Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Movie Review: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" (2018)

Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman
Year: 2018
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 57 minutes

The young Miles Morales has just been bitten by a radioactive spider, giving him superhuman abilities. When Kingpin uses a machine to open an interdimensional porthole, it accidentally brings Spider-People from other universes into Miles's world.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2018 movie poster Miles Morales Shameik Moore Jake Johnson Hailee Steinfeld
"Most superheroes don't wear their own merch." (Image Source)
In a world that we thought was only big enough for one Spider-Man, screenplay writer Phil Lord has proven that there's room for plenty more given the right story. "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" is from Sony Pictures Animation and is directed by first-time feature directors Bob Persichetti and Rodney Rothman, as well as "Rise of the Guardians" director Peter Ramsey. This story focuses on a teenager named Miles Morales (Shameik Moore). Miles has always been just your average kid, that is until he is bitten by a radioactive spider, giving him crazy superpowers. When Miles tries to investigate his new-found abilities, he stumbles upon Peter Parker (Chris Pine), aka Spider-Man, battling it out with villains in some strange machine. The machine, built by Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), is meant to open a portal between dimensions, and Spider-Man is trying to shut it off. Before he can, Spider-People from other dimensions are pulled into Miles's world. Now, all of these different versions of Spider-Man must team up to stop Kingpin and his team of supervillains.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2018 movie poster Miles Morales Shameik Moore Jake Johnson
"This is a pretty hardcore origin story." (Image Source)
We weren't really expecting much from "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse." None of the trailers ever grabbed us or got us interested, and with an overabundance of established superhero films to chose from, as well as an existing Spider-Man franchise that we have liked thus far, well, it just felt like overkill. We must say, we're shocked and flabbergasted by how much we loved this movie. Miles Morales is such a fantastic character, and we were immediately able to connect with him because of his struggles inside and outside of the Spider-Suit. Shameik Moore does a wonderful job voicing this character who not only has to find his place in the world as a teenager but now must discover what he is capable of as a superhero. Miles's journey is personal and realistic. The stakes are high not just for him, but for the world at large. As Wilson Fisk's particle accelerator, well, accelerates particles, various interdimensional Peter Parkers, including the older, more world-weary, jaded Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), the swine-centric Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Spider-Woman Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), and Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), are brought forth into this dimension. Miles must team up with them while simultaneously avoiding his overbearing father (Brian Tyree Henry), seeking guidance from his cool uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali), and learning how to control his new abilities to help his new Spider-Pals save his and their worlds. It sounds like there's a lot going on, and there is, but those behind the scenes made the story flow perfectly. The narrative is well-paced and kept us completely engaged and invested in the story from beginning to end. Plus, it helps that it is very, very funny. It's full of meta-humor that had us rolling on multiple occasions. Finally, the animation is breathtakingly stunning to look at with its lively, entertaining, and engaging visuals. It's as if the pages of a comic book were coming to life right in front of your eyes on the big screen. We mean this down to the small details like the paneling of some particular scenes, the lettering and font choices, and even the inclusion of "pow!s" and "bang!s" and "aahhhhhh!s."
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2018 movie poster Miles Morales Spiderman Shameik Moore
"I still love being Spider-Man. I mean, who wouldn't?" (Image Source)
"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" is not just the best animated movie of the year, it's one of the best features of 2018. It is full of tenderness, big villains, love, laughs, grand schemes, fantastic music, surprises, amazing voiceover work from everyone involved, and even some tear-jerking moments of familial bonding and shattered expectations for better and for worse. It deserves to be seen in theaters as soon as possible. Even if you're a little iffy on it (just like we were), we implore you, give this film a chance!

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: ~8.8/10
RT Rating: ~97%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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