I was not excited for this movie at all. I thought the art looked weird and didn’t think it would be any good. The trailers didn’t look good to me and it just seemed like something we didn’t need. Well I decided to go anyway and I am so glad I did. This is a masterpiece among animated movies. I couldn’t have been more wrong about the art direction and the film was far more entertaining that it had any right to be.
Spider-Man is a property that film goers have seen A LOT of and that is partially why I wasn’t interested in seeing Into the Spider-Verse. With 6 Solo live action movies and two additional appearances in the MCU Spider-Man movie fatigue was setting in for me. What a breath of fresh air. First, it doesn’t focus on Peter Parker which was the one thing I was interested in before seeing it. Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is the focus of the film. Having just finished Spider-Man on PS4 I was interested to see how Mile would be portrayed in the film compared to the game. The game character was great but the film version was superior in so many ways. He is a young kid who just wants to go to a normal school and live a normal life. In this world Spider-Man Peter Parker is an established hero where merch is sold and he is praised and loved by many including Mile Morales.
Miles journey begins when he leaves the dorm for his private school that his parents sent him to and he goes to see his “cool” Uncle. The two of them go to the Subway to graffiti a spot and Miles is bitten by the Spider. His powers begin to manifest at school the next day and he runs back to the Subway to figure out what bit him. In the process he sees Spider-Man in conflict with Green Goblin in an attempt to destroy a machine built by Wilson Fisk to bring people from other dimensions into this world. Something goes wrong and other Spider people are brought to this dimension including Gwen Stacey (Hailee Steinfeld), a different Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), Peter Porker (John Mulaney), Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage) and Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn).
With the support of a star voice cast, Shameik Moore kills it as Mile Morales. Miles and the gang set off on a journey to get them back to their dimensions and destroy the machine before it destroys all of existence. The story is fun, easy enough to understand but unique enough to not feel like the same thing we have seen hundreds of times before. The humor is fantastic and the goofy characters such as Spider-Ham and Spider-Man Noir perfect for an animated film. This would not have worked nearly as well in live action form.
The art direction was one of the most interesting parts of the film. When Miles had thoughts, yellow boxes with comic book style writing would pop on the screen allowing us to read and hear his thoughts. It was even funnier that Miles was aware of this. It gave the feel of reading a moving comic book and the character being moderately aware of themselves being a comic book. It led to such a fun experience, especially for a nerd like me. Avid comic cook readers will get a kick out of this film due to the art direction.
There really isn’t anything bad to say about the film other than that I didn’t like the look of Wilson Fisk. Otherwise the movie was great in every way and something I highly recommend for anyone this season. Looking for a fun movie on Christmas? See Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.