Review: Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse

This is about as good as reviews have been saying. A very stylised, computer animated visual treat but maybe not a great choice if you are in anyway sensitive to rapid changes in bright colours.

The story itself is not terribly deep: New York is in peril due to a mad scientific experiment fuelled by a criminal conspiracy. It’s the repercussions of this that lead to a young, very bright student getting bitten by a radioactive spider and gaining super powers. The twist is that this is in a New York where Spider-Man has been fighting crime for 20+ years already.

The focus is on Marvel’s alternate universe spider-powered superhero, Miles Morales who becomes in entangled in a story of alternate universes and multiple spider-people. Morales is incrementally joined by a troupe of spider people: an out of shape Peter B Parker, Gwen ‘Spider-Gwen” Stacy, a 1930s noir Spider-Man (complete with trench coat and trilby), Spider-Ham (a cartoon pig that was once a spider that got bitten by a radioactive pig) and Peni Parker (a anime-ish school girl from the future with a robot controlled by her pet spider).

It’s a wild ride that embraces comic book aesthetics flamboyantly. It’s dorky, smart-mouthed, show-offy and full of quipping humour that embodies the character of Spider-Man. The Stan Lee cameo is very touching but the film also references classic Spider-Man comics and Steve Ditko.

Superhero stories work when they find that spot that gets the absurdity and comedy of the genre and finds a way to treat it seriously and genuinely as stories about people.Into The Spider-Verse really works well, with Miles Morales as a central character amid a growing chaos of people, colours, colliding art styles, events, bad guys and choices.

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7 thoughts on “Review: Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse

  1. I don’t like superhero stories usually, and I *really* liked this one. You’re right that the story isn’t deep, but the animation style more than made up for that, I think. And the pacing was great.

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  2. Eric and I saw it this weekend, and we both loved it.
    I think Miles himself is the #1 attraction of the movie. I just loved his wide-eyed, innocent reactions to things. Like when he hits a boulder and it splits in two: “That’s new!” Or when he asks, “How many spider people are there?”

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  3. There was a sign at my theater saying you maybe shouldn’t go if you’re sensitive to flashy lights. But if you can make it through the opening bit/credits, you’ll be all right.

    I adored it. Probably the second-best movie I saw this year after “Black Panther”, and certainly the funnest. It really gets both comic books and Spider-Man(s).

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  4. My husband’s all time favorite is Spider-Man, who was atop our wedding cake. And this is now his favorite Spider-Man movie. We loved it and it was such a celebration — to the whole Spider-Man mythos and major themes, to comics and art, to animation film-making, to equality, family, just so full of love. (But yes, not for epileptics and those prone to seizures.)

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    1. I don’t have seizures, but bright flashy lights sometimes give me a migraine, so I was a tad worried by the opening. Perfectly fine once that ended, though, and it was certainly an effective technique. So if you’re only a little bit affected, I think you’d do all right if you closed your eyes during that bit and had someone tell you when it’s over.

      I do like the theaters’ policy of posting a warning sign right at the door to warn you of these things.

      I loved that the movie was rendered with the 4-color dots in the background.

      Just found that the entire screenplay is online, legally!

      http://web.archive.org/web/20181226132218/http://origin-flash.sonypictures.com/ist/awards_screenplays/SV_screenplay.pdf

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