Hot Takes are student-written reviews of relevant books (especially books in the library of the Bible), movies, shows, events, technology, and anything interesting or important to students (13-17 years of age). Usually light-hearted, each piece is all about developing a Biblical worldview, increasing Biblical literacy, and supplementing student ministries.
“Put down those tired old web-shooters and put the power of the multi-verse in the palm of your hand!”
This highly anticipated sequel to Marvel’s Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse spins a tale that captures fans across the world in its vibrant storytelling, so hold on tight!
If you’re spider-sense is tingling, it’s because there are spoilers ahead!
“Let’s do things differently this time. So differently…”
-Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld)
Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), our beloved and animated Spider-man, once again struggles with his place and identity in his increasingly complicated every day life. Reuniting with his cross-dimensional crush, Gwen Stacy, Miles finds out that his identity is far more complicated than he could have possibly imagined – and it might even be all his fault.
To be fair, like our friendly neighborhood Spider-man, nobody is spotless or without their share of mistakes and the Apostle Paul reminds us that we all slip up and fall short sometimes.
“… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”
For Miles, missteps from events in the first movie carry over and create a new and nasty super-foe, the Spot (Jason Schwartzman). This former scientist turned sometimes silly psychopath couldn’t make it any more black and white that he blames Miles for turning him into a monster.
Now, it’s up to a wide-array of Spider-People to try and stop the Spot from destroying everything and everyone before it’s too late. Sadly, the simplicity of this task is tangled up in the various sad stories and “canon events” of our many Spider-heroes.
In this way, Across the Spider-verse does an incredible job of challenging us to take a closer look at some of the choices we’ve made and secrets we’ve kept from those closest to us, including ourselves.
“Sorry, I can’t talk right now, thinking about my past.”
-Scarlet Spider (Andy Samberg)
For the Spider-Society leader, Miguel, the answer is clear – Miles is the problem and should have never become a Spider-man in the first place.
What if what we have done and what’s been done to us was never supposed to happen?
What if our mistakes are proof that we are nothing more than a walking-talking mistake?
“Bad things are gonna happen; it makes us who we are.
But good things are gonna happen too.” -Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson)
Over and over again in the history of God’s people, we are reminded that our mistakes do not define us nor will they ever defeat us. Speaking through another flawed hero of the faith named Jeremiah, God tells the exiled Israelites,
“I will come to you and fulfill My good promise to bring you back… For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:10b-11
Thankfully, as Christians, we can stick to this truth.
So while Across the Spider-verse flies high in entertainment and ecstatic storytelling, we must remember that what God can do in our lives on this Earth is only as limited by our mistakes as we allow it to be…