Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an origin story for Miles Morales. He becomes the Spider-Man for HIS reality, and he crosses paths with other Spider-People from different dimensions to stop an evil that threatens them all.
If you’re reading that on paper, it sounds very risky. This movie could have been a huge mess and a colossal disaster. Sony took a leap of faith with this one, as having a Spider-PIG be an important part of the story is something that could have gone very VERY badly. Introducing something as strange as dimension traveling could have completely backfired. Yet, against all odds, this movie is freaking FANTASTIC.
It’s instantly in my top 5 films for the year and could rise even higher depending on how it sits with me over time. I had a massive smile on my face from start to finish.
Spider-Verse has some of the most beautiful animation I have ever seen in my life, and that’s no exaggeration. The world they are able to craft with this new style of animation is absolutely breathtaking. It’s as if you are watching an actual comic book, there are so many small details that add to this movie’s mesmerizing visuals. You even see little words pop out on the screen when certain things happen, like the word “Thwip” whenever a Spider-Person shoots a web. When people have a thought, it will pop up in a yellow text holder. THIS MOVIE IS LITERALLY A COMIC BOOK!!!
As amazing as the visuals are, they would be wasted if the story wasn’t good. Thankfully, this isn’t the case here, as the story is baller. It finds a way to perfectly have all these Spider-people without it being confusing and without any of them feeling hollow or shoe-horned in. Everyone feels like they belong and have their own things going on, I cared about every single one. Despite all the different spiders, this is still 100% a Miles Morales story.
The entire voice cast is perfect. Shoutouts to Shameik Moore as Miles, Jake Johnson as Peter Parker and Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy.
What puts this movie over the top for me is the sheer amount of heart it has. It has so much fun telling this story with all these different characters, everyone has their own arc that blossoms into important character moments and it all really worked for me.
This movie is often very funny too. None of the jokes are cheap, the humor is smart and hits you quick. A stand out for me was Spider-Man Noir voiced by the legendary Nicolas Cage. Pretty much anything he does or says I was laughing my ass off.
I also want to make it clear that this movie is NOT just for kids. Kids will certainly have fun with its colorful pallet and exciting action sequences, but there is plenty here for adults as well. If anything, this movie actually gets pretty dark at times. For being rated PG, they were able to get away with some very mature themes.
I really appreciated that this film had no boundaries. Something that holds shared universe films back a little bit is that they are to an extent reserved in what they can show or do for continuity purposes. This movie completely throws out the rulebook and embraces the “fuck it” mindset and does whatever it wants, and it’s awesome.
I have but one minor problem, I thought Wilson Fisk (AKA Kingpin) was a bit underdeveloped as a villain. It was awesome to see a bunch of villains in this movie, and Prowler was DOPE, but Fisk was kinda just fine. The rest of the movie is so freaking great that when one thing is just ok it sticks out.
As far as ranking this with the other Spider-Man movies over the years, it’s really tough because this is so vastly different than anything we’ve seen before. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 holds a special place in my heart as my favorite Spider-Man movie, but Spider-verse is such a masterpiece if you ask me in a few weeks I might have a new #1
I absolutely adored this movie and I hope this opens the door for other comic book adaptations to tackle this style of story and animation.
Go and see it, make it ALL THE MONEY!!