PG: Mild science fiction themes, animated violence and coarse language
So right off the bat, I’m going to admit that I am a huge fan of Spider-Man. He is hands down my number 1 favourite superhero. That comes with 2 problems when reviewing a Spider-Man film. The first is that I am so biased towards loving the character and everything surrounding him that I am willing to overlook imperfections and flaws much more readily than with other films or characters. The other issue, which might appear to be in direct contrast to this first issue, is that I am also often extremely critical of how a Spider-Man is portrayed in its comic accuracy. It’s a bit of a catch 22, but that’s just me.
Having said all that, here is what I thought of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Simply put, I loved It. This is the kind of movie about Spider-Man I have really been waiting for since I first started reading his comics and watching the movies. There is a lot to unpack, but after the credits rolled, I knew that this was the best Spider-Man story/film I had seen.
The animation is something so beautiful that it can have so much happening at once, yet still look visually gorgeous. The artwork looks like it has been directly lifted from a comic-book. With impressive designs of various characters, both the Spider team, the villains and the characters in between, it instantly captured my attention and held it. With such vivid animation and colours, it really gave me the kind of vibe they were going for.
The humour of the film is also something I admire. It doesn’t try to downplay to its audience and instead works a lot of really clever jokes and gags into the story that all ages should be able to understand and enjoy. The timing of these is also perfect, lending itself to keep the laughter coming. There are even some subtle jokes towards the Spider-Man comics and films which are a nice touch for long time fans. The film also employs use of a couple of memes without appearing cringey because it feels very natural. Spider-Man is a riot, but with more Spider-People than you can shake a stick at, it also makes each character stand out with their own style of humour.
The characters are also very well-crafted with simple origin stories flung across the screen with both an ease in storytelling, so we’re not bogged down by the nuanced things. Miles Morales is by far the best stand-out character. His teenage life feels really real and the struggles he goes through of becoming ‘Spider-Man’ are vastly greater because there are multiple proficient Spider-Men who are just better, thus pushing him to the side when the going gets tough.
Peter Parker, and Gwen Stacy are also fantastic characters of both tragedy and heart. No-one here feels too silly or too serious and they all blend well together.
Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham and SP//dr are also fantastic additions to the Spider-Man lore for casual movie goers. While they might all share similar back stories of tragedy, triumph and responsibility, they are vastly different in their humour and characterisations. While minor additions, they are a lot of fun and honestly, seeing more Spider-Men on the big screen is just fantastic for fans of each of their characters.
In a similar vein, the voice acting that went into each character is phenomenal and really brings to life each character as unique and varied, despite many we have seen before.
The villains are also very entertaining, with a few small twists to shake things up and keep the viewer guessing. While the main villain is Kingpin (who looks absolutely massive), the best villain is, by far, The Prowler and not just for reasons which are shown later in the film, but also because the musical score for his character is a terrifying piece which adds another layer to his character. (Fun fact, the sound they used is that of an elephant’s trumpet which has been distorted).
Admittedly there are quite a few villains in this film and it can feel a little bloated with roughly 6 heroes and 6 villains, however the film keeps the focus on Miles, Peter, Gwen, Kingpin and the Prowler and these five characters help keep everything from becoming too hard to follow.
Story-wise, it also keeps things fresh and exciting with multiple dimensions, a credible villain motive and new and fascinating characters, it keeps you hooked for the entire time. It doesn’t get bogged down with lots of exposition and keeps things moving for both plot and character developments so that at the end everything feels justified.
The soundtrack and score of the film are also rich with new songs and brilliant mixes. The soundtrack is a clear stand out with the originality of its music. It was so good I bought it and listened to it non-stop for 2 weeks.
It’s such a fun time, and you should definitely watch the after credits for a nice little surprise. Capturing the true essence of what it means to be Spider-Man and the introduction of multiple Spider-Men characters sets this film apart from the rest of the Spider-Man films as my all-time favourite (so far!). Can’t wait to see what comes next for the animated adventures of Miles Morales and the Spider-Verse!
I rate this film, Amazing, Spectacular and Astonishing. 9 stars out of 10.