Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse review
We've got Peter Parker. We've got web-shooters. We've got a group of villains called "The Sinister Six". Yep, we've got a Spider-Man movie again. It used to be we would go several years between the further adventures of New York's web slinger. Now were going months. In fact, Spider-Man had a big part of the MCU epic Avengers: Infinity War back in May. So what's going on in December that requires an additional movie? You'd be surprised by how vast the comic world is that does justify another movie.
Like how many people have played a particular superhero, many people have played Spider-Man aside from Peter Parker. One popular addition is of another New York kid named Miles Morales. He garnered phrased for being the first half African-American, half Puerto Rican character to play a superhero. He was also noted for taking Spider-Man back to a youthful demeanor as Peter Parker in the story was getting a little old. But it doesn't stop there. There's also Spider-Woman, Silk, Spider-Noir, and even an anthropomorphic pig called Spider-Ham who operates on cartoon logic. While we don't exactly get all of them, we do get a bunch of them, along with an origin story for Miles in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Young teenager Miles Morales (played by Shameik Moore) is adjusting to a new life at a prestigious boarding school academy, at the insistence of his cop father Jefferson (played by Brian Tyree Henry) who wants a better life for his son. Miles wants to impress his parents, but finds comfort in his more free spirited uncle Aaron (played by Mahershala Ali). One night, while the two of them do some graffiti art in a hidden area of the subway, not only does Miles get bitten by a spider, but also witnesses a battle and death of the popular Peter Parker Spider-Man while spotting Kingpin (played by Live Schreiber) working on a large machine that takes affect.
Like Peter Parker's story, Miles starts to notice changes like sticking to walls and spider senses. He visits Peter's grave to think about what to do next. Its here where an older Peter Parker (Played by Jake Johnson) meets him and asks for help to help him return to his own dimension. While uncovering plans from Kingpin to open several dimensions, Miles also comes across Spider-Gwen (Played by Haile Steinfeld), Spider-Noir (Played by Nicolas Cage), Peni Parker (played by Kimiko Glenn) and her robot, and Spider-Ham (played by John Mulaney) who all help figure everything out.
As you can see, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse juggles a lot and almost makes the mistake of cramming too much for one movie. Amazingly, the script not only keeps every character listed above in check, but also makes it a great story for young Miles Morales. If your worried that this is another origin story, this is one that puts a lot of focus of Miles and his relationship with his father and uncle. I can't disclose why, but it really creates new pressure that Peter Parker never had to face.
In terms of the rest of the characters, I really like this side to Peter Parker that we had yet to get from the other adaptations; a Spider MAN. A man whose gone through so much and had his heart broken several times, that he's more of a broken hero that needs fixing himself. His story balanced out well with Miles. He also gets a good scene involving the aunt May of this universe, almost like seeing a living ghost that was very sweet. While I don't want to give too much away, each Spider person gets their own arc as they navigate their way through Mile's world.
Let's talk about the animation, which looks great. Rather then going for a Pixar/DreamWorks look, this Spider-Man story has a comic book-look that takes advantage of that fact, along with that it's also animated. Unlike a lot of live action movies where use of computers can occasionally be distracting if not done well, it all blends well, especially with the action sequences. The angles remind me of the comic pages I still turn, given the use of color and word bubbles, that never become annoying, and are used accordingly to amplify the drama and comedy. This is a movie with the rare distinction where it's all it's own.
I'll give this five Spider-Man comics out of five. This was a fun and different Spider-Man movie that we needed, even more then Spider-Man: Homecoming. It could come off as too weird for some, but given the story's focus is still on this kid's growth as a hero and a teenager, it never felt overwhelming. It was an odd example of everything accidently fitting into piece. This is an absolute recommendation. Swing in and go see it.