Spider-Man has seen a lot of awesome stuff this year, what with the new PS4 game, Infinity War and a bunch of interesting story arcs in the comics. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse exploded when it was announced, fans went nuts seeing a brand new animated Spidey film.
I was one of those fans.
So a quick lesson for any who may have somehow missed comic book culture becoming huge in the public eye again: Marvel has an exceedingly complicated multi-verse where there are more alternate dimensions, timelines, and universes than Disney has soul-less executives, but they do and here we are!
The Spider-Verse is one of the more well-received storylines that explores a compilation of different Spider-people across a multitude of different timelines, they collide in a dimension-hopping escapade, culminating in a battle for the survival of all Spider-people. The arc was a huge success due in part to the introduction of Spider-Gwen (my personal favorite), Miles Morales, Peter Porker, Silk and an expansive cast of other unique but fundamentally similar characters. So it was only natural that either a series or a movie was going to happen and let me tell you; Hot damn am I glad it did!
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is without a doubt the best Spider-Man movie to be released thus far. I loved Spider-Man: Homecoming as much as the next webhead, but Into the Spider-Verse has it beat, hands, arms, legs and toes – down! From start to finish the movie is the perfect balance of comedy and gravity that we have come to love and expect from the Marvel franchise. The comedic genius throughout rivals that of Deadpool and the moments of gravity are in the same ballpark as Logan.
The movie knows what it’s about and delivers on it perfectly; The character introductions are enough to tell us who is who and why without being obnoxious. Miles is inexperienced, Peter B. is down on his luck, Gwen is badass and Noir is all grimdark and broody. The characters are introduced in mockery of their backstories, but let’s be honest, we’ve all heard it a thousand times by now! It all comes together and works great to create a really cohesive and wholesome cast and story.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is also very self-aware, making numerous hilarious references to some of the more comical moments in Spider-Man‘s history…mainly Spider-Man 3. Moments like those would be awful in any other movie but thanks to the multi-verse and dimension hopping focus of the movie, they can fit right in here. Into the Spider-Verse has something for all fans, young and old, across all of Spider-Man’s career and story.
Of course this being an animated movie, the animation and style are a huge focus. They’re also a huge and resounding triumph. The animation is crisp, clean, clinical and given the nature of the action sequences, that’s no mean feat! There are often so many characters involved and so much happening on screen that if it wasn’t for the masterfully done animation work, it would be impossible to follow! Not to mention the incredible artistic style that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is done in; it is utterly unique but draws it’s inspirations and roots from each of the individual character’s home designs as well as throwing its own charm and character over everything too!
The result is an awesome blend of all the best features that make every scene really pop out from the screen. The clever used of comic-style textures, filters and focusing is amazingly well suited to the film, enhancing action sequences beautifully. As far as graphical styles go, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse encompasses everything Spider-Man in a new and unique way, while still remaining true to its sources, staying familiar at the same time!
As with any movie, the soundtrack is a big part of the experience; A powerful and moving scene can often be left flat by a poor scoring or weak background track that is ill-suited to the moment. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse doesn’t suffer from a moment of weakness and especially not because of its soundtrack. The orchestral scoring is immaculate, packing that little extra gravitas into a deep and emotional scene, but also lending its strength to our on-screen heroes as they punch, kick and flip their way through the obstacles and enemies.
Not to mention the amazing track selection for the web-slinging montages and action scenes that require something a little more light-hearted but no less punchy! Marvel movies often end up sending a shiver down my spine thanks in-part to their music selections, to which Into the Spider-Verse is no exception! Not only did I feel the customary shiver, but I left the theatre feeling charged, inspired and like I could conquer the world!
Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has its issues. One issue really, and while the dialogue and character interactions were amazingly well done, the story wasn’t exactly original. Perhaps having recently played Spider-Man PS4 where Peter becomes something of a mentor to a young and powerless Miles, the whole experienced team not having faith in the rookie thing didn’t seem as fresh. That being said, the story was very well written and honestly the best possible version of a cinematic adaptation of the Spider-Verse story arc we could have hoped for!
The movie didn’t get bogged down in explaining every intricate detail, it introduced the characters, got them together and let them get on with solving the problem. Being a Marvel movie (if owned and branded by Sony at every opportunity) it’s full of all the classic references and tropes we’ve grown to expect but has lost none of the impact or charm!
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a new and refreshing take on a none-too-old story arc with some amazing results. Normally someone starts clapping at the end of a movie I shake my head and carry on looking for my bag under the seat, but having experienced what can only be described as a masterwork in animation and comic book movies, I admit even I clapped. The entire audience did. The movie wasn’t just good, it was great. It wasn’t just funny, it was hilarious. It went above and beyond to be the Spider-Man movie we didn’t know we needed or wanted. Tom Holland is doing an amazing job as Spider-Man in the main MCU, but Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, and Hailee Steinfeld gave stellar performances for their given Spider-heroes.
As I’ve said, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is full of references and throwbacks to all walks of Spidey history, there’s even a couple of the PS4 Spider-suits thrown into the mix aswell. The story of 6 very different Spiders coming together in order to get themselves home was spectacularly well done. The movie didn’t just leave me charged up and energetic, but it reminded me of all the reasons why I love Spider-man, comic books and superheroes all over again!
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse isn’t just a superior Spider-Man movie, it’s the best. It may not be the best movie ever made, but stars above it should be up there as a contender! The Christmas period is upon us, give your loved one a gift they will undoubtedly praise you for and take them to see this film! It’s not just everything we wanted, but everything we dreamed a Spider-Man movie could be!