”I don’t like superhero movies!,” I exclaim as I purchase my third ticket for a Sony Pictures in association with Marvel film.
Well, I’m gonna. I saw Into The Spiderverse twice.
Bar the millions and millions it made in the box office, the roaring positive reviews from critics (97% on Rotten Tomatoes!) or indeed the awards it’s sweeping up (including a Golden Globe – beating Wreck It Ralph 2 & the long awaited Incredibles 2 film!), Into The Spiderverse’s real success lies in the audience who watched it.
The idea of a superhero who wasn’t white wasn’t really a pressing issue for me – superheroing was white people business, right?
I think 15 year old me and Miles would have gotten along. Miles Morales is a bilingual, coloured kid who chooses to leave his laces untied and is smarter than the system expects him to be. He’s wearing a hoodie and Jordans when he has his superhero reveal. There’s this beautiful shot during his superhero reveal moment where he finally jumps off a top of a building – decides to take a leap of faith, and he’s falling through the air. The world is upside down, but he’s the right side up.
This isn’t ”black superman”, he’s the right way up. It’s how we’ve looked at it.
Black Spiderman? Woman Spidergirl? Middle aged divorced Spiderman? Anime Spidergirl? Afraid of Emotions Spiderman?!? Illogical Cartoon Spiderman?
Some of it was just beautiful. Spidernoir, done so well by Nick Cage (”I like to drink egg creams and I like to fight Nazis. A lot. Sometimes, I let matches burn down to my fingertips just to feel something. anything.”). The animation was gorgeous. I appreciate the risk it was. It was a comic book in film form, very reminiscent of the Walking Dead games by Telltale Games. The soundtrack. INCREDIBLE. The songs work as stand alone and as a soundtrack. It’s honestly astonishing.
The theatre I watched this in loved the film, both times. The roar of laughter at all of the hilarious moments in the film, the silence at the tension and some random little girl’s ‘Yay!’ after the massive explosion at the end. As the credits roll and ”Elevate” plays, I leave the theatre. And I look around. It’s been a month and a bit. Yet they’re all white folk – 90% of my theatre on my second viewing was white.
The power of this one film hits me. Listen to Black Men Can’t Jump In Hollywood – their Spiderverse episode. To hear grown men so hyped up about a film in their adulthood, I can only imagine the effect Miles had on kids. Also, a hilarious review of the film!
To all the kids who felt out of place, who feel like imposters, as Miles’ dad said, there is that ”spark” in all of us. We’re not imposters, and the traditional systems will make us feel like that. You have to take that leap of faith. It’s a strong and apt message to send.
I’m not black, full disclosure. But I can relate to Miles. Feeling like a hack among the wealthy white, always feeling like you don’t belong – when you get given a role that isn’t typically yours, you feel even more like a hack. Spiderman, this white male – not anymore. Anyone can be Superman. The mask always fits.
Go see the damn movie. Most cinemas are showing it seeing as the Institutions are giving it attention.
Categories: Review? Rant? Who knows?