December 14, 2018

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is in theaters on December 14th, 2018.

"With great power comes great responsibility" and in this case, Sony has a responsibility to not over-saturate this franchise with another origin story. I'm happy to report that they succeeded with a fresh take on an familiar story. Not only is it the best animated movie, it is also the best superhero movie of the year.

Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) is a half-Puerto Rican and half-African-American teenager who is struggling to adjust to his new boarding school and live up to the expectations of his parents. His father, (Brian Tyree Henry) wants what's best for him and worries that his brother might be a bad influence on him. After MIles hangs out with his Uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali) in an abandoned subway station he gets bit by a radioactive spider and you know the rest. A situation arises where a transdimenional potal opens up and several spider-people show up.

As an origin story, it hits all the appropriate beats and then some, allowing Miles Morales to be highly sympathetic and likeable. What I liked is that he doesn't know how to use his new abilities right away but the character arcs don't end there. Peter B. Parker is at his most vulnerable and relatable here. While some of it is played for laughs, there's still heavy moments of emotion in which we've never seen from Parker before. Oh yeah, the movie is shockingly emotional when you least expect it. The rapid fire humor tricks you into thinking this will mostly be a light and fun Spider-Man flick, but in the core of this thing, it's about duality. We also got to see the origin story in all sorts of fun new ways, seeing how 6 different spider-people all become the same hero.

The voice work is, unsurprisingly, excellent. Shameik Moore sells the eagerness and joy of Miles perfectly, and is absolutely infectious and charming throughout, especially during his scenes with Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson) and Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld). Steinfeld continues to impress me with her work, creating a fun and deadpan but still likable character. We also see Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), and Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn).

The animation style is absolutely beautiful. It has this cool glitchy effect and at times, I thought I was watching a film in 3D, except without the glasses. It felt like I was flipping through the pages of a comic book and watching it come to life in every possibly way. The colors blend both realism and a touch of live-action with a beautiful fluidity and energy. Not only are the visuals stellar, but everything is just as amazing. The animation is super energetic yet also catches the subtle nuances in human expression that makes the emotional beats hit hard, and the emotional beats are some of the most well done in an animated movie that has to juggle this much.

This movie so properly captures everything that is so important to the character of Spider-Man. Character development is so well-written and it all lands so gracefully. The drama doesn’t trip up between all the comedic beats and one-liners. It also plays around with the different universes thing so effortlessly.

'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' was pure joy from start to finish. A beautiful, funny, and heartfelt ode to an iconic character, and a labor of love dedicated to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. This was worth the hype. Definitely check it out, and stay until the very end, for a mindblowing end-credit scene.

Rating: 5 out of 5

WillWill (Contributor) has called many places home but now resides in Michigan. An Air Force veteran and avid movie goer who enjoys indie movies just as much as major blockbusters. He is also a technology enthusiast.
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