Your holiday feast has arrived! The new Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse film is a near-perfect gift to comic-book fans, Marvel cinema fans, animation fans, action fans, Spidey-fans and movie fanatics in general; it is easily one of the best films of the year.
Initially, I wasn’t sold on this movie’s prospects; I’m not a big supporter of the lesser quality, direct-to-video Marvel (or DC) animated fare, nor am I thrilled by the multiple wackadoodle versions of everyone’s favorite web-slinger – including Ultimate Spider-Man’s Miles Morales, who is heavily featured in this film.
The whole Spider-Verse thing is much too convoluted for my old-school tastes. Nevertheless, I was happily surprised and absolutely loved everything about this movie. Spider-Verse includes all the ingredients that make comic books so cool in the first place – including loving, but subtle, tributes to the history of the sequential art form.
The Kingpin (voiced by Liev Schreiber) brings together the Spider-Man rogues’ gallery (including the Green Goblin, Tombstone, Scorpion, the Prowler, and some other surprises) to launch a dimension-altering device that will return his deceased family – of course, said gizmo might also destroy the universe, unless Spidey (or Spideys, as it were) can stop the evil plan.
The jumbled up dimensions bring together Spider-Men, women, a robot and a pig in one of the craziest Marvel Team-ups ever; and at the center of the story is young Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) and his personal Spider-Man origin story – helped along by a reluctant older version of Peter Parker.
The animation in this film is both amazing and spectacular and like nothing you’ve seen before. It incorporates half-tone dot patterns and offset printing errors like you might see in an aged comic book, as well as word and thought balloons; it truly is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to having a comic book come to life.
The story is heart-warming, fun, action-packed and at times downright hilarious. It also holds an amazing tribute to Spider-Man’s co-creator, Stan Lee, a touching nod to the heart and soul of the man and the Marvelous empire he helped to create. (There’s no crying in comic book movies … right?)
The music in this film is perfect and meshes incredibly well with the super-heroic story; I can’t wait to pick up the soundtrack. “Sunflower,” by Malone and Swae Lee has my vote for the movie song of the year.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has something for everyone, young and old. I loved Avengers: Infinity War, but this film is the most fun I’ve had at the movies in a long time and one that boldly showcases all the positive entertainment value and values that superhero comics (and comic book movies) have to offer. Grade: 9.5/10
Photos Copyright © 2018 Sony Pictures Animation
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