Let me start this with one simple phrase: I LOVE SPIDER-MAN! Alright, that is out of the way. Spidey has had a great few years, cinematically at least, starting back with Holland’s appearance as Peter Parker in Civil War and everything coming to a head in Spider-Man: Into The Spider Verse.
Spider Verse tells the story of Miles Morales and how he becomes the one and only Spider-Man, sort of. He is Spider-Man as well as Peter B. Parker, Peter Porker, Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker from the 1930s, and Penni Parker. After getting bitten by a radioactive spider and gaining the ability to do “whatever a spider can” these characters try to teach him what it means to be Spider-Man. Everything about this movie brings back great memories of comics from this year, TASM 801 and Spectacular Spider-Man 301 truly told readers what it was to be Spider-Man and this movie does the same for everyone who loves Spidey, but doesn’t want to read the comics.
MIiles quickly learns that being Spider-Man is not easy and that doing the right thing is not always easy. He learns that the key to being Spidey is that it is a leap of faith. When he accepts that he truly becomes Spider-Man.
Spider Verse shows the best version of every spider person ever as well as the most important thing about the character, being a hero isn’t easy or clear cut. Most of us with powers would just be some kid running around trying to the most good possible and the best way possible. It also shows that no matter how great of a character Peter Parker is Miles’ story being more complicated makes him a far more interesting character to read.
The action and the story in the film are incredibly paced and the visuals are absolutely stunning. The use of color really brings the comic to the screen. The animation style also utilizes the old comic style of coloring with the dot coloring becoming more detailed as the camera zooms into the masks and faces of the characters.
All in all the movie isn’t perfect, but it is the best Spidey movie that has been aired and can make anyone fall in love with at least one Spider when they walk out of the theatre.
Weirdly yes and no. As someone who grew up in a household that encouraged comic reading and being immersed in the lore of those worlds I was let down by the movie. I liked the subtle nods to the comics that there were, but it is hard to have Venom in a universe where there is no Spider-Man. Venom’s entire arc through the comics is how much they hate Spider-Man. This is because the Symbiote hates Spidey as well as Eddie Brock. That hatred fuels them and is literally their only motivation through the beginning stories they are in. Recently Marvel has fleshed out the character more with a great solo title out now that I highly recommend picking up and reading. The movie takes the idea of Venom and plays with it.
Riot is not a Klyntar. Riot does have a lot to do with the LIFE foundation, but it was synthetically made in the comic books. Riot was made as a part of a team that eventually all fuse together to make another symbiote names Hybrid. Riot was never a pure blooded Klyntar and never had the powers that were show cased in the movie. Riot in the movie is more Carnage than anything. This brings up another questionable decision from the movie that I am still trying to wrap my head around.
Why in God’s is Woody Harrelson cast as Cletus Kasady? It sets up the next movie as Venom versus Carnage I get that, but the casting seems off. The wig is terrible, and Harrelson’s body type is far and away from what Cletus’ body type is. Cletus(Carnage) is scrawny. It seems like a bad choice, but I will give Harrelson credit that even in the few seconds that are the post credits scene he is in he does convey a very convincing psychopath that would make a great host for the Carnage symbiote.
How are they going to make Carnage a bigger threat than Riot was? I don’t know, Riot seemed to be able to do everything that Carnage can do so the sequel may just feel like a rehash of the same story line but with different stakes. I’m interested to see what they do but not hopeful for the franchise as a whole.
Now that I am done bitching about the weird things I will say, if you go into this movie with very little knowledge of who Venom is and the comics as a whole it is an enjoyable movie. It isn’t weirdly paced and there are only a few parts of it that don’t really make any sense that I assume can just be blamed on poor editing. The action sequences are good and Venom looks like a beast. They are tall, jacked out of their mind, and teeth and tongue were spot on. I don’t think it was an over all poor movie, but it was not a great movie.
Overall I think it is mediocre and a refreshing departure for the Superhero genre. Just the right amount of dark, grit, and gore with some scenes that were genuinely funny because they were written that way. I would give it 3 Spider-Men out of an X-Men.