“… I look forward to a sequel wherein they can safely assume that we know who Spider-Man is.”
I finally did it. I finally saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. After months of people telling me how good it was I committed to it and sat down in the theatre. I know that what I’m going to say here isn’t going to be new information, hell none of my reviews include shit you haven’t heard before, but I’m still attached to this whole “review” idea so let’s get on with it.
Was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse good? Yeah. I really enjoyed myself watching it. It was fun, it was smart, it was exciting. It managed to appeal to children as well as adults, and honestly it exists as easily one of the best Spider-Man movies to ever be released (Spider-Man 2 still has a special place in my heart).
Technically speaking, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse deserves the highest possible score for the animation alone. The way that this movie simultaneously emulated the look and feel of a comic book, as well as made the characters look and move so realistically was nothing short of a miracle of biblical proportions.
In terms of the story, the one thing that caught my attention was just how busy this movie was. Characters were constantly talking over each other, the vibrant colours were practically assaulting my eyes, and the background was filled with so many easter eggs and movement that it was hard to focus my attention at times. Now although these may seem like bad things, they made the movie feel alive. I felt as though Spider-Man was a part of the world, rather than the world revolving around Spider-Man; and that’s something most iterations don’t get right.
I also absolutely adored that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse highlighted other Spider-Men. We know they exist, but the chances of someone like Spider-Man Noir getting his own movie are about as good as Mary Elizabeth Winstead realizing that her and I are meant to be together. It was nice to see these characters and also have them add their own flavour into the story.
This goes double for the mentor Peter Parker in the film who, in my opinion, should have been the star of the show. Let me explain why. His story, a dejected Spider-Man who is down on his luck after years of crime-fighting has taken its toll on him, was something we haven’t seen before. Spider-Man is always this young, springy kid who cracks wise as he swings through New York. The Spider-Man that we saw in the version voiced by Jake Johnson was the opposite of that. And that in itself was more interesting than what we got.
What I mean by that is this: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse did a good job of poking fun at the myriad of origin stories we’ve seen for Spider-Man (each one being the exact same). It seemed to understand that you cannot have a Spider-Man movie without seeing that fucking spider bite Peter Parker (or whoever it is) on the hand. That being said, the commentary lost most of its bite when Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse did that exact same thing. I don’t care how self-aware it was, it was still an origin story.
I thought it was very cool to finally see a big-screen version of Miles Morales, a character that fans have been championing for years at this point, but why couldn’t he already be Spider-Man? Every shred of ‘character development’ that he goes through was completely lost on me because I’ve seen it so many fucking times. It was just a little strange to me to have a movie appear to be so ‘with it’, but then fall into most of the same traps it was poking fun at.
Despite all of that, I still had a lot of fun with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and I look forward to a sequel wherein they can safely assume that we know who Spider-Man is.
I give Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse an A