I am not a huge Spider-Man fan. I think it is because when I was a kid I was supposed to like him, so I disliked him out of spite, but he has grown on me over the years. To the point now that I was eagerly awaiting this new animated Spider-Man film, and it seems fitting that only a month after Stan Lee’s death that his most famous creation would get its best movie. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse isn’t just a little better than the rest of the Spider-Man movies, it is Miles better.
At the beginning of Into the Spider-Verse, New York has gotten used to being saved by the blond-haired blue-eyed Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man (Chris Pine). Things seem to be going his way. He recently got married, and he has never failed the city on the big stuff. Meanwhile Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is just an everyday kid. Smarter than average, and has a good heart, but not extraordinary. This changes when he is bit by very familiar spider. When Peter and Miles meet during a mishap with King Pin (Liev Schreiber)’s particle accelerator their universe will change forever.
Everything is on point with this movie. The writing is fantastic, the action is insane, it has a great cast, and it looks like a comic book come to life. I am not sure why everyone thinks live action is the way to go with comic book adaptations because you can do so much more with animation. I know some people will not like the sort of stop motion look they gave this film to kind of mimic the changing panels of a comic book, but it grows on you, and it gives the movie a unique feel.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse gets to the heart of what it means to be Spider-Man. Living through the everyday failures but choosing to get back up and continuing to do what is right anyway. Obviously, those failures include loss. Almost all superheroes have tragic beginnings, and Miles’ is no different, but the movie never feels cheap and it drives Miles forward in believable ways. Also we get to hear how tragedy as motivated the other Spider-People as well, and those stories help to inform Miles’ path forward.
The vocal cast for Into the Spider-Vese was great. I already mentioned Pine, Moore and Schreiber who are all great, particularly Moore who really captures Miles’ complex feelings and wide-eyed awe of what is happening, but add to those guys, Hailee Steinfeld, Nicolas Cage, Jake Johnson, and Lily Tomlin and you can’t ask for much more.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse might be the best superhero movie released this year, and yes, I am aware Black Panther, Infinity War and Aquaman (review tomorrow) all came out this year, but it is that good. I am on board for these high quality animated Spider-Verse movies, and hope Stan got to see it before he died because he would have loved it. It was an ode to everything he and Ditko created in 1962.