A superhero film like no other, ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ is an extremely entertaining animated adventure, filled with plenty of humour, heart and exciting action scenes throughout its runtime. All displayed through some stunning illustration-like animation which looks as if the audience was thrown straight into the colourful pages of a ‘Spider-Man’ comic book, giving every location, character and even movement/action it’s own unique visual flair.
Plot Summary: When Brooklyn teen: ‘Miles Morales’ one day obtains strange new abilities, he soon finds himself in an unusual situation. Encountering the famous superhero: ‘Spider-Man,’ alongside many other spider-people from multiple different dimensions, as New York City begins to collapse in on itself when a super-collider attempts to merge the other dimensions into its own.
From the opening scene of the film through to its closing credits, it’s very clear that the filmmakers behind ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ have a great love for this character. As the attention to detail throughout the film as well as the sheer amount of references to ‘Spider-Man’s long history and his enormous list of villains. The film feels like it was made for the fans, by the fans, and overall does a great job at expressing it.
When it comes to the cast, Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld and Mahershala Ali are all fantastic as their respective characters. Whether they are the villainous antagonists, or the iconic heroes we all know and love, they all give very charismatic and ranged performances, with Liev Schreiber personally being true stand-out for me, portraying the villain: ‘Kingpin’ almost as brilliantly as Vincent D’Onofrio did before him. Soon becoming one of the most intimidating antagonists ‘Spider-Man’ has ever faced on film. I also have to give the hilarious ‘Spider-Ham’ portrayed by John Mulaney an honourable mention, purely for the cartoonish and over-the-top nature of his character, which always had me laughing many times.
The animated cinematography within the film also helps back-up the incredible animation, as the film is brimming with beautiful shots throughout, many of which contain large amounts of movement as characters soar across New York City. The original score by Daniel Pemberton is also fantastic, as the soundtrack (similar to the film itself) is very unique and filled with style, blending tracks that sound as if they should be from different films entirely into one modern-day superhero flick, which is surprisingly very effective.
Even though the animation style is without a doubt one of the best elements of the film purely through its striking visuals, the action scenes throughout the film are also very impressive. Matching many of the actions scenes you’d see in your standard live-action blockbuster perfectly combined with the film’s varied colour palette and comic book style, creating many memorable and exciting moments. My personal favourite being the action scene in ‘Aunt May’s house, containing a variety of characters all in one singular small room. This is also when it becomes very clear that each version of: ‘Spider-Man’ has their own completely distinct design, movements and personality, with the clear example of this being: ‘Spider-Man Noir’ portrayed by Nicolas Cage, as the character is always seen in black and white and delivers all his dialogue very intensely, almost like a parody of: ‘Batman.’
My only issue with the film is the lack of time some scenes are given within the narrative, as for example, some characters not from ‘Miles’ reality discover that certain people are alive/dead in the universe they have now arrived in. As this could’ve been a really interesting piece of characterisation if done well, as well as adding another emotional scene to the film’s story. Unfortunately however, most of these moments are skimmed over, mostly due to the film’s very fast-pacing.
Altogether, ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ is some of the most fun I’ve had in a cinema, an absolute visual treat for the eyes alongside its original story, phenomenal animation and fantastic original score. The film truly becomes an amazing experience for any comic book or film fan. I highly recommend this one, especially if you’re a ‘Spider-Man’ fan like myself, as this is without a doubt the web-head’s best film to date. Final Rating: 9/10.