Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse swings in to close out 2018 with a movie of the year contender. The film hit me with so much awesomeness in two hours, I wasn’t sure whether to call for help or someone to watch it with again.
The story centers on NY teenager Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) who gets wrapped up in a battle to save the city – and even the universe – as other heroes like him team up to fight against its destruction.
I’ve been weary of the film as it has a long development history and comes from the company that made The Emoji Movie. Sorry to remind you that exists. Anyway, Spider-Verse has been treated as “the other side thing” while Homecoming got all the attention.
The little movie nobody believed in smashes Homecoming down to size by showing why this is MOTY contender with sharp writing, gorgeous visuals, and a soundtrack that will be in rotation for a long time.
You get a spider and you get a spider!
Characters here feel genuine; not like they’re reading from a script. This is not only because of all the actors knocking it out the park but also due to the writing.
All the web-heads from other universes like Spider Gwen have their standout moments and add unique flavors to this movie that are a welcome mix.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller (22 Jump Street, Lego Movie) have their hands in this as writer and producers. Hilarious dialogue and character interactions are trademarks of their films. Another specialty of theirs appearing here in spades is heart.
The stakes, the people, and the world feel so real and developed. You care what happens to these people and their problems. You connect with them on such a level that when they get hurt a bruise might appear on your body.
You can see the love that went into every single frame of this movie. The animation had me feeling like it was 4th of July with all the action and colors.
Almost every frame is a moving art piece that can be hung in galleries. The film is simply beautiful, ditching a more realistic approach for something that visually assaults the senses. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse has a very unique look that sets it apart from anything else before it and whatever will come after.
The soundtrack is what Miles would rock to before swinging fists first onto New York’s baddies. It’s lit, it’s spiffy, or whatever simile you would use for awesome. “What’s Up Danger” makes we want to go fight crime… in the PS4 game.
Fighting criminals in real life is how you get yourself Uncle Ben’d. I’ve seen what happened to Uncle Ben 1000 times now, so I’m not trying to become a verb or be spoken about in past tense.
Anyhow, the tunes playing throughout are based on what Miles would listen to and I gotta say his tastes aren’t too bad. I came close a couple times to breaking out in dance before remembering it’s called AMC Theaters and not Club AMC.
Classic villains get fresh designs here that made me go, “Huh, why hasn’t this been done yet?” Then, they take those same personalities and give them a twist while keeping their cores unchanged.
The plot is original, too, taking important points from Miles’ origin and streamlining it to fit in one cohesive narrative. Peter and Miles’ dynamic is a treat to watch as their banter often had me cracking up.
Their arcs are gratifying as they go through peaks and lows. Over the course of the film their morals are tested as loved ones die and the narrative goes to dark places. It never stays there too long as Spider-Verse knows to leave the brooding to DC.
Miles witnesses some major deaths and tries to talk to his parents about it but can’t. It is a heart-wrenching scene as we watch our hero break down by himself. Peter has been Spider-Man for a long time and is burnt out as it has destroyed his personal life. Spider-Verse Peter is heavily implied to be the same from the 2000’s Raimi flicks.
This pessimistic Peter is a nice change from the happy-go-lucky nerd version we’ve seen for years. A grizzled veteran teaching the young rookie could be played out but as with everything else here, the film excels in making it work.
Emo Parker is how we all act when having to train the newbie after spending years at a B.S. job; he can’t even, he just can’t. This may be the day he quits and leaves saving the city to Squirrel Girl.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse marks a new era
There are some films where I’m so bored I could tell you how many arm hairs I have. Spider-Verse is definitely not that as there was never a moment I looked at my watch since my eyes were so locked to the screen.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse not only visually raises the bar for animated films, but also every other aspect. From the sharp as nails writing to the heart-pumping tunes, everything is executed with near perfection.