by Hans A. Carpenter
Release Date: December 14, 2018
Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman
Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, and Hailee Steinfeld
Mister Marquee Says: Really Fun
Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is a young prep student in New York struggling to fit in at his new school. When he is bit by a radioactive spider, he is given powers similar to the hero of his city, Spider-Man. Kingpin’s super collider is threatening the safety of the city, and pulls other Spider-People out of alternate dimensions. Miles must come to terms with his new powers and help the other spiders save the city and return home.
It’s weird to me that more theatrical animated superhero movies aren’t a thing. With the success of movies like The Incredibles and Big Hero Six, why not mitigate your risk as a studio? Sony managed to kill not one but two expensive Spider-Man live action franchises, yet turns out this really enjoyable cartoon. DC should take note. Their live action movies are hideous visually and with so many flops and major stars leaving, why not blow up the live action universe and lean on animation, especially with shows like Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited the most beloved entries in the franchise?
I digress, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a really fun and heartfelt movie that doesn’t have to be edgy for adults or dumbed-down for children, which really sums up the Spider-Man franchise when done right. Spider-Man is for everyone. The character was created because Stan Lee wanted to make a superhero with whom the audience could identify, who faced relatable, grounded challenges along with his super heroics. That’s one area that Spider-Verse really nails: Miles Morales is an easy character for audiences to identify with and get behind. So is Gwen. So is Peter. These are universal characters we can all understand without being generic. They feel genuine, and so does this movie.
The animation style is unique. It’s highly stylized and looks like a moving comic book. That’s not to say that it’s slavishly comic bookish; visually Into the Spider-Verse is an explosion of neon color. In fact, it’s almost too colorful, to the point of being headache inducing. The colors strobe and may be a bit intense for some. It adds to the charm though. Ultimately (comic fans will see what I did there), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a really fun movie that brings together the various legacies of the Spider-Man universe. It’s a fun celebration of one of the most beloved characters of all time while ushering in a popular modern incarnation of the character for mainstream audiences. It’s heartfelt and genuine and doesn’t require the upfront knowledge that you need going into most mainstream superhero movies.