I originally skipped watching “Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse” in the cinema because I knew nothing about this Sony and Marvel released animated feature. There wasn’t much promo for this either so I wasn’t sure if it was any good. Since then, I’ve heard pretty great reviews for this movie but now I had to wait for it to be released on video so I can judge for myself.
Synopsis: Miles Morales is a talented kid from Brooklyn who gets into Vision, a private academy in New York for the rich. He breezes through the classes but he feels like he’s always different from his well off classmates because of his background. As an outlet, he expresses his passion through art, and in the process gets bitten by a radioactive spider on one of his graffiti projects. Before he knew what was happening, he gets the same powers as Spider-man. It turns out though, that he isn’t the only one in town because Kingpin, with the use of a supercollider opens the multiverse and grabs five other Spidermen from different dimensions. Now, Miles must get his Spidey friends home and destroy the supercollider before Kingpin destroys the entire multiverse because of his single minded desire to bring back his son and wife who died because of an accident.
Since Marvel and Sony teamed up to produce these Spider-man movies, the studios managed to bring out the fun and personality that made Spider-man such a beloved comic book character. If you think that one wisecracking Spider-man is already a trip, imagine having six different Spider-men with different personalities and abilities when they converge in a single dimension to go up against this version of Kingpin, which is more menacing than previous versions.
I liked the animation style used in this feature. I’m not very good at critiquing art but this style was super funky and had a very comic book style to it. The entire movie felt like a flipping through the pages of an actual comic book with the detailed animation, the stunning visuals and the sharp contrast of colors. The use of multiple panels to spontaeously depict scenes from various angles was really cool and edgy, much like the character of Miles Morales.
I loved that each Spiderman had a different origin story, Spider-man Noir with his old timey vibe, Peter Porker as Spider-Ham, Gwen Stacey as Spider-Woman, Peni Parker aka SP//dr, and a washed out version of the Peter Parker we all know and love as our friendly neighborhood Spider-man. Each Spider-man had a unique charm and a different ability depending on their universe. But at the end of the day, while they had different origins, they all went through the same experiences and this is what makes them come together as one single unit when faced with a formidable foe.
While some movie fans may only know the current Marvel iteration of Spider-man, these alternate versions of Spider-man exist with their own comic book releases in the Marvel universe. Its brilliant how this movie took all of these different universes and merged them together to collate them into one single Spider-verse.
I think Marvel and Sony made the right call in producing Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse as an animated feature because it allowed the film to fully expand the Spider-man universe without the limitations of live action and CGI. This film involved such large scale action and stunts and a live action release would be hard pressed to replicate the magnificence and the quality of the fast paced scenes this movie produced. In keeping with the animated approach, they were able to push their boundaries and introduce new heroes into the franchise, all while connecting this movie to the original Sony franchise that starred Tobey Maguire. I’m not a big fan of the original Sam Raimi trilogy but I guess it made sense that this universe will connect to that one because the timeline needed an adult Spider-man. (I liked Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-man stint but he was depicted as a student during his run. As is Tom Holland)
All in all, Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse managed to tap into the elements that makes Spider-man such a popular action hero and inject a fresh approach to jumpstart an expansion of the franchise. Into the Spider-verse, was fun, funky, interesting, intense and inspiring for young fans. The artwork, cinematography and music were on point and really made the movie come together as a strong, solid addition to the franchise. It presents Spider-man as an imperfect character but maintains its strong core message of heroism, selflessness and believing in second chances. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Miles Morales as Spider-man in future movies.
PS. Congrats on grabbing the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Well deserved!