I know what you are thinking: “Another Spider-Man movie?” “Didn’t one come out last year?” It sounds like Sony trying another attempt to hold onto their rights to Spider-Man. But, surprisingly, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which is the sixth Spider-Man film released in the past 17 years, is probably the best one.
“Into the Spider-Verse” is an animated feature film that follows the Spider-Man — sort of. In this movie, rather than being about Peter Parker, you have another incarnation Spider-Man, Miles Morales. Miles is a simple teenager, but after accidently getting super powers, he has to go through everything Peter experienced. If you are not too familiar with Morales, he is a recent addition to the Spider-Man lore, created in 2011 by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli. In certain storylines, Morales takes over the role of Spider-Man after Peter Parker can’t continue.
But wait, there’s more Spider-Men than just Miles and Peter. “Into the Spider-Verse” is called “Into the Spider-Verse” for a reason. Due to some villain meddling with alternate dimensions a classic comic book plot — there’s even more than two dimensions. For example, there’s anime Spider-Man, noir Spider-Man and chubby, over-the-hill Spider-Man.
Now there are numerous movies based on comic books, especially in recent years. Yet, “Into the Spider-Verse” may be the first true comic book movie. The animation, with its brief pauses in movement, captures the feeling of reading a comic book. While the animation style does take a little time to get used to, once you do you hardly notice it. The colorful world that is created is great to look at and a pleasant experience.
I have heard “Into the Spider-Verse” compared to “Lego Batman,” and that synopsis isn’t far off. It almost does what “Lego Batman” did for Batman, only with Spider-Man. “Into the Spider-Verse” is both a loving tribute to the character, but it’s also a bit of a parody, much like “Lego Batman.” After all, what true fan wouldn’t make fun of what they love? In fact, both films were produced by filmmaker duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
But “Into the Spider-Verse” isn’t completely like “Lego Batman Movie.” “Into the Spider-Verse” does have a bigger focus on drama. It’s fun and comedic, but the drama is still very serious at times. It’s a very well-rounded movie, able to balance a little of everything. It has good action, pacing and again beautiful animation. Despite being the only feature Spider-Man film to be animated, or rated PG for that matter, it is the best. It felt like it came out of nowhere, and it should have been another failed attempt by Sony to create a franchise but it’s not.
Most of the Spider-Man movies are really good, like the Sam Raimi trilogy or “Homecoming.” But in all honesty, “Into the Spider-Verse” is a great movie. I mean that. It well make you laugh it will make you cry.
One of the many things going for “Into the Spider-Verse” is that there clearly is a lot of passion behind this movie. I’m going to assume that the filmmakers were fans themselves, because that’s how it felt watching it. The jokes were well researched. If they weren’t fans, they definitely talked to some. Whether it follows Peter Parker, Miles Morales or Peter B. Parker, “Into the Spider-Verse” is a love letter to Spider-Man, regardless of who is behind the mask. It’s a movie that celebrates the legacy of the character. 2018 was a bad and good year for Spider-Man. Both original creators Steve Ditko and Stan Lee died. But with this movie, along with the highly acclaimed video game “Spider-Man”, makes 2018 feel bittersweet for Spider-Man.