Review: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse12th February 2019
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is a unique film in several regards. For starters, it’s the first theatrically released animated Spider-Man film. It’s also the first film in the Spider-Man franchise to star Miles Morales as the main Spider-Man.
But, is it actually any good? Is it, pardon the pun, the ultimate Spider-Man movie? Let’s a take a dive into the film and find out.
Into The Spider-Verse certainly succeeds in its goals stylistically: it’s one of the best looking animated features I’ve ever seen.
Somehow, every single style it attempts throughout its two hour runtime works and meshes together perfectly. Each separate Spider-Man has its own style, such as the fact Spider-Man Noir’s entire aesthetic is fully black and white, and Peni Parker is stylised as a Japanese Anime.
Somehow, Chris Lord and Phil Miller manage to turn what could have potentially been a superhero film with average, forgettable animation into an unforgettable masterpiece. It makes one wonder what the intended Miller and Lord Solo: a Star Wars story could have been, if they had been given the creative freedom they craved.
Plot wise, it’s one of the best superhero films I’ve ever had the pleasure of viewing. Without getting too deep into spoilers, here’s a brief synopsis:
Miles Morales is a student in Brooklyn, and he gets bitten by a radioactive spider. He then watches his version of Spider-Man, played by Chris Pine, die in front of his eyes, but not before making Miles promise him that he’ll destroy a particle accelerator before it destroys the entirety of Brooklyn and, possibly, the entire multiverse.
However, Miles isn’t going to be alone in this task: several other versions of Spider-Man have torn through the edges of the multiverse and have found themselves in Miles’ reality. There’s Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Gwen, Peni Parker, Spider-Ham and Peter B Parker.
The characters are played wonderfully by their respective actors. Nicholas Cage puts in one of his most understated performances to date as Spider-Man Noir; Jake Johnson makes for a wonderful Peter B Parker, managing to capture the essence of Spider-Man while also showing what emotional trauma and experience can do to a person.
Shameikh Moore is THE Miles Morales, encapsulating everything the character is about, the responsibility of age and the consequences that come with your actions. Hailee Steinfeld portrays Spider-Gwen with ease and really shows herself off as one of the up-and-coming stars of our generation.
Kimiko Glenn is also a wonderful Peni Parker and Mahershala Ali a particular highlight among the villains as the ultimate universe’s Prowler.
Visually, the film is completely and utterly gorgeous. It’s animated in such a style that it looks like a comic book, even more so than other animated features. Yet, it never once falls into the trap of concentrating on style over substance.
Though it’s certainly a beautiful film, it never skimps on the emotional aspects of the story, nor the humour (Yes, this is a very funny film). It’s a wonderful feat that Miller and Lord have achieved.
Overall, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is a magnificent achievement, a movie that completely reinvigorates the superhero genre and helps cement Superhero films as here to stay for a good while to come.