Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse follows Miles Morales, an aimless high school student, who by chance gets bitten by a radioactive spider and starts gaining the powers of his hero, Spider-Man. Upon a chance meeting with his hero, something leads to a multiverse portal being opened and Miles eventually finds five other Spider-Heroes who want to get back home.

This is the most astonishingly beautiful, and technically spectacular animated film ever. All the different styles of animation, combined with some never before seen techniques makes this film a visual treat! It has been expertly crafted and the amount of detail in this film is astounding. You can feel the love and adoration for the character of Spider-Man bursting out of the screen every moment, and the excitement that the creators have for the characters and the lore is contagious!

This film is a non-stop roller coaster ride of high octane action set pieces, tender personal character development and rip roaring fun. From the opening studio logo, until the credits end, this film is an absolute showcase for animation, superhero films, and Spider-Man.

The voice cast are all brilliant and bring their own personalities to the characters to help them stand out in a world that is so bright, loud and expansive, in the best way possible of course. There’s callbacks to a lot of Spider-Man history, previous films, animated shows, several arcs in comics. The attention to detail is brilliant, and begs for many repeat viewings.

Although there are thousands of callbacks, references and easter eggs, this film still delivers as an amazing film. The way it introduces all the different versions of Spider-Man and explains them to the audience is perfect, and despite the fact there are several of them, none of the introductions feel repetitive. It’s always fresh and exciting to find out about this new superhero.

The story is heartfelt and genuine, but most of all hopeful and inspiring. It’s all about doing your absolute best and never giving up. Some of the characters have lost their way but as they bounce off each other and work together, their spark is reignited, or they are reminded of their purpose. It’s an absolutely sweet film wrapped in the most beautiful shell of the best animation ever, plus plenty of people getting hit in the face.

All the different Spideys stood out and left their own little mark on the film and were all memorable in their own right. One issue with the different heroes, was the inclusion of Spider-Ham, who was there for comic relief, but Spider-Man himself has the quips and phrases to lighten the mood in any big battles, so adding him just felt like overkill and honestly like a wasted spot on the team. Blending his animation with the others though was amazing, and to just showcase that technique, he is worthy of the entry.

The villains that were used had their own special designs instead of how they are usually portrayed and it definitely worked for the film. Kingpin being this huge round lump with legs and a head stuck in his chest sounds ridiculous but he manages to fit into the world that has been created around him, as well as that, he is very intimidating.

The other villains had very little to do, which was unfortunate, but as usual with these superhero films, hopefully we’ll see a different variety in a sequel. The potential is there for this film to spawn off into its own animated universe of films, like Marvel Studios has with its live action universe. Honestly, if the quality of this film remains throughout the sequel, and further, this could definitely beat Marvel’s best efforts.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse flies by at a breakneck speed, occasionally slowing at just the right moments to allow everything that’s happened in the last few scenes to sink in, and then just like the audience has been webbed, we’re ‘thwipped’ right back onto the roller coaster, and loving every minute.

Another small issue is that the film didn’t spend much time setting up Peter Parker and showing his world and his life, like it did for all the other Spideys. Again, not a huge thing but it would definitely have been a bonus, as due to the pacing being so quick, an extra 5-10 minutes would have felt like nothing.

Genuinely, all animated films should learn from this absolute masterclass of a film. This is the future.


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