The Superhero Genre is Dying. Well, not literally, but there’s certainly a decline in quality over the past few years. Just like the Western genre during the mid-60’s, the Superhero genre has reached its peak, and will forever decline into a pile of profit and forgettable products. This decline is rapidly occurring as we speak, with each Superhero flick coming out becoming more forgettable and passable than the last. In comes Sony’s Into the Spider-Verse, a revitalization of the all to common formulated and at times boring superhero tropes, that uses its campy nature to it’s most successful advantage. Into the Spider-Verse is not only the best Marvel film to come out since last year’s Logan, but rather one of the most crazy and fun Superhero adaptations ever put to screen.
With the film’s talented production team, Sony Pictures Animation delivers their best film since 07’s Surf’s Up, using a delightfully inventive visual scheme, ranging from hand drawn animation and tradition CGI, to manipulate the characters surroundings in the most limitless and insane ways possible. Using frame rate changes, perspective shots, and fourth wall breaks, Into the Spider-Verse knows how to deliver in terms of a visual feast. In other terms, it’s groundbreaking material.
It unfortunately goes without saying, that the film’s greatness comes to a halt when discussing it’s plot and character development. As much fun I had viewing the film, it still gripes me that this film relied on all too familiar plot devices and character arcs which were directly copied from BETTER films. The most notable example being another Marvel Animated Property which came out recently, Big Hero 6. It may be fun and uproarious for many, but the several inconsistencies and over reliance on cliche’s and and plot points from other films just got old very fast. This also doesn’t help the fact that the film’s pace was all over the place. Because of the predicable story structure, the film continuously felt scattered brained and inconsistent with it’s thematic material.
It all comes down to this. What this film does differently, compared to the Webbs, Watts, and even at times Raimi’s Spider-Man adaptations, is that the dedicated writers and team behind this film understood what the character was all about. The mixed identity, the relatability factor with the audience, and the universal appeal of Spider-Man is clearly understood and utilized to its fullest extent, neither exploiting race or sexuality, but rather unifying different people of color and gender in the process. Superheroes are characters which we look up to, so why not add a bit ambiguity for the audience to add a bit of themselves too? This is what Into the Spider-Verse understands best.
Superheros are just like us.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Opens Nationwide On December 14th