Written by: Zane Brumley
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is arguably one of the best animated movies of all time. The animation style is unique, beautiful, and mesmerizing as it works well for action, but also draws viewers in for the quieter scenes. The film draws pretty heavily from Spider-Man canon and manages to expertly introduce the Spider-Verse without making it confusing. One of the best points about this film is that it needed to be an animated feature.
RED ALERT! SPOILERS AHEAD!
Spider-Verse opens perfectly by establishing what kind of movie it’s going to be. There are little comic book-like subtitles, Miles Morales is singing along to Post Malone’s “Sunflower,” and it seems like a film about a teenager, not a superhero movie. The strength behind any good Marvel film, especially one about Spider-Man, is not to frame it like a superhero movie, but as a story about a normal person that is bestowed with powers.
The film features a wide range of emotional punches, from the cartoony Spider-Ham randomly having wet hands and a hammer that can fit in any pocket, to Miles’ uncle dying in his arms. For a film aimed at younger audiences, it successfully reaches all audiences. Into the Spider-Verse doesn’t make the same criminal mistakes like The Grinch and miss the point of the characters’ origins. The film draws from multiple sources in the comics and makes them easily accessible to its audience without making the exposition seem like drudging through the mud.
The action is another standout part of Spider-Verse. Due to the animated nature of the film, the animators were able to make the action look more similar to a comic book (for example, the various Spider-People all had the iconic Spider-Sense squiggles around their heads whenever some danger came their way.) The off-the-wall action scenes showed the friendly neighborhood superhero in an all new light. Performed stunts wouldn’t have appeared in live action movies without the use of absurd amounts of CGI (a territory many superhero films have entered in recent times).
Making Miles Morales the protagonist of the film is arguably one of the best choices of the film. It’s made even better by shifting Peter Parker into an older mentor role. This allows for new stories to be told rather than the tired origin story about Uncle Ben’s death (it’s not as bad as Batman’s parents, though).
The cast features six different Spidey peeps, each from a unique alternate universe. The three most well-known, Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and Gwen Stacey, are front-and-center for the film while Spider-Noir, Spider-Ham, and Penny Parker take a backseat as comedic filler.
Into the Spider-Verse succeeds both as a young adult film and as a superhero film. Everything about the film is top notch and I couldn’t recommend it enough. This is the perfect film for all those web-heads out there. I’m sure Sony will be wiping out sequels and spinoffs to this animated feature for the next few years.