Verdict: A soaring proof that too much of Spider-Man can be a good thing.
We’ve seen Spider-Man multiple times on screen now, with each time being a reboot starting fresh from the start. But Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse acknowledges Sam Raimi‘s original trilogy and even The Amazing Spider-Man. Instead of showing us the same old story, it weaves a completely new web. Co-directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman and with the creative minds of Phil Lord and Chris Miller (who were also behind 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie), it’s a completely new take on the most familiar superhero.
What’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse About:
Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is your average 16-year-old whose life is filled with homework, a bit of graffiti, and a little friction within his family. He gets bit by a radioactive spider and when an inter-dimensional portal opens up, he comes to learn that there is more than one Spider-Man. With the help of another dimension’s Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), he has to learn how to be Spider-Man and stop the whole multiverse from collapsing from the collider controlled by Kingpin (Liev Schriber). Joining them is Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) from “another, another dimension”, a black-and-white Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage) who comes from the 1930s, an anime-style Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) who fights with a giant robot, and Spider-Ham (John Mulaney) the pig who was bitten by a spider.
With so many superhero films catering to a wide audience, it’s easy to forget the comic book origins but not with this film. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse dives headfirst into its roots by having an animation style that has the breathless energy of a kid flipping through pages of a comic combined with trippy visuals that set it apart from other superhero films. The hip-hop score with ample record-scratching also helps make the film more modern.
The narrative also manages to tie together a diverse cast of characters. It’s not just limited to the different Spider-Men, Spider-Women, or Spider-Animal. Our central hero Miles has a fully fleshed-out home life with his African-American father (played by Brian Tyree Henry) who is a cop, a Latino mother (Luna Lauren Velez) who is a nurse, and a distant uncle (Mahershala Ali) who has grown apart from the rest of the family. The best part is that none of them fall into standard superhero tropes. Even the different villains make choices that would surprise you. And when our heroes and villains fight, you get to see some of the finest animated fight scenes to ever be on screen.
The comedy in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has been executed brilliantly. The jokes keep delivering right until the literal end of the film (there’s a post-credits scene worth staying back for). There are also plenty of throwbacks for the fans of the previous films. You’ll get to see Aunt May (Lily Tomlin) and Mary Jane (Zoë Kravitz).
What Could’ve Been Better:
The only complaint that we have is that we didn’t get to see enough of the different versions of Spider-Man, which we hope will be corrected with a rightfully deserved sequel.
Why You Should Watch:
Even if you’ve somehow managed to avoid all Spider-Man movies until now, this is the best one yet and that’s why it deserves a watch. It’s a superhero film done right with a central theme that doesn’t lose its path along the way. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will make you fall in love with our friendly neighborhood hero all over again.