Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
If you didn’t know already (and I’m no expert either) there’s this creative idea within the Spidey universe where multiple alternate realities exist across time and space, and each one has their own web crawling superhero.
This film is set in our reality (I think) and thanks to a villainous science experiment, five wall-crawlers are plucked from their realities and join the newly bitten Spider-Man in training, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore).
Let’s line up our superhero team! (from left to right)
1: Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld). Badass pointe shoe wearing Spider-Woman.
2: Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn). An anime themed hero with her own Mecha.
3: Miles Morales (the new guy).
4: Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson). Almost the same as our own original Spider-Man, but less successful in life, and lives miserably getting fat on junk food.
5: Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage). A hero from the 1930s, and he’s literally in black and white.
6: Spider-Ham (John Mulaney). A Looney Tunes inspired pig in a spider suit.
Into the Spider-Verse is the Spider-Man movie I’ve been waiting to see. Forget Sam Raimi’s trilogy! (fight me!) The first two films had great villains, but the series suffered a limp hero, and the less said about the third film, the better. The Amazing Spider-Man films? Andrew Garfield was a better Spidey/Parker, but they ended up being a bit silly and forgettable. Homecoming? Again, decent villain, but Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was an obnoxious geeky fanboy inside his own movie!
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse gives us dazzling animation, a great score
As delivered, this is a promising start, and I look forward to more movies in this series. The beautifully rendered/drawn animation serves the story well. The action makes the building twisting parts of Dr. Strange seem as exciting as a kitchen remodel. When it’s time to slow things down, the quality of the performances come through to give parts of this film real emotional heft. This film did so many things right; I found it easy to overlook its minor shortcomings. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is going into my Blu-ray collection for sure!
Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Lily Tomlin, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage
Directed by: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Screenplay by: Phil Lord
Rating: PG Running Time: 1 hr 57 min.