Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

spider-man into the spider-verse poster 2018 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Completely unique take on the superhero film, family friendly, positive

Animation takes a second to get used to

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Spider-Man:  Into the Spider-Verse

Studio:  Sony Picture Animation

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Animated/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Family

Release Date(s):  December 1, 2018 (Premiere)/December 14, 2018 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG

spider-man into the spider-verse leap of faith miles morales

Take the leap and enjoy the ride!

Miles Morales is adjusting to life at a new school and wishes he could stay home in Brooklyn.  When his uncle Aaron takes him on a tagging trip near Alchemax Labs, Miles is bitten by a strange spider…and finds himself with powers like the city’s hero Spider-Man.  Unfortunately, Miles discovers the Kingpin is trying to breach the multiverse dimensions and a battle with Spider-Man not only leaves Miles and the Earth’s only Spider-Man, but brings other Spider-“Men” from the multiverse.  Now, Miles must learn to control his abilities if he hopes to save his Earth and the other Spiders might need him just to get home.

Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, Spider-Man:  Into the Spider-Verse is an animated superhero action film.  The movie was released to positive reviews and critical acclaim.  The film won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

spider-man into the spider-verse team

So many Spider-People (and Pigs)…so little time

I wasn’t sure how to take Spider-Man:  Into the Spider-Verse when I first saw it announced.  It kind of looked like a straight-to-video movie that was given a wide release from the images I saw.  I started to hear strong buzz about the movie and decided to give it a shot.  From the start, you can tell this isn’t your typical Spider-Man movie or your typical animated film…and that is what makes the movie work.

The story really couldn’t have been told in “live-action”, but it also has a tough sell.  It has to introduce Miles Morales as Spider-Man, show the multiverse (aka the Spider-Verse), and do it while telling a compelling story that isn’t a slight to Spider-Man or comic book readers…and it succeeds.  It captures the essence of what makes comics and Spider-Man unique.  Most of the characters are given a rounded portrayal (it wasn’t very villain heavy), and it is a new take on the origin story.  It tells a complete story while leaving you wanting more.

spider-man into the spide-verse vs dr octopus

It was Agatha all along!

The cast is strong.  Shameik Moore gives heart to Miles while Brian Tyree Henry (Jefferson), Mahershala Ali (Aaron), and Jake Johnson (Peter B.) play his father figures.  The “Spider-Team” is played by Hailee Steinfeld (Spider-Gwen), John Mulaney (Spider-Ham), Kimiko Glenn (Peni Parker), and Nicolas Cage (Spider-Man Noir) with Chris Pine playing the late-Spider-Man of Miles’ Earth.  Lily Tomlin plays an Aunt May who is more of an Alfred Pennyworth to Spider-Man and Liev Schreiber is Kingpin bent on getting his family back.  Zoë Kravitz, Luna Lauren Velez, and Kathryn Hahn (it was Agatha all along!) also provide voice acting.  Stan Lee also of course makes a cameo (in one of his last roles).

spider-man into the spider-verse vs kingpin ending

Kingpin will make Spider-Man go splat!

The real challenge with Spider-Man:  Into the Spider-Verse is the look of it.  It takes a minute to adjust to the visuals and that it isn’t a classically animated film.  It has throwbacks to lots of Spider-Man references of the past and takes an odd “modern” but throwback visual that incorporates the art of comics into the film (with a weird blur fade for background items).  It comes at you hard when you step in the film and some might struggle with the adjustment, but I also don’t feel that it is as in your face as something like a 1990s Nickelodeon TV show.

Spider-Man:  Into the Spider-Verse was a surprisingly fun movie.  It is family friendly and positive with a good message that doesn’t feel like it is preaching.  The film feels like set-up for something more and most of the “Spider-Team” characters could carry their own spin-off films.  I hope to reenter the Spider-Verse again, but I also hope that control and balance are brought to any future projects.

Related Links:

Spider-Man (2002)

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Spider-Man:  Homecoming (2016)


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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