Film Review - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

>> I don’t like superheroes—unless it’s a darkly handsome and brooding Bruce Wayne—but honestly, I find it difficult to sit through a 2.5-hour formulaic film of men in capes with some pretty underwhelming female characters. It gets boring to see the same film again and again just with minor changes in plot, setting, and characters. Mostly all the Marvel films are well structured and executed, but typically lack a creative and unique story. Do we all really need to go see Captain America do the same exact thing Iron Man did last month but in a different time period, with a B-list villain, and with a brunette slung across his arm instead of a blonde? I didn’t think so. Yet, when a film breaks the formulaic superhero approach it feels effortless and freeing, like a sense of relief (mainly because I don’t have to spend two hours trying to fight the blissful urge to sleep). Films like Thor: Ragnarok and Infinity War were like shots of caffeine plunged directly into the bulging vein in my forehead (which formed from irritatingly boring films like Deadpool, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Black Panther).

When I first heard about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse it’s not surprising that I was pretty skeptical. Into the Spider-Verse is a two-hour animated feature directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman. This latest Marvel addition follows Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) who after getting bitten by a radioactive spider turns into Spider-Man, crosses paths with his fellow spidey counterparts from other dimensions, and together they stop an imminent threat to all reality.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse creates a unique and immersive experience through an animation style that is truly one of a kind. Any art appreciator can watch this film on mute and still be entertained. While mixing elements of 2D animation, 3D animation, and comic book style art this film is a breathtaking experience—almost like watching an animated film for the first time. The film finds a good common ground between comedy and drama—it cracks many jokes (which all landed well during my screening) and also has some emotionally gripping scenes that even got me to tear up. As the film plays out, it gets a bit predictable—typical “I just became a superhero, and need to save the world” jargon.

Despite its predictability, this film is a powerful and entertaining addition to the Marvel cinematic universe. It sets the bar high for any upcoming superhero films and places itself as a qualified competitor for production companies like Pixar and Illumination. Will this film win an Oscar for best-animated feature? I sure hope so, because quite frankly it’s that good. 9/10 <<