Get immersed in the Spider-Verse. A joyous journey that is filled with laughs, a ton of heart and some flawless animation.
“Miles Morales becomes the Spider-Man of his reality and crosses paths with his counterparts from other dimensions”
We all know the Peter Parker origin story by now. Since 2002 we have gotten three different iterations of the character. “With great power, comes great responsibility,” you know, that old chestnut. Peter is bitten by a radioactive spider, his Uncle Ben dies in the streets of New York City, web swinging ensues. We have all seen it so many times, it can become quite tiresome at this point. Well, what if I told you, the latest animated movie from Sony has not one but 6 different Spider-Man origin stories. Makes your head want to explode, yes? Well, again what if I told you, that each origin story is hilarious and pulled off so seamlessly, that it makes you wish you got a few more. Heading into Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, I went in pretty blind. I decided not to look too much into this movie, because, at this point in my life, I’m getting tired of knowing every single nook and cranny before I even see the movie. I’m here to report that the less you know going in, the better off you will feel watching this sure-fire Oscar winner for
So Spider-Verse tells the story of Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) a kid growing up in Brooklyn and trying to discover where he fits in. You see Miles has just enrolled in a new school, where he feels like he doesn’t belong. He has a hard time connecting with the kids at his school and an even harder time connecting with his father Jefferson Davis (Brian Tyree Henry), who happens to be on the New York Police Force. Miles finds comfort in his Uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali) because they share the same interest and he lets Miles be himself when he’s around. Uncle Aaron and Jefferson are no longer on speaking terms and they don’t see eye-to-eye on how Miles should be brought up. Now when Uncle Aaron takes Miles to a secret location in one of the New York Subway stations so he can do some of his incredible graffiti work, that’s where he gets bitten by a pesky radio-active spider. You see in Miles’s reality there is already a Spider-Man, Peter Parker, who at this point has been suiting up for 8 years. He tries to learn how to become Spider-Man and do Spider-Man like things through comics, which is a hilarious gag on its own. But it’s simply not enough, he needs to learn from the man himself.
That’s all I’m really going to say about the plot of the movie because anything else just goes into spoiler territory and I already mentioned how nice it is watching this and being completely unaware of anything story related. What I can say about the actual story of the film is how flushed out it is. How character-driven it is and how impressed I was with the story-telling at hand. This is by far the most comic-bookie Spider-Man movie ever made. In certain moments it’s literally a comic book coming to life, with comic book texts appearing on the screen. Everything going on within the Spider-Verse so was well executed that it makes you wonder how long it must have taken to create something like this. It’s got incredible action sequences, top-notch humor, I’m talking the whole entire theatre is laughing, I can’t recall one joke falling flat. Again, that is an aspect in movies that sometimes gets overlooked. Not a single aspect of this entire film falls short of expectations, I can’t recall a movie in 2018 that checks every box like Spider-Verse.
A ton of the credit needs to go to the just perfect voice casting. Jake Johnson (Peter Parker), Chris Pine (Peter Parker), Nic Cage (Spider-Man Noir), John Mulaney (Spider-Ham), Hailee Steinfeld (Gwen Stacy) and Kimiko Glenn (Penni Parker), all of these voice actors do such a bang-up job. At its core, it’s what keeps the movie always feeling fresh and alive. Because there are so many great voices happening, and I even left out a few. They all bring their own flair and attitude to their respected roles, and it really keeps you invested. They didn’t just cast certain actors or actresses, they cast these people because of their voices. It’s just not them doing voices, there’s a difference, and ultimately that plays such a large role in taking animation from good to great. Much like Batman The Animated Series, where the voices in that show carried the show, the voices in Spider-Verse carry the movie.
Overall, I would love to really dive deep into everything, but that would ruin a great experience. Maybe I’ll write more on this movie at a later date because this is a film I would like to see again. But the animation alone is worth the price of admission, it’s a 3D movie I actually enjoyed sitting through. It’s the best Spider-Man movie since Spider-Man 2. I think at the end of the day, it’s easier to do things in animation then it is for live-action, but the actual story-telling is some of the very best, like in any comic book movie. I believe Spider-Man 2 is just the slightest bit better, but that is taking away nothing from Spider-Verse. I’m still taking everything in, and the more I think about it and even sitting down to write this review, I can’t think of one flaw in the entire movie. King Pin the villain was terrific and why he is being bad, actually makes sense and they really go into his character which I liked. In certain moments you are actually sympathizing with him, and whenever a film is able to make you feel for the villain, in my mind, that is the mark of a truly great one. This is without question the can’t miss movie of the holiday season, it has stuff for adults like myself, but it’s made for the younger audiences. The thing I liked the most about it, was how they made you wait for Miles to become a “Superhero.” Often in these movies, the hero will get their powers and the next day they know how to do everything, that’s not the case here. Those things take time, becoming a hero takes time. All the credit in the world to Phil Lord who wrote the screenplay and Bob Persichetti and Peter Ramsey who directed it. They clearly know these characters and put such a nice refreshing take on the Spider-Man story. This whole thing doesn’t work without a creative a great new story, because we have all seen this too many times already. So hats off to those three men and everyone involved for making this masterpiece.
Check ya later.
Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse = 100/100