple of these in the past, on Time Well Wasted. I enjoyed writing them, so let’s do another one here on Closet Full of Notebooks! This doesn’t specify “in theaters” and I have watched other movies at home since, but I’m going to make the assumption that this means the last movie I went out to a theater to watch/see. It’s been a few weeks though so this isn’t likely to be an objective review. I’m going to try and keep this as spoiler free as possible, but if you haven’t seen Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse yet and have somehow managed to avoid the internet since its release I say proceed with caution.
Back before Christmas, while taking a break from holiday shopping, my husband and I went to see Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse. We had heard nothing but good things from friends who had seen it and were excited to finally see it for ourselves. We were not disappointed.
This is the one genre where I’m primarily a fan of the movie adaptations over the written mediums because I haven’t actually read them. Needless to say, I am not a comic aficionado by any stretch of the imagination. I am, however, a huge fan of animation, and after seeing Spiderverse, I proclaimed I want no more comic-book-to-movie-adaptations unless they’re done in that style.
It was just so… gorgeous. I’m sorry I don’t have a better word for it. The colors were vibrant and felt like part of the environment. The character designs for the different Spiderfolx were genius. Each of the different universes’ Spiders were distinct and the brief glimpse we got of each of their home universes made me wish for an entire series to explore each of them. And the soundtrack is bangin. Music can make or break a movie for me, and it completely hooked me to this one.
The story itself is nothing new. In fact, we see how each of the Spiders stories are the same when we’re introduced to each one. Protag is a normal person, going about their ordinary life. They have an encounter with a mysterious spider. They gain new powers and abilities. They have to learn these abilities on the fly and fight evil. They lose someone they love. They become withdrawn while still fighting to protect the city they love.
The twist here is that now they’ve all suddenly been pulled together in the same universe. The Big Bad is searching for another universe to reunite him with his lost loved ones to the detriment of the space-time continuum. The malfunction of his machine is what pulls the other Spiders into this version of NYC, but they can’t survive in this world. They “glitch” periodically. The new Spiderman has to get them back to their own universes before they die here, but he’s still struggling to learn his new powers.
Miles’ journey of self-discovery is a classic tale told for the modern age. He’s just a kid trying to do the right thing. And he fails. Because we all fail, and no one relates to a hero who succeeds on every try, but more importantly because he is just a kid and the world isn’t black and white. And when he fails, he feels alone, despite being with the only people in all the worlds who understand exactly what he’s going through.
But they need to get back to the machine so they can get back to their own universes. They all know the stakes, but they do not believe Miles is ready for a fight of this scale. Someone has to destroy the machine once the others are through. Unfortunately, they don’t have time to wait for Miles to be ready, so one of them will have to stay behind. Naturally, Miles protests this, but they leave him behind anyway.
We have now reached the protagonist’s lowest point. No spoilers, but he gets the inspiration he needs. He takes a leap of faith. And then, his rise-to-hero transformation is one of the most stunning works of art I have ever seen in cinema. Ugh, I could watch that all day. I’m getting misty just re-watching it now. Seriously, if you love movies, this is one you absolutely cannot miss.