Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse makes you aware pretty early on you’re in for something special. The curious project long in development unsure of where it sits in Spider-Man canon makes it known that it is the Spider-Man canon.
It’s a love letter to every single piece of Spider-Man you know and love and even the stuff you might not. The movies, the cartoons, the comics, the character, the icon. If you want a definitive Spider-Man, I think you’re looking at it.
Into The Spider-Verse oozes so much style from it you can’t help but be sucked into its universe. The animation is slick and gorgeous and perfectly on form here, translating Spider-Man to the big screen like you’ve never seen before. It’s beautiful and it’s technically impressive, playing with all sorts of styles (helped by the diverse supporting characters) but never losing sight of its spirit.
There’s never been a more true comic adaptation. Watchmen is so far back in the mind alongside every other comic book movie here, Spider-Verse uses so many techniques in it you just feel everything you expect Spider-Man to actually be. It’s like if Deadpool had those yellow boxes, or if Fantastic Four had a good movie.
You feel so much love for Spider-Man in the making of this film, full of everything for the hardcore fan to the most casual movie-goer. Whatever your working knowledge of Spider-Man, you’re going to be impressed.
The actual story and characters haven’t even been touched in this review so far and that’s because Into The Spider-Verse gets the groundwork just so right of course everything falls into place. It subverts expectations, it gives you the exact payoffs you want, it has such smart humour and touching emotion. It’s everything great about every Spider-Man piece of fiction and almost none of the flaws.
Into The Spider-Verse surpasses even the likes of Spider-Man 2 here. It’s not hammy (beyond Spider-Ham), it’s not cheesy, it’s not full of bad CG, it’s not got soap-Opera antics that don’t land, it’s not set outside New York, it’s none of those things.
Spider-Man is reinvented alongside all the references of his reinvention. It gives us an origin story that doesn’t suck, because it knows you know all of that. Several times over. It knows how smart the audience is. It knows we know the stories. The beats. So instead it gives us a show. It gives everything slightly different to what you know and expect, but leaves you happy with how familiar things are.
The entire cast and crew have truly made something special. The writing, the directing, the animating, the acting, the soundtrack, everything. It shows the work that has gone into it. It stands apart from most of the other animated movies of recent years. It makes yet another good case for animation needing more of that mainstream blockbuster highlight. This is better than pretty much most of the superhero movies that have been made to date.
Life has been breathed into Spider-Man yet again. And it’s not necessarily gone bigger and better. It’s human. It’s funny. It’s down to earth. It takes us on the journey Miles Morales is being taken on. Things get weird. Things get fun. An all star voice cast’s praises can’t be sung more. None of the people involved can’t be celebrated more.
There’s great power given when you get the reins of Spider-Man. And with it comes great responsibility. Or however the saying goes. I’m just glad that I’m in the Spider-Verse were it all goes perfectly with this movie. Because of course...