Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse centers around Miles Morales and his journey of self-discovery. After being bitten by a radioactive spider, Miles develops extraordinary abilities. He stumbles upon Spider-Man attempting to shut down a dangerous particle collider, but is impeded by Green Goblin. Motivated by the loss of his wife and child, Kingpin is set on merging the dimensions in order to reclaim his family. The Kingpin activates the collider resulting in a variety of spider-people being drawn in from other dimensions. Spider-Man is fatally injured during the event and pleads for Miles to destroy the collider before it rips all dimensions to pieces.
Peter B. Parker is a down on his luck Spider-Man from Earth-616. Miles begs to be trained by the new web slinger after the Peter he briefly met promised to mentor him. Peter reluctantly agrees and the duo begin their quest to send the inter-dimensional traveler back home and destroy the collider. They soon learn they’re not the only spider-people around. Spider Woman, aka Gwen Stacy, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker and SP//dr all meet up with some direction from Aunt May. With their combined abilities, they must defeat Kingpin and his underlings and return home before their cells decay. Miles must overcome his inability to utilize his powers before his new friends perish and the city is destroyed.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a spectacle to behold. The more I think about it, the more impressed I become. The animation is stunning, fresh and dynamic. Utilizing different animation styles for the characters from alternate dimensions should not work, but is brilliantly executed and matches the film’s tone. It is the epitome of a comic book come to life. Into the Spider-Verse assumes the audience already knows the basics of the Spider-Man story and gives a brief overview in order to move quickly into the story. The blending of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films with comic book lore is masterfully done and provides incredible moments for longtime fans.
Into the Spider-Verse is hilarious. I found myself laughing constantly, as was the audience in attendance. The humor is well balanced with moments of gravitas. Miles, Peter, Kingpin and many others all have legitimate motivation through heartbreak. The film doesn’t shy away from feelings of inadequacy, failure, or loss. In a motion picture with so much going on, I was stunned by how well-rounded the characters were. While Kingpin doesn’t get much screen time overall, you understand his motivation and sympathize with his situation.
Ok rapid-fire time! The soundtrack is incredible. The action sequences are masterfully executed while taking full advantage of these characters’ unique abilities. The voice acting is brilliant, congratulations to the casting director. Numerous character reveals that caught many long time fans off guard. The hall of Spidey suits was nostalgia galore. SO MANY EASTER EGGS! Aunt May is baddass. And finally, the Stan Lee cameo was beautiful. His lines were hauntingly relevant after his recent passing and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house when he showed up on screen.
My only issue is at times the background looked like I should be wearing 3-D glasses to see clearly. The blurred imagery felt unfinished, but most likely serves as a visual display of worlds colliding. Besides that, I thought this film was a masterpiece. I can’t wait to see it again. I’m glad that Miles Morales’ story was finally brought to the big screen and hopefully this paves the way for more alternative Spider-Man stories. I’m looking at you Ben Reilly! If you’re a fan of Spider-Man, you will not be let down by this film. It’s a love letter to all fans of the web crawler. With a sequel already confirmed, as well as an all female spinoff, it looks like the animated spider-verse will be around for quite some time and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
Make sure you stick around until the very end of the credits. You wouldn’t want to miss anything important…