Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse review: The best Spidey film of all time
There are plenty of Spider-Men on the silver screen, and while each of them has had their share of successes, it’s about time a new Spidey take charge of New York City. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse truly brings life to the name and symbol of Spider-Man.
It seems like there’s an infinite amount of Spider-Man properties hitting our screens nowadays. Not long ago, we got a Spider-Man video game for the Playstation 4 that quickly became one of the best games of the year. Earlier this year, a scene involving Spider-Man in Avengers: Infinity War became the most quotable scenes in that entire movie, a movie that’s undoubtedly the most popular of 2018. Brazil even got a taste of new Spider-Man: Far From Home footage at this year’s CCXP, making this year the event’s best. And now, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has web-slinged into our theaters.
It’s a wonderful time to be a Spidey fan, because we can safely say that Into the Spider-Verse is, at least for now, the best Spider-Man movie to ever grace our screens. From its impeccable artistic design to its illustrious main characters and marvelous story, Into the Spider-Verse deserves all the accolades.
A New Style of Animation
What makes Into the Spider-Verse stand apart from other animated films is its totally insane visual pallette. It would be an understatement to simply describe the film’s design as a comic book coming to life in 3D animation. There are scenes that play out like a comic book panel, with dialogue boxes popping up here and there, but it’s almost as if the movie changes its style constantly as it goes along, yet without ever feeling out of place or out of sync. This is particularly present when each of the film’s Spider-people are introduced and even more when the dimension-hopping starts to take its course.
Pinpointing exactly how the film looks can be a tad difficult, since there isn’t really any animated movie that comes close. If you can imagine the wonderful animation of Kubo and the Two Strings combined with Loving Vincent’s own masterful animation, then maybe that’s one way of explaining Into the Spider-Verse’s innovative design. General movement and character motions are slick and vibrant, while colors explode off the screen.
And, let’s not forget about the music, score and sound design, which manage to also catch our ears, while the visual magic steals our eyes. In short, Into the Spider-Verse takes all of our senses into maximum overdrive. Seriously, if you end up eating all of your popcorn before the first act, don’t be surprised if you find yourself asking your movie buddy for some extra buttery snacks.
Characters That Bring the Multiverse to Life
While the film’s look and design will leave you in awe, it’s Into the Spider-Verse’s characters that will bring you back in theaters for a second viewing. Peni Parker, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Gwen and the original Peter Parker make up the new team of Spider-people, but it’s Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) who comes up on top as the coolest and most compelling Spider-person. Of course, the movie revolves mainly around him, but it’s easy to digress and delve into many different plots when there are so many characters. Yet, this never happens.
Each character gets their time to shine and even with rather minimal lines of dialogue, they all get to have a voice and quite a number of memorable quotes. Spider-Man Noir (voiced by Nicholas Cage) is one in particular that will leave audiences wanting more. But, Miles is the one whose life we mainly follow and the character who we rapidly connect with. His character alone brings the movie to life. When Sony decides to give Miles his own live-action property, I sure hope Moore gets the chance to once again portray the character.
The film’s main antagonist is Kingpin. Despite his little screen time, the character’s motivations tied back to the story’s main theme of love and family, which made him as interesting as Vincent D’Onofrio’s own portrayal of Wilson Fisk on Netflix’s Daredevil. The Prowler also had a prominent role in the film, though his backstory was never fully covered, only touched upon slightly. Scorpion, Tombstone and the Green Goblin had small roles, but of all of Kingpin’s henchmen, it’s Doc Ock (voiced by Kathryn Hahn) that steals the villainous spotlight.
On Theme and Story
On the surface Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has a pretty generic story that we’ve come to know by now, thanks to the many recent superhero movies and TV shows. Into the Spider-Verse introduces us once more to a sort of particle accelerator that’s able to breach into other dimensions, akin to the CW’s The Flash’s own set of rules. This isn’t new, of course, and didn’t originate with The Flash. But somehow, Into the Spider-Verse makes the familiar plot and story beats feel fresh and interesting.
After all goes wrong and dimensions start to open up and mesh with Miles’s own world, a Peter Parker from what’s supposedly the Tobey Maguire universe (voiced by Jake Johnson) ends up teaching young Morales how to be Spider-Man. From there onward, the other Spider-people start to appear, and by the third act of the film, they work together to stop Kingpin from causing another dimensional breach. Indeed, it’s pretty straight forward, but under this fantastical story lies a deeper tale about family.
Miles’s dad wants him to grow up and experience life, yet doesn’t want Miles near his uncle Aaron, who’s full of uplifting creativity (at least when he’s not under a particular guise). Miles wants to be something greater than himself, but is at times too afraid to trust himself and his intuitions. He wants to be free from his dad’s plans for him, even though Miles’s own plans include the presence of his father. Family and love are a central theme in Into the Spider-Verse and nowhere in the film is it better represented than in the beautiful relationship between Miles and his dad, Jefferson Davis.
There hasn’t been an animated movie like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. From its design to its story and characters, the film is magnificent, never failing to astonish. It’s without a doubt the best Spider-Man movie to ever hit theaters. (Make sure to stick around until the end. The post-credits scene is one you don’t want to miss.)