Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Between Sam Rami’s trilogy, Marc Webb’s two films, and now the official Marvel Cinematic Universe, we’ve had three different actors portray three different Spider-Men in the past 11 years. It may sound like a broken record to learn there’s a new Spider-Man in theaters, but Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is unlike any other superhero movie you’ve seen, live action or animated. The film captures the essence of Spider-Man and delivers the most dazzling and colorful visuals of the year as if it were ripped straight from the pages of a comic book.


Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is just your average teenager juggling a new school and his demanding parents. He also has an admiration of Spider-Man, although his police officer dad views him as nothing more than a masked vigilante. Miles’ world is turned upside down one day when he his bitten by a radioactive spider and finds out he has the same powers as Spider-Man. From there, he actually stumbles upon Spider-Man himself battling the Green Goblin and Wilson Fisk, who is experimenting with a particle accelerator in order to access parallel dimensions. The experiment doesn’t go as expected for Fisk and multiple Spider-Persons across various dimensions are brought into MIles’ universe. It’ll take all of them together to take down Fisk for good, but first Miles must learn what it means to be a superhero from his newfound friends.


The first thing audiences with notice about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is just how gorgeous the animation is. Colors are vibrant as they jump of the screen. Movement lines, thought bubbles, and other comic-book elements are included in the film to give it an extra dimension. It almost feels like you’re watching a 3D movie but without the glasses. The animations come alive before your very eyes.


In addition to its stunning animation, Into the Spider-Verse has one of the best Spider-Man stories I’ve seen on film. Yes, it’s technically an origin story but this is Miles’ story, first and foremost. He’s learning the webs from an older and somewhat out of the game Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) from another dimension. Soon he also discovers other Spider-Persons from other dimensions including Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), the black and white Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), anime’s very own Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) complete with a mech spider, and the hilarious Peter Porker (John Mulaney) aka Spider-Ham. They all instill a confidence in Miles that helps him learn his abilities, conquer his fears, and become the Spider-Man he was meant to be.


What Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse does better than other Spider-Man films is that you truly get the sense that here’s this kid who has the life of a superhero thrusted upon him. Despite his abilities, Miles knows and reaches his own limits. He struggles. He fails. But that never stops him from giving up. He’s someone both kids and adults can look up to.


Into the Spider-Verse celebrates everything we identify with the genre, bringing all of the theatrics, the colors, and the over-the-top humor together into something magical. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse isn’t just the best animated movie of the year or the best superhero movie of the year. It’s one of the best movies of the year, period.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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