What were the odds that I wasn’t going to love this movie? I mean… Spider-man is my all-time favorite character. It seems to be receiving rave reviews from almost everyone. The first time we see Miles Morales. There is Peter Porker Spider-Ham and Spider-man Noir (voiced by Nicolas Cage). Of course I was going to love this, right?
Am I building the tension? Do you think I am waiting to pull the rug out? No? Of course, I loved this. It was fabulous.
Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse is the origin story of Miles Morales(Shameik Moore) and how he became his universe’s Spider-man. Miles is an incredibly smart and talented young man who is on his way to a new, special school throwing his life into a spin. Unable to talk with his father Jefferson (Brian Tyree Henry), Miles heads to his uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali) for help. After going with Aaron to a secret location, Miles gets bitten by a radioactive spider from Alchemex.
Miles finds himself in the middle of a big fight between Spider-man and the new Green Goblin around a gigantic collider that is potentially tearing a hole in the time-space continuum. Tragedy strikes and Miles winds up with the only thing that can stop the machine.
He is approached by a group of time displaced Spider-people including an older Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Peter Porker the Spectacular Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Spider-man Noir (Nicolas Cage) and Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) and this group is trying to find their way home.
And come one, Spider-Gwen is just cool as can be.
So is Spider-man Noir. The whole black and white thing was such a cool joke.
And Spider-Ham. C’mon.
The story is so tremendous and very deep. The characterization is beautiful, the plot is intense and the relationships between characters, especially between Peter and Miles, is special and original. We get a fun version of Aunt May (voiced by the classic Lily Tomlin).
The animation of Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse was unbelievable and was the most creative type of animation I have ever seen. It felt like a comic book come to life, literally. It was weird, artistically astounding, filled with texture and style. It seemed as if it were in 3D, but it wasn’t. This was not a typical animated movie. They took a chance by making this film different and it worked extremely well. I could see some people having problems with the animation, because it is so different, but I found it to be an awesome stylish piece of art.
Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman were the directors of this movie, but many people seem to be giving a ton of credit for the film to Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who were involved as producers and Lord was one of the writers too. They brought their trademark humor to the film and it worked perfectly for Spider-man. The witty banter from Spider-man is such an important aspect of the character and it is the best example of it here than any previous Spider-man movie to date.
The fact that they showed that Miles Morales is half African-American and half Puerto Rican is a moment of inclusiveness that takes the world to another level.
The only thing I was not wild about was the portrayal of Kingpin. The character was well done and I liked the voice by Liev Schreiber, but the look of the character was something that I had a hard time getting past. It was the one negative that I can state of Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse.
This is one of the best movies of the year. I need to see it a second time to really judge where on that year end list this is going to land, but it will certainly be in the single digits. This film could open up the market for theatrically released superhero movie and that would give the genre even more ability to tell amazing stories.