Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Movie Review
Hey guys, Just Josh here with a movie review of one of the best, if not the best, super hero movie of 2018. I am a huge fan of Spider-Man and when this movie was announced, I was excited, but a bit skeptical. The current live-action super hero movies have done a great job of giving us fans what we really want, quality movies with great action sequences and an ever-expanding story.
Historically, Marvel has not been that good at animated movies when compared to the Direct Competition. They have either been lacking in quality animation, poor voice acting or just felt a bit sloppy compared to the source material.
I’m here to tell you that this movie does not disappoint at all. It isn’t perfect, but the gripes that I might have about it are small in comparison to the epic nature of this movie and the future of Marvel animated movies.
With all of that said, spoilers ahead! Read on if you wish.
It is a Spider-Verse Movie!!!!
Originally, I thought that this movie was going to be an Ultimate Spider-Man movie, featuring Miles Morales. I thought that this would be cool, but some people who were not big fans of the Spider-Man lore might feel like they didn’t know what was going on.
When I learned that this movie was going to be about the Spider-Verse, I was very excited. I thought that this was a great direction for them to go. It would not interfere with the live-action films in the MCU or the potential films that Sony might put out on its own. It was even more satisfying to know that Miles Morales would play a large role in this film. His character has become extremely popular, thanks to the excellent writing of Brian Michael Bendis in his comic line called Ultimate Spider-Man.
If you are a fan of the Ultimate Spider-Man comic series, then you know that Peter Parker is killed and Miles Morales takes on the mantle of Spider-Man. This storyline is told differently than in the comics, but it is handled in a very appropriate way and comes across as a bit of a shocker as it unfolds. It made me genuinely sad and confused.
The story continues at a rather quick pace, introducing us to more spider characters, providing just enough backstory for the viewer to understand where they come from, but not enough to feel like the movie loses focus of its overall storyline. This was a smart decision on the part of Sony and those involved in producing this movie. It seems lately that some super hero movies focus too much on shoehorning characters into a story that they lose their original focus.
The cast of spider characters include Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Woman (or better known as Spider-Gwen), Spider-Ham, Sp//der and Peni Parker, and Peter B. Parker (the original Spider-Man from Earth 616). Overall, they are given enough screen time to flesh out the importance of the Spider-Verse story. Some characters are given more screen time than others, but this does not seem to be an issue of favoritism, but rather what actually works to move the story along. Their involvement in the story is more than just adding characters to bolster the roster, but to give the viewer an idea that the greater multi-verse exists and it is going to be explored in future installments.
Unique Artistic Vision
The animation was excellent. It took a bit to get used to the style, though. At first, I thought that I had chosen the wrong movie and had bought tickets to the 3-D version. This was due to the way that some things were outlined in what appeared to be a 3-D style type of animation.
The artistic vision of the animators and writers was definitely a bit unique in comparison to the comics. While based on the original source material in a manner that did not feel out of place, it had its own feel. The characters were instantly recognizable, so there can be no criticism of how they were portrayed on screen.
The movie felt like it was really a movie, not just an animated movie or a cartoon movie. This is definitely due to the artistic choices that were made. It could have easily been an over-the-top cartoon movie, full of ridiculous situations that felt like they had no consequences other than to entertain. Don’t get me wrong, this is a comic book movie, so it is full of ridiculous situations and it is over-the-top, but it felt grounded. This was due to the way that the writers tried to make an entertaining story really seem like it could happen within our own universe. There were consequences of each character’s decisions, some that resulted in irreparable damage. We had major characters die on both sides. The Kingpin’s motivation for trying to merge the multi-verse was surprisingly touching and understandable.
At first, I was a bit skeptical of where this movie was going. The title leads the viewer to believe that the story is going delve deeply into the Spider-Verse. Instead, it touched lightly upon it and focused most of its time on Earth 1610, the Ultimate Marvel Universe. I was starting to feel like I was going to be disappointed with this movie, but then it happened, I realized what this movie really was.
Just like every super hero movie of the modern day, since the MCU solidified the idea of a greater movie universe, this movie was forming a foundation for the Spider-Verse. This is what the title actually means, we are not yet in the Spider-Verse, but through the story that we are given, we are heading there.
I have to say, I was impressed with how it all was handled. As I said before, not every character had equal screen time, but what they did have felt significant and made the viewer understand that they had a greater story to tell. I am looking forward to future installments where we get to see more of each spider character and their universe.
The Ultimate Spider-Man!
Before Tom Holland was introduced as Spider-Man in the MCU, it was rumored that they would introduce the Ultimate Spider-Man instead. This would have made some sense due to the creative decisions made for the MCU seem to be heavily influenced by the Ultimate Marvel Universe, but it didn’t happen. It may have been a missed opportunity, but it left the door open for this movie to be made.
Miles Morales is a great character. He is everything we love about Peter Parker except he embodies the struggles that Peter would never know. Miles comes from a multi-ethnic family, his father is black and his mother is Puerto Rican. Miles has to deal with the fact that both his father and his uncle (whom he admires greatly) were both criminals. His father had given up his life of crime while his uncle had not.
Aaron Davis assumes the identity of the Prowler, a criminal with a super suit. Similar to how it is portrayed in the movie, Aaron was killed in a battle with Miles as Spider-Man and this was a catalyst forcing him to face the consequences of his actions as Spider-Man.
With great power comes great responsibility. This is the mantra of Spider-Man and Miles Morales not only exemplifies all that is right about this, he makes the decision to be this. He saw how the original Spider-Man gave his life to save people while asking for nothing in return and uses this to bolster his resolve to be the next Spider-Man.
Miles Morales is the Ultimate Spider-Man.
There is a teaser scene at the end credits. This not only ties the story together, stating that the multi-verse is still intact and safe, but introduces us the Spider-Man that was nowhere to be found in the movie, Miguel O’Hara (Spider-Man 2099). It is clear that this movie is intended to be the first in a series of Spider-Verse movies. It looks as though the next Spider-Verse movie will focus more on Miguel O’Hara than Miles Morales. I would really love to see that.
Let’s hope that this series keeps going and becomes something of its own, rather than being absorbed into another Sony project involving Spider-Man. If they take the success of this movie seriously and really listen to the fans about where the future of this saga should go, then we should all be very happy!
As always, thanks for reading. Discussion, questions and comments are greatly encouraged!