I have made it a goal to watch as many films this year and I have made good on that goal. And there are still two more weeks, more or less, to go. I got this! Because we have we have been watching as many movies as possible, I have seen the trailers for the movies released in December about 100 times. Or so it feels. As a result, some movies were somewhat disappointing. I mean, think about it. When you see a trailer over and over again you probably already saw all the best parts of the movie. The movie probably doesn’t feel all that fresh and you start to wonder why you were so hyped up in the first place.
In that vein, I saw many trailers for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and yet I was pleasantly surprised. More than pleasantly surprised. First off, despite having viewed so many trailers beforehand I was completely drawn into the plot. It was an action-packed and intense adventure that still had time to set up a good origin story and character development.
Second, the movie, in case you are wondering, centers on Brooklyn teen Miles Morales who becomes a new Spider-Man and ends up meeting other Spider-people/animals from parallel universes. And as such the animated film brings forth a sense of family both immediate/biological and that which you create. I actually felt the love emanating from the characters. There is even a nice tribute to Stan Lee as part of the rolling credits that made some audience members voice their love of Stan Lee. It was touching. And yes, there is an extra scene post credits after the tribute to Stan Lee but you have to wait a while.
Third, I love the message that sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith on yourself. It is a story of perseverance and learning to appreciate your strengths and the love of those around you.
Fourth and very importantly as a movie fan, New York city is just awesomely showcased in the movie. You see and feel the New York rhythm, diversity, and hidden spaces. This might sound odd, but it felt like a love letter to New York as well. And that made me miss my beloved town so greatly.
Lastly, Miles Morales is a cool kid. He is smart. Book smart. But cool in a very dorky way trying to understand how he fits in at his elite prep school and in the spider-verse. His mother is Puerto Rican and his dad African-American. He is layered. without hopefully sounding egotistical he reminded me a little of me way back when. As a Puerto Rican girl who went to an elite boarding school after growing up in NYC, I get that angst at not quite fitting in anywhere. And that, got me misty-eyed as well as well as that love from a parent who just wants you to succeed even if they don’t quite get you.
I don’t mean to make this movie sound deep. It’s a fun, action movie. But it has heart.