Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse-A Literal Comic Book Movie

What makes you different is what makes you Spider-Man.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a 2018 animated superhero film directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, written by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman, produced by Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Marvel Entertainment, Brad Productions, Lord Miller Productions, and Pascal Pictures, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. The film is based on various Spider-Man comics by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli. It stars Shameik Moore and Jake Johnson. The film was nominated for and won Best Animated Feature. This is the seventh film in the Spider-Man franchise, but the first in the Spider-Verse franchise. It was followed by Spider-Man: Far From Home, but, chronologically, it will be followed by Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One).


"It's a leap of faith. That's all it is, Miles. A leap of faith." -Peter Parker

Plot


After begin bitten by a radioactive spider, boarding school student Miles Morales finds out that he has become another Spider-Man. After the real Spider-Man is killed by Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin turns on a collider, causing alternate dimensions to shoot other Spider-Men and women into Miles' earth. As Miles meets the new Spider-people, they band together to stop Kingpin from destroying everything that they know and love.


Positive Aspects


One of the coolest things about this film is the animation. It is so unique and is meant to look like an actual comic book. They have speech bubbles and pages turning and different panels at certain points. The background constantly changes...and the characters clearly look like drawings. They also made the different Spider-people look like they were drawn differently. One of them is anime, one of them looks like he's from a Disney cartoon, one of them is entirely black and white, and the other three fit in with the rest of the movie.You can see the marker lines and the shading of their bodies and faces. It definitely, definitely should not work, but it 100% does.


I think that the story is fun. It isn't a typical Spider-Man story, but it pays off with a big cast of heroes and a big cast of villains. I think that it was fun to watch the different stories of each of the Spider-people. They made each city that the Spider-people lived in different and gave each Spider-person a barely different origin story.


At the core, this is really a coming-of-age movie. Miles grows up a lot through the film and it really ends up paying off. Marvel/Sony made a superhero coming-of-age story. It feels different than Spider-Man because in that movie, Peter has to face a threat alone and really gets a grasp of his powers pretty quickly. I haven't seen The Amazing Spider-Man, but I don't think that it can be much of anything like Spider-Verse. They have an ongoing theme of maturing and growing up.


The scene after Miles really embraces his Spider-Man persona and takes his leap of faith is super cool. My cousin made it his phone background after we watched it. The couple of shots that are shown of Miles flipping off of the building are pretty sweet, and the music makes it all the more exciting.


The movie is actually pretty funny. Miles and Peter can be a relatively funny character at certain points, but Spider-Ham is by far the funniest in the film. They have some quick quips or stupid comments that evoke a laugh. Spider-Ham is so over the top and campy that they embrace the inherit ridiculousness of a cartoon pig with Spider-Man's abilities. It makes it much funnier when you think of The Simpsons Movie. If you've seen both, you'll understand what I'm referring to.


I like that they used a lot of the classic Spider-Man villains. At the front is Kingpin, who is the big bad in this one. He is absolutely enormous, and his sidekicks are much smaller. We've got Doctor Octopus (kind of), and she is entertaining. Green Goblin, Tombstone, Scorpion, and Prowler all appear, too, and it fills the movie with exciting action.


The music is insanely good. They got a ton of popular singers and rappers, such as Juice WRLD and Post Malone, to record for this film, and it pays off. They use the best songs in the perfect spots, one of the examples being Miles' leap of faith. The songs are great, and made even better by their surroundings.


Lastly, I think most of the voice acting is pretty good. Shameik Moore does a good job of being a stressed, overwhelmed high schooler. Jake Johnson does some pretty funny things as Spider-Man, especially in the first couple of scenes. He does a good job of making Peter seem like kind of a jerk, but also making him a sympathetic character. Hailee Steinfeld also makes Gwen shy at first, but then makes her strong and a good friend and teacher to Miles.


Negative Aspects


The first thing is the villain. I like that they had a ton of ensemble antagonists, but Kingpin really feels like a generic, cliche villain in a movie that isn't full of generic, cliche things. He has this big machine that is going to destroy the city and clearly is causing problems, but he goes along with it anyway. I also think, for a movie that has near perfect animation, Kingpin was a fault. They made his head in the middle of his body and his shoulders just massive. It looks way too cartoony even for this movie, which has a Spider-Pig. The other villains look cool, but their plot is just so plain and isn't creative at all.


Secondly, I think that most of the characters besides Miles, Peter, and Gwen are underdeveloped. We get all of the Spider-people's backstories, but we don't really get to know them that well, and it doesn't really make sense that Peter and Gwen would immediately start trusting them, while they don't trust Miles. But that's not the biggest problem. I think that they should've done more development of Jefferson, Miles' dad, and Aaron, Miles' uncle. They have the subway scene with Aaron, and that's nice, but they never really have a heart-to-heart scene between Miles and Jefferson.


Finally, I don't think that Peter's transformation inside of the film makes much sense. He goes from fat and licking burger grease off of his fingers to the perfect old Spider-Man that he was before. They should've had a reasonable explanation as to why this fat, broken Spider-Man can suddenly go back to his old self.


Final Score


Despite some villain and character problems, this film has one-of-a-kind animation, good main characters, sick music, and some good voice acting.


I will give it a Savory rating. Age range is 7+.


SWEET N' SOUR SCALE

Sweet (Great) Savory (Good)

Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)


"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"


Fun Factor: 9.5/10

Acting: 7.5/10

Story: 9/10

Characters: 8/10

Quality: 9.5/10


Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman


Rated PG for animated violence and action, disturbing themes, thematic elements


Released on December 14, 2018


1 hour and 57 minutes


Shameik Moore as Miles Morales/Spider-Man

Jake Johnson as Peter Parker/Spider-Man

Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen

Mahershala Ali as Aaron Davis/Prowler

Brian Tyree Henry as Jefferson Davis

John Mulaney as Spider-Ham

Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir

Lily Tomlin as May Parker

Zoë Kravitz as Mary Jane Watson

Live Schreiber as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin

Kathryn Hahn as Olivia Octavius/Doctor Octopus

Kimiko Glenn as Peni Parker