In 2014, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was released, and audiences quickly began feeling fatigue towards the webslinger. At the time, it was the 5th Spider-Man movie in 12 years, and the quality was waning with each entry. In 2015, though, Sony executives (who, at the time, had the rights to make films with Spider-Man in them) met up with Disney/Marvel executives, and the group came to a deal, wherein Sony could still make Spider-Man themed movies, but the character was now allowed to hang out with the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy in Disney’s MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). The result of this deal, on Disney’s side, has been with his appearances in Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Avengers: Infinity War. Spider-Man was officially “back”. Sony, on the other hand, has only released Venom and, the film we’re talking about today, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
I had heard about this movie mutually. I am a big fan of the directing duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The two of them have directed some amazing films, like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The LEGO Movie, and the 21 Jump Street films. They have become a staple in comedy, and each project they’re attached to is something I will see, no question. When I heard that Sony was making an animated film about Miles Morales as Spider-Man, with Lord and Miller attached, the film became one of my most anticipated films of 2018.
Into the Spider-Verse, is somewhat complicated for an animated “children’s” film. Miles Morales lives in a universe where Spider-Man is the person that always save the day. Miles eventually stumbles upon the infamous spider, that infected Peter Parker, and is bitten, giving him webslinging abilities. Through a freak accident, caused by the villain, Kingpin, a portal is opened, throwing multiple Spider-People, from multiple different dimensions and universes, into Miles’ universe. There, all of these heroes need to figure out how to stop Kingpin and return home to their own universes.
This unique plot is accompanied by some of the best computer animation ever put on the silver screen (slightly behind the brilliant effects in The LEGO Movie). The animation style is, what I call “graphic novel character design meets Pixar 3D”. The originality fits this unconventional story perfectly, by letting the audience know that it’s unlike anything they’ve ever seen. It legitimately feels like a comic book has jumped out of the pages and onto the screen.
I literally loved almost every second of this film. This is one of the funniest films I have seen all year. It’s not just funny for people who are fans of comic books, because that would make general audiences feel isolated from the comedy of the film. Similar to Deadpool, it offers up enough general, dialogue, and character driven humor, that anyone can walk into this film and laugh.
One of this film’s directors is named Peter Ramsey. He previously directed the cult classic, Rise of the Guardians, another team-based, animated action film. You can easily draw parallels between the two, and his flair works perfectly with this Spider-Team. The action is also filmed and portrayed beautifully (very similar to Guardians). It’s clear that Ramsey has developed a perfect blend of storytelling that mixes action and heart.
The film is not perfect, though. The two minor complaints I have with the film are with the music, and Miles’ costume. There were new, original songs by Post Malone and Jaden Smith.
Personally, I felt like they were very out of place, and unnecessary to the film. I’m not a big fan of adding music into films just to attract people to buy the soundtrack. It’s a cheap gimmick used by movie companies, and it needs to stop. In regards to Miles’ costume, I would just warn you to not get your hopes too high. The attire you see him wear in the trailers and posters is only in the final scenes of the movie, so don’t expect Miles to be wearing the cool suit for the entire runtime.
Into the Spider-Verse is an amazing film that perfectly captures the heart and innocence of the character of Spider-Man. The character embodies hope, empathy, and heroism in the face of all obstacles, and Miles encapsulates that perfectly. It’s the perfect movie to take your family to this holiday, and one that needs to be seen on the big screen. Due to it’s multi-layered, 3D imagery, I would not recommend that you see this film in 3D, because it would most likely hurt your eyes and take away from the intended look of the animation. I am looking forward to see what adventure Miles, and the rest of the Spider-People, take in the future.