Title: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)
Director (s): Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Writers: story: Phil Lord screenplay: Phil Lord, Rodney Rothman
Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage, Liev Schreiber
Studio: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation
Duration: PG rated 1h 57min
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse is a wonderful achievement as a film on many levels; some of which I will attempt to catalog here in this summary and review. First, and foremost, this is the most fun Spider-Man story in memory of my long history of loving the Marvel character. I was still a kid when I hopped on board the Marvel train, as it turned the comics industry on its head by simply revolutionizing things: it humanized its characters by giving them the same everyday problems we all go through, thus making them more easily relatable.
This film is a delightful orgy of all things Spider-Man and a worthy tribute to the classic Marvel character, and to my way of thinking, its the best Spider-Man movie ever made so far. It doesn’t settle for one Spider-Man but portrays a delightful array of Spider-people. It may be that comic book adaptations have a better chance to succeed in a more fluid, and less static universe of animation. or maybe its the delightfully amusing and witty narrative along with its engaging dialogue that accompanies the film’s sometimes surreal, and non-stop artistically compelling animated artwork
The film’s narrative is remarkable. Also, it stays faithful to its comic-book roots while telling an intelligent genre story involving multiple universes. The film’s story almost sometimes seems like a stream-of-consciousness exercise because of how every event surrounding the film’s main protagonist Miles, sets off another chain reaction of events that keeps leading to an appearance by another one of the Spider-Man characters created over the years. The way the various Spider- people react to each other and the relationships that develop are thoroughly enjoyable
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse, has lots of classic Spidey-verse characters going on in its world as any good-quality tribute should. We get treated to several of Spider-Man’s classic villains rogue’s gallery, some a little remodeled for the film along the way. An updated Kingpin plays a central role in the film’s main plot. Most changes are explained away by the film’s constant reminders we ARE in a different universe.
In the tradition of modern comic-book movies Into The Spider-verse has lots of easter eggs most of them are visual reminders of other comics-based universes, etc., one more memorable easter-egg depicts an alternate universe Aunt May as a sort of Alfred from Batman that shows the film’s protagonists a fully stocked Spider-cave that includes a glimpse of a Spider-dune-buggy.
This film is nothing less than a barrage of every type of animation known to humankind that has an added and unexpected effect. Extended exposure to all those different styles of animation somehow manages to trick the viewer’s brain subtly and even comes close to bridging the gap between live-action and animation and makes you forget you are watching an animated film, at least a good part of the time. It’s a remarkable accomplishment when you think about how the film pulls it off. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse throws so many different styles of animation at you in the movie, everything from CGI. to claymation, to paper cut-out, so that when it settles into quasi-realistic CGI mode, I noticed my brain was accepting it ironically as ‘live-action’ even though it isn’t at all.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse was a lot of fun and immensely enjoyable movie experience. This could be the film that is smart and enjoyable enough to finally converts some of those hold-outs that still refuse to watch animated movies or TV because ‘that stuff is for kids’ Once you go into the Spider-verse you may not want to come back.