By: Russ Matthews
What just happened? Spider-man once again proves superhero films can be original, fresh, and exciting.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one if not the best Spider-man film, but the next chapter runs confidently alongside its predecessor. Yet, this next newest edition is so loaded with action and characters that audience members may walk out of the cinemas, overwhelmed instead of enraptured.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s get caught up on where we are in this version of Spidey’s world. After the previous storyline that has Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) dawning the super suit and slinging himself through the streets of Brooklyn he knows he is not the only Spider-person in the universe. After the teen teamed with multiple alliterations as he became the friendly neighbourhood crusader and showing his path. Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) had said she would not see him again. Still, both teenagers continue to pine after each other across the Spiderverse. Until a new nemesis exists in Miles’ world, The Spot (Jason Schwartzman) poses a new threat to multiple worlds and to every Spider-man. This leads the love-sick teens to be drawn into the mythical world of the Spider-Society that is overseen by Miguel O’Hara (Oscar Isaacs), who isn’t as enamoured with this unlikely pair.
Realistically, there are so many things to cover in this film, there is no room to unpack every discussion point in this review. Instead, this chapter beautifully complements the original and will leave viewers wanting more of Miles and company. This production takes Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s vision and adds a visual flair and creative licence that reimagines how the superhero film can be delivered. Without sacrificing the characteristics that have made fans fall in love with Spidey, they have created a world that will leave the viewer satisfied and yearning for more.
These accolades come with a warning that sometimes too much of a good thing can leave you feeling bloated and overwhelmed. As they unpack the multi-layered screenplay, keeping up with each potential pathway they want you to take is hard. The animation is groundbreaking and compelling, but it moves through at breakneck speeds that may cause virtual whiplash for some theatre-goers. As each character and universe is introduced, most of us might need to take extensive notes to track where we are up to within the arc of the story. With a run time of 140 minutes, this might cause a bit of positive superhero fatigue until you realise you need to see it again to catch everything you missed the first go around.
Spider-man: Across the Spider-verse is a brilliant follow-up to the unexpected joy of the original. Yet, be sure to take heed and know that this one will immerse the senses to the point of overexposure on par with the sugar rush after Christmas. A journey worth exploring for all who love this character and enjoy a roller coaster-like experience.
How much are we to sacrifice in light of achieving life’s goals? This question of selflessness is within the multiple storylines from Miles Morales’ coming-of-age journey. It has been asked by men and women throughout history. There is much to celebrate in their achievements, but who and what gets left in the aftermath? The cost involved will have positive and negative implications for all involved.
Missionaries, pastors, business leaders, and politicians must consider these questions. Spider-man: Across the Spider-verse begs this question, what would you be willing to sacrifice to reach the goals of your life? Regardless of how admirable the intentions may be, the relational impact must be considered.
If you are wondering what the Bible has to say about this query, look no further than to the person of Jesus. Open one of his biographies today to discover what example of sacrifice we must all contemplate.
Hebrews 13:16 – “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
Article supplied with thanks to City Bible Forum.
All images: Movie publicity
About the author: Russ Matthews is a film critic at City Bible Forum and Reel Dialogue. He has a passion for film and sparking spiritual conversations.