First and foremost, I don’t remember the last time that I enjoyed a film as much as I enjoyed this one. There were moments in this film where I was just looking at everything on screen and just thinking “Is this the best movie that I’ve ever watched?” It’s not, but it is pretty darn good. How in the world that they end up topping the last film is beyond me. When we’re talking about details, this movie has it in spades. In the past I have written about how Creed III was just doing too much, well this Spidey film was doing A LOT and doing it well. Visually speaking, metaphorically speaking – this film hit every note. I don’t think there is anyone on this planet who will watch this film and not be blown away by the music, the visuals, the small things going on in the background – THE FREAKING EYES OF THE SPIDER HEROES. This film was almost technically perfect. My only gripe would be that it was a bit too long but considering how it ended, I can see why it was paced the way it was.
This film was also perfectly meta. Not to the point where it was cheesy like an early 00’s teenage drama but in a way that made you feel like you were in on a joke . . . that everybody else in the theater was in on too. Like how in the film you can see that Miles is a different Spiderman compared to the others and his reception isn’t great, just like how people were up in arms about a black Spiderman, or a black Mermaid, or a black . . . you know what I mean. But the wonderful thing about the meta-ness of this film was that it’s ultimately a celebration of Spiderman and comics in general. One of my favourite things about American legacy comics is that they are typically written and drawn by so many people over so many decades, with so many different storylines and artistic touches. This series celebrates everyone who has ever poured their love into Spiderman, whether in print or on screen.
Is it weird that I – a 27 year old man was relating to Gwen and Miles? I was just sitting there thinking “Baron, you’re not a teenager anymore.” But I think that a brilliant feature about Spiderman is that they are supposed to be relatable characters. They don’t start off wealthy or incredibly unique until they get bit by the bug. But even after getting bit – they remain the same person for the most part. When not fighting crime they work normal jobs, they go home to their partners, and love where they come from. That’s why even after decades and what seems like thousands of superhero films, and remakes – Spiderman is still incredibly loved worldwide. Peter Parker is a Jewish boy born in NYC and I’m a Chinese boy who was born in Hong Kong – that’s pretty much the same thing. I can’t relate to Tony Starks or Bruce Wayne – but I think everyone sees a little of themselves in Spiderman.
I think that a central message in this film is about how you want to live up to your potential. In this film, we see that Miles’ parents, the other Spidermen, and even the villain have these expectations on him as Miles, the teenager, as well as Spiderman, the hero. In a multiverse where Spider themed heroes and teenagers are abundant, what makes Miles so different? I find myself applying these things to life often. As a former athlete on a team with a bunch of other athletes, as a dude fighting over a girl among a bunch of other dudes, as an employee working among other employees. What is is about me that is so different, when there are so many others doing the same thing, with the same skills, with the same expectations. I’m sure you can apply this to your own life.
In this film, we see that Miles is trying to figure that out too. There are thousands of kids trying to get into the same university program that he wants to get into, there are (what seems to be) infinite Spidermen in the multiverse – so how does he stick out. Do he stick out? Is it worth the trouble to move outside of the status quo? How do you know that you’re making the right decision to step out of the majority, when everybody in your life that has supported you and should know better is stepping against you? Who cares about what they say right? At the end of the day, what is Miles Morales’ story, what is your story?
Am I going through a rebellious phase of my life? No, my parents already threatened me in high school with military school – I no longer have a rebellious phase.
In life, we are always looking for the milestones (no pun intended). Graduating high school, going to post-secondary, getting married, etc. Those things do not define your day to day and they never should. Those things are things that will inevitably happen if you look at life as a progression of events set by the standard of others. Those events happen to most people. But they are merely moments that highlight certain aspects of your life. In this film, we see Miles do his best to make decisions in between the moments. He’s not just trying to go to college, he’s trying to use the time there to change the world. He’s not only looking to fall in love with Gwen, he finds that she’s the only person in the world that he can relate to. It’s not about being Spiderman, it’s not about graduating from school with a good degree – it’s about what those things bring with them. That is how you write your story.
IN CONCLUSION (as I would say in my high school essays) just go watch this film, even at full price, not on a Tuesday. This movie is too good to let up watching in theaters. I can practically guarantee you that this will be the only good Marvel film you’ll watch in the next year because their current line up of films is doodoo. I could almost guarantee you that this will be your favourite film this year. Go get your tickets right now.