Never have I seen a film like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The animation style is like nothing I had ever seen before. It’s so exciting and refreshing, yet hard to describe. It looks a little like the creators took inspiration from the style in A Scanner Darkly, made it a whole lot better and then gave it some comic book and graffiti art embellishments. I didn’t see the film in 3D, it’s not my preference, but I bet it would work great, especially how some images that are supposed to be out of focus have a 3D style on them. Like I said, it’s so hard to describe the visual brilliance of this film, so I highly suggest you run out to the theaters and see it.
This fun, kid friendly Spider-Man movie focuses on a young teen from Brooklyn, Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore). Though he’s a bright kid at a new fancy school, he focuses on his graffiti style art, slapping stickers where he thinks his dad, a cop, won’t notice. His uncle is more encouraging of his art. After Miles is bitten by a strange spider and given super powers he freaks out and runs into Spiderman who is trying to shut down this crazy, huge inter dimensional portal blaster collider thingy. Before he can, Spider-Man DIES! (I know, right?) And leaves Miles with the task to shut the portal collider down for good. But Miles is just a kid who doesn’t know how to use his powers yet. Thankfully, that portal gun opened up a few other dimensions and brought other Spider-people into his universe. They’ll have to work together to destroy the portal collider.
Of all the Spider-Man movies I’ve seen (which is all in the past 20 years except the Andrew Garfield one), this is the most fun, charismatic and visually striking. Miles is such a relatable kid that we love him throughout his whole origin story. I think the older-sadder-sweatpants wearing Spider-Man is a great addition for laughs and keeps adults more invested. Spider-Gwen adds some girl power. And when dark and angsty Spider Noir (Nicholas Cage), Looney Tunes inspired Spider-Ham and anime style Peni Parker come in, they work together to well for being so hilariously different. I loved the running rubix cube joke.
I took my four year old son to see Spider-Man around Christmas and realized during the film that I had taught him nothing about Spider-Man. Just another one of my many parental shortcomings. However, my kid was not lost, in fact he came home excited to tell his father all about Spider-Man. (“Did you know Spider-Man got super ‘cause a rainbow spider bited him?!”) Though I think some of the story was over his head, he enjoyed it, wasn’t afraid of anything and it kept his attention. And can I say it is so refreshing to take my little kid to a superhero movie that isn’t Disney? Thank you Marvel!
But the thing that makes Spider-Verse so great is the way it shows us that anyone can be behind the mask. With infinite spider-verses, there are so many chances to be the hero. The fact that this story focuses on an African-American Puerto Rican kid from Brooklyn is wonderful and I’m so happy that my little boy gets to see so much diversity in film at an early age.
The Oscar nominations are mere weeks away from being announced and I can feel my spidey senses tingling for this film, especially after the Golden Globes win. The animation here is so unique, cool, colorful and fun for all ages I can feel myself taking a leap of faith and saying this film will absolutely be nominated for best animated feature. Will it win animated feature? Honestly, I hope so.
“That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.”