+ Recommended – PG, Animated, Action, Adventure (117 minutes)
I have long acknowledged that Spider-Man is my favorite superhero of all time. Whenever a newly relaunched version of the character comes out, I rush to the theater to see it and it was no different this time. I fought Jared to do this review and clearly, I won. After Tom Holland’s Homecoming came out, I wasn’t sure there was a version I could love more. I was dead wrong. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is my favorite movie this year.
Into the Spider-Verse is centered on our main protagonist, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), a teenager growing up in Brooklyn. After being bitten by a radioactive spider (sound familiar?) he encounters many more variations of Spider-Man as they all work together to save the multiverse. Each of the voice actors do incredible work. I loved the rendition of Hailee Steinfeld‘s Gwen Stacey and Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir was better than I ever could have expected. With a motley assortment of villains coming after our heroes, the stakes feel very real.
Every moment of the animation is stunning. At times, this film is more of a work of art than it is movie. Which isn’t surprising when you consider that this required 140 animators, the biggest crew that Sony Pictures Animation has ever used on a project. The colors are bright and captivating, even in the darkest moments. The animators seamlessly blended together several different styles from each of the Spider-verses and it shouldn’t work as perfectly as it does.
The way they’ve used the soundtrack to help tie in each of these different Spider people is a delight. It’s rare that I leave a movie and immediately search for the soundtrack to listen to, but that’s exactly what I did when we left the theater. With a swell of rap and instrumentals all coming together to create a better experience for any movie-goer.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one motion picture that you must see to believe. I’d heard so many great reactions, but they all paled in comparison to the experience of actually watching it play out across the big screen. I went through so many different emotions during its almost two hour run time; gasping, laughing, and tearing up all in quick succession. What we get here is an in-depth look on the philosophy that Stan Lee always perpetuated: “Anyone can wear the mask.” Leaving the theater, I was filled with the same feeling I had as a kid when a new Spider-Man comic would come in the mail. Hope.
Don’t forget to stay for after the credits, because there is a scene! Just because it’s animated doesn’t change the fact that it’s still an [associated] Marvel film. It’s funny enough that you won’t want to miss it. Kinda like this whole movie. Go see it.