Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Length: 117 minutes / 1.95 hours
There’s no hiding that Spider-Man is my favorite superhero. My reviews of Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and Venom (2018) say as much. I grew up watching the 1990s animated Spider-Man show, so when I saw early trailers for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), I half-thought it would be some direct-to-video movie. After all, everything up until now had been live-action. I was encouraged to learn that it would receive a theatrical release, especially when I started to see more footage of its unique artistic style. Not only does Into the Spider-Verse embrace its comic book origins, but it also does so with a flair and panache that I’d almost like to see in other superhero franchises.
Over the years, I’d only loosely been paying attention to what was happening in the Spider-Man comics. Sure, I knew about Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld) and Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) but more in the sense that they were departures from the white-male Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) that carried the franchise for so long. It then makes sense that these three were what dominated the first half of this movie. While I adored Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) and Spider-Man Noir (Nicholas Cage)—not Spider-Ham (John Mulaney) as much—their extreme takes on the theme could have used a little more screen time, even if they might have distracted from the primary narrative.
In the end, choosing to make Into the Spider-Verse animated helped to open up the creative options available to it in this medium. I could see why it won the Best Animated Picture Oscar this year, as the fusion of classic 2-D comic books and 3-D CGI blended in an endlessly entertaining way. I’m excited that there seems to be a sequel in the works, as my appetite has been whetted with this film and I’m ready to consume more of it as soon as possible. I just hope it lives up to the nearly perfect presentation that this trailblazing movie managed to create.
A visually groundbreaking, laugh-out-loud funny, and overall entertaining superhero film, I give Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 5.0 stars out of 5.