Miles Behind: A Spider-Man Fan Film (2022)

Director and Writer Tito Guillen’s short fan film for Miles Morales has a lot of feature film potential. It’s sad that it took so long for Miles Morales to garner his own animated film, but when it comes to feature films I think he could be an icon. That’s proven in “Miles Behind,” Tito Guillen’s tribute to Spider-Man that touches upon very socially relevant topics.

Miles Morales is still trying to find his footing and voice as the new Spider-Man of New York City, while also keeping up with his regular life as a student and son of New York Police Officer Jefferson Davis. An attempted mugging becomes a defining moment for Miles and his father as Spider-Man comes between the New York City Police and Peter, a young man tired of being marginalized and stepped on.

“Miles Behind” is set during the Black Lives Matter movement during a time where the trust for police is still shaky among local citizens. After the death of Spider-Man, citizens don’t know who to trust, and in comes Miles Morales. Miles is more than up for the task, but like Peter Parker, he’s faced with the moral implications of being a masked vigilante. How can he form an uneasy alliance with the authorities when he himself doesn’t trust them? How can they ever trust him if J Jonah Jameson is committed to spreading misinformation about him?

“Miles Behind” is a well realized and sharply filmed action drama that focuses a lot on Miles’ transformation and struggles with being a superhero. Guillen’s direction is small scale, but he makes great use out of the limited scenery creating a larger scope often found in the “Spider-Man” movies. I don’t know how he’s able to bring such interesting shots to life, but he does a great job here. The cast are collectively very good in their roles, including Eb Mensah who is likable as Miles Morales (ace costume work, to boot). I had a good time with what Tito Guillen brought to the forefront here meshing Spider-Man’s world with current social themes. It allowed for a great fan film.

I also appreciate their ambitious final shot. I didn’t think they’d be able to pull it off, but they did.