The Finest Spider-Man Movie Of All Time Is Now Available For Streaming

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse resembles a gourmet khichdi that it might seem like a mess on paper, but each bite is a burst of flavour in your mouth.

2018 witnessed many (some might argue too many) superhero films. It produced our homegrown Bhavesh Joshi Superhero, the release of DC’s (criminally underwhelming) Aquaman, Pixar’s Incredibles 2, the passable Ant-Man & The Wasp and two gigantic MCU releases – Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. And even though it was these last two films that were dominating the conversation around ‘game-changers’, it was an unassuming animated superhero film that came from behind and walked away with the title of the best superhero movie of the year. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse did something Sony Pictures had failed to do since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, it injected freshness into the story of a high school student coming to terms with his superpowers.

It did so with a series of radical decisions. Peter Parker was replaced by Miles Morales, the protagonist of the new-age Spidey comics by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli. Fielding an Afro-Latino protagonist could probably be one of the biggest reasons why the studio chose to make it as an animation instead of a live-action film. And it worked well, because that allowed Sony to employ an estimated 140 animation artists, who practically drew every frame of this 117-minute film. Also, what a sensational statement to make in the same year when Marvel released its first superhero movie with a primary African-American cast.

Spider-Verse even fused the mythology of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s original Spidey characters like Spider-Man Noir (voiced by Nicolas Cage), Spider-Ham/Peter Porker (a pig-version of the character voiced by James Mulaney), Spider-Gwen (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld), Peni Parker (a Japanese anime version of the character voiced by Kimiko Glenn) and of course, Peter B Parker (voiced by Jake Johnson). Introducing the audience to the Spider-Man multiverse is when it finally begins to dawn on us as to why so many directors fixate on this story of a teenager bitten by a radioactive spider. It’s such a masterstroke to ensure representation in an A-list production like this, something its live-action counterparts seemed to be struggling with. Both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s films were primarily Caucasian affairs. It’s an issue that has been addressed only recently in Tom Holland-starrer, Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Even without the aforementioned names, Spider-Verse has some of the finest voice talent like actor/rapper Shameik Moore lending his voice for Miles Morales. Two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali plays the wisdom-spouting uncle, Aaron Davis. Liev Schrieber’s gruff vocals are meant to be the voice of Wilson Fisk/Kingpin, the film’s main antagonist. Spider-Verse recycles tropes of time travel, the ‘leap of faith’ and a pitch-perfect soundtrack to deliver the emotional stakes of this spectacle. All that bling is firmly rooted in a teenage vigilante finding his purpose, and an egomaniac supervillain trying to reverse his grief.

The screenplay for Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse resembles a gourmet khichdi. On paper it might seem like a mess, but each bite is a burst of flavour in your mouth. Some people might find  Spider-Verse exhausting at the end of its running-time of nearly two hours, but that’s probably because it brings together such a mayhem of elements and an audacious vision, with an inclusive cast like this.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime.