From Peter Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative geniuses behind The LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street, comes this fresh tale featuring one of the world’s most beloved superheroes.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse follows Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), a teen from Brooklyn struggling to balance family, friends, a demanding school, and – oh yea – being your newest friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man. He doesn’t have many (if any) friends and he’s nervous around girls. He tries to fit in at the uppity private school he attends but is finding it hard pressed to do so. Add in his newly-anointed title of Spider-Man to the list and you have a complicated life for sure. By now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “there can only be one Spider-Man, right?” Not in the Spider-Verse, which bends conventional thought and presents the idea that more than one person can wear the mask.
Where do I begin? I’ll start by saying: wow! The Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature certainly lives up to the hype. From the enthralling story it tells, to its ingenious wit and fast-paced plot unfurl, to its magically groundbreaking animation.
The story is rather simple (and predictable at times) yet enjoyable. We get to see Miles transform not only from a mere human into Spider-Man, we see a personal transformation that transcends dimensions as well. The film is also spot on with its presentation, including several one-liners to inject the perfect amount of comedy. Down to a hilarious post-credits scene that provides clues to a possible sequel. It may or may not even poke fun at this classic Spider-Man cartoon turned Twitter famous GIF.
The film also uses Kingpin as the central villain but goes a bit further than the traditional superhero movie. We discover Kingpin’s motivation for building a machine that opens up several dimensions is not necessarily a bad thing – family.
In keeping with part of Kingpin’s story, Spider-Verse (SPOILER!) flashes back to a time when his wife and son discover him threatening to kill Spider-Man. They find out that Kingpin isn’t who he says he is and leave him, subsequently dying in a car accident. This nugget of information in the film makes Kingpin a villain you almost feel sorry for, in a way. The thought process behind what he does is endearing but his methods are not. Those methods, of course, still make him a formidable adversary.
On to the technical side of things, I’d be terribly mistaken if I didn’t mention the unequivocally stunning animation. It makes it like you jumped right smack dab into the pages of a comic book. I’ve seen plenty of animated films in my time but this is the best, bar none. Absolutely brilliant.
Spider-Verse truly has it all. An entertaining story with a great message, witty humor with plenty of action to keep you on the edge of your seat, as well as a slickly cool soundtrack to accompany it. Even a beautiful tribute to Stan Lee. It’s a breathtaking film that will be remembered for years to come.
My Grade: A+