Movie Review Monday: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
The latest Spider-Man movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, premiered in theaters over the weekend to rave reviews. It follows the character of Miles Morales and sees him team up with other Spider-people to stop the villainous Wilson Fisk from destroying Brooklyn as well as all of reality. The film was directed by Peter Ramsey, Robert Persichetti, Jr., and Rodney Rothman with Rothman also writing the script alongside Phil Lord. The film sees Shameik Moore voice the character of Miles Morales and Jake Johnson voice the character of Peter Parker. The impressive voice cast also includes Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry, Mahershala Ali, Lily Tomlin, Nicolas Cage, and Liev Schreiber.
The film begins with an introduction to the character of Miles Morales, who attends an elite boarding school during the week, and it also offers an introduction to Miles’ family. His mother is a nurse, and his father is a police officer who does not care for Spider-Man. Miles struggles to adapt to his new school and even asks to attend his old school with no success. After school, he escapes to his Uncle Aaron’s house, who encourages Miles to pursue his passion for graffiti and helps him to hit on a new girl at school. His uncle takes him to an abandoned subway station to paint in peace, and in the process, Miles is bitten by a genetically modified spider. Once he begins to develop spider-like abilities, Miles returns to the old station, where he encounters Spider-Man and a variety of villains. It is this encounter that changes Miles’ life and begins to alter the reality in which he lives.
For someone who is not necessarily a huge fan of the live-action work that Sony is doing with Spider-Man properties like Venom, I thought that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse exceeded expectations and was truly fantastic. The animation was bold and innovative, and it was the perfect medium to tell a story about this iconic superhero. Sure, the Marvel logo might have been a little blinding in the beginning, but those bright colors were necessary to bring to life the vibrant city of New York and the characters that call it home. The arcs and introductions to several heroes and villains were cleverly done, and the way they used origin stories through voiceover was particularly well-paced. The film also celebrated and picked at all of the intricacies of the character of Spider-Man, and it somehow ended up being a love letter to the character. Also, this had one of the best Stan Lee cameos to date, which ended up being fairly emotional in light of his passing.
While the animation was undeniably striking, it was the characters in this film that made it such an appealing movie. All of the different iterations of Spider-Man were perfect, and each character provided for more than a few humorous interactions. The interactions between each of these characters was expertly executed, and I especially appreciated the version of Peter Parker that we received in the film. Focusing on Miles Morales was the real highlight of the film, though, and his journey to finding his place and harnessing his powers is something that every person can find relatable in some way. In addition to some entertaining heroes, though, we also got some well-conceived villains. The character of Prowler had a great arc, and while Kingpin may not have a ton of screen time, he actually had understandable motivations for his evil schemes. The actors and actresses chosen to voice each character were perfect, and they gave even more depth and emotion to these well-developed characters. Also, points for making Aunt May the coolest version to date, which the great Lily Tomlin brought to life.
Overall, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ended up being a thrilling adventure with a unique approach to this popular superhero. The animation was breathtaking, and it was made all the more brilliant by the engaging and moving story that the filmmakers developed. I have heard several people call this movie the best Spider-Man film they have ever seen, and I cannot disagree with them. This introduction to Miles Morales is a memorable one, and I have to say that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a fun movie that demands to be seen on the big screen.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.