Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a great movie with a lot of heart. The only downside to this movie is that it may be hard to buy into if you know next to nothing about Spider-Man. The more you know about the character, the more enjoyable this movie will be. While kids may enjoy this movie, I would argue that this is not primarily a children’s movie. There is murder and death and some real themes going on. Some light spoilers ahead.
Into the Spider-Verse takes place in a world where Spider-Man is twenty-six, beloved and in the prime of his superhero career. Miles Morales is a young teenager in this world about to start high school. After getting bitten by a radioactive spider and gaining spider powers, Miles enters the world of Spider-Man and learns of an entire multiverse of parallel dimensions and different versions of Spider-Man.
The movie primarily follows three plot lines. The first is Miles Morales’ story which involves him learning about what it means to become Spider-Man and growing as a person himself. The second involves and older Peter Parker from an alternate dimension. Older Peter forms a bond with Miles and the two help each other grow. The final main plot line follows the introduction multiple alternate version of Spider-Man. This is the trippy-est part of the movie and introduces Spider-Man with different origin stories, different animation styles, and different universal rules. For instance, Peter Porker is Spider-Ham, a talking pig from a parallel universe where the laws of physics follow the rules of Looney Tunes cartoons. That means anvils falling from the sky and huge mallets that can fit in pockets.
While I loved all parts of the movie, what I loved most is the heart, and that mostly relates to Miles Morales. Miles goes on a journey and discovers who he is as a person and as a Spider-Man.
One of the most striking parts of the film is the visual style. There is a deliberate attempt to make this movie feel like you’re watching a comic book. The animation is a strange use of computer generated effects. The frame rate is slowed to the point that it almost looks like claymation characters filmed on a computer generated background. It’s undoubtedly unique and after spending a few minutes getting used to it, I fell in love with it.
The imagery itself is a work of art. There are plenty of shots that would look great on a desktop wallpaper or on a frame. The ending sequence is some of the most trippy, LSD induced stuff I’ve ever seen. Just colors all over the place. The action scenes are also great and well choreographed.
The music is worth a mention as well. The musical score as well as the licensed, sung music is some of the best I’ve heard in recent memory. When the music swells, it’s hard not to feel hyped. Also, Vince Staples seemingly does some of his best work on superhero movies. His song for this movie and for Black Panther were pretty damn good.
Overall, I loved this movie. There is a real argument that this may be the best Spider-Man movie ever made. Like Homecoming, this movie assumes that the audience has some awareness of who Spider-Man is. If you don’t, you can enjoy the movie, but preexisting Spider-Man fans will get the most out of it. What’s really amazing is that this isn’t a Marvel movie. This awesome movie was made by Sony Pictures… the same company that made The Emoji Movie… unbelievable.