Movie Review: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Spoilers!)

When the trailer to this movie first came out, it got my attention because of the unique animation style as it made it feel like as if it was ripped out The of the actual pages of a comic book. Aside from this, I was eager to finally get to know the character of Miles Morales (Shameik Moore); how they would handle the characterization of an older, more cynical Peter Parker (Jake Johnson); and how they would showcase the other Spiderpeople that would be present in the movie. In the end, this movie not only exceeded my expectations, but it had a lot of heart, great animation, made me want to get into the Spider-Verse as well, and is probably my second favorite Spiderman film of all time after Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 2”.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” was directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey,and Rodney Rothman; with a screenplay written by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman; and with a story by Phil Lord.

Image Source: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse Facebook

The animated movie focused on Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), a smart teenager whose relationship with his father is a bit strained, and who feels a bit alone as he doesn’t quite fit in the new prestigious high school he just started attending. However, one day, he gets bitten by a radioactive spider and gets powers just like Spiderman, a hero whom he looks up to. At the same time, a strange event occurs causing parallel worlds to combine and certain Spiderpeople to get displaced from their own respective universes. Miles ends up gaining a reluctant mentor in an older, more cynical version of Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), and ends up teaming up with the other Spiderpeople, while trying to find his own self and while figuring out his newfound powers.

Image Source: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse Facebook

One of the biggest draws of this movie was its unique animation style, which worked out well, and which was consistent all throughout the film. It really did feel like it was ripped out from the pages of a comic book, with character’s thoughts placed in yellow boxes with text and comic book style sound effects during fight scenes. This style of animation worked especially well with the type of action that they were going for. Also, I absolutely loved the soundtrack!

With so many new characters being introduced at the same time, one of the bigger worries was that it would get too overcrowded, not everyone would be used equally, and that it would overshadow the main plot. Thankfully, the movie didn’t fall into that pit fall with the other Spiderpeople, and each one stood out just as much as the other without the main story arcs surrounding Miles and Peter getting overshadowed. I would be very much interested in seeing them team up again in the future, and I am looking forward to seeing spin-off movies focusing on some of these characters as well. (Also, Spider Noir had me laughing every time he spoke, and I loved how they made Peni Parker have the anime expressive eyes that we are used to seeing in anime).

The main core of the story was on the shoulders of Miles and Peter, and the characterization, depth and attention given to these characters was well done. These were two fully realized characters whose story arcs ran parallel to each other and had satisfying conclusions when it came full circle.

My only nitpick here was that the villains weren’t as compelling as I wanted them to be, and Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) was a little bit one note, but it didn’t take anything away from the movie itself.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” is a great movie, a great animated film, and probably the best comic book film of the year for me- and yes, even better than “Avengers: Infinity War”. This movie had great heart, depth; managed to balance the many new characters it had without it overshadowing the main core of the story; and managed to balance humor and action without it becoming too overwhelming at the same time. It was truly a one of a kind experience that one truly needs to experience for themselves in the cinema.

Now, you know the drill! From here on out, there will be spoilers!

Before we delve into the meat of the story, Miles and Peter, and all the interesting things that I hope we will get to see in the future, let us take a second to just revel in all of the other Spiderpeople that were showcased in this movie.

I loved how their origin stories and how they came to be in Miles’particular universe was a running gag that never got old no matter how many times they replayed it, and I loved that each Spiderperson was unique in their own little way.

Spider-Gwen
Image Source: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse Facebook Page

Hailee Steinfeld was great as Spider-Gwen, and I’m glad that we were given just enough of her to want to see her be focused more on in a sequel, or maybe in her own spin-off movie. It was obvious from the very beginning who she was, but it didn’t detract from the reveal later on.

Peni Parker
Image Source: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse Facebook Page
Peter Porker
Image Source: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse Facebook Page

I loved how they were able to really play upon the anime stuff that is intrinsic in Peni Parker’s (Kimiko Glenn) character, and how Looney Tunes Peter Porker (John Mulaney) was . Nicholas Cage’s Spider Noir, however, stole the show, for me, and had me laughing every time he spoke or gave out a catchphrase.

Spider Noir
Image Source: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse Facebook Page

They, however, did not detract from the main story and our main two characters- Miles and Peter.

Peter Parker
Image Source: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse Facebook Page

I like how we were actually presented with two different Peters who were very different from each other but also the same, and how they were also able to find a workaround explanation for the Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and the Tom Holland versions. I like how the Peter in Miles’ universe has definite ties to both the Maguire and Garfield Peters, and how different Jake Johnson’s version was. His story arc ran parallel to Miles’ as he was someone who had gone through a lot and was currently at his lowest point. However, this experience, in landing in a different universe and becoming a mentor to Miles made him go back to the hero that he still is as he realized that he still had what it takes, and more importantly, he was able to find that courage to try and make things work again with Mary Jane Watson (Zoe Kravitz), because that, I think, scared him more than staying behind and dying in Miles’ universe.

Peter (Jake Johnson) and Miles (Shameik Moore) Image Source: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse Facebook Page

Miles, on the other hand, had to learn how to become the hero that he was meant to be, and I liked the fact that he only truly came into his own at the beginning of the last act. We were given a glimpse into him trying to figure out his own powers, which were unique, but took a while for him to get a grasp of, and along the way, he also learned what being a hero really is. At the same time, I liked how they were able to work in what he was going through with his family, and how in the end, he realized that family, whether they Spider people or biological, are important, and that you should never let yourself drift away from them. That moment when Miles made his suit, and leapt into action afterwards was one of the most defining moments of the movie, for me.

Miles Morales
Image Source: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse Facebook Page

I also loved the other characters, including Aunt May, who was given so much more to do here as compared to other versions. I saw the plot twist about the uncle coming from a mile away, but just like my gripe about the characterization of the villains, it didn’t detract from the movie at all.

Now, I do believe that aside from the fact that all these characters and the multiverse leaves us with a multitude of possibilities for the future of this franchise, I do believe that both the mid and end-credits scenes are teasing what they might be building on in the future.

I like that Gwen found a way to contact Miles even if they are in different universes, and this also opens the possibility of a Spider-Gwen spin-off, or a spin-off with female Spiders, with cameos from Peter and Miles.

The end credits scene, aside from the hilarious pointing meme, was interesting, especially as they got Oscar Isaac to portray their version of Spiderman 2099. I honestly think it would be interesting if they went the whole time travel route with him, and if he would be connected to whatever upcoming animated Spiderman movies they are planning down the road, culminating with the reveal of Spiderman 2099 to the others and whatever is happening in the future, making it the “Infinity War” version of this franchise.

In the end, “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” was a wonderful animated movie that was also the best Spiderman movie since Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 2”. It not only was a different experience, but it also opened new possibilities when it comes to the Spiderman franchise, and finally, after so many tries, SONY has finally managed to stick the landing. I’m definitely looking forward to more “Spiderverse” movies in the years to come!

Have you seen “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” yet? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below!

Image Source: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse Facebook Page

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