Starring: Shameik Moore, Mahershala Ali, Hailee Steinfeld
Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Running Time: 117 mins
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is an American film following Miles Morales as he becomes Spider-Man, but soon crosses paths with his counterparts from other parallel dimensions, and works with them to stop an evil plot to destroy the fabric of reality.
This is a genuinely exceptional film. Away from the world of the big-budget, mainstream comic book movies, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse breaks boundaries with a stunningly original and fresh take on the classic superhero tale, combining hilarious self-referential humour with an equally thrilling story, all topped off with spellbinding visuals from beginning to end.
There’s nowhere we can start from but the film’s stunning animation. With clear love and passion for all things superhero poured into every single frame of Into The Spider-Verse, the film sings with its mesmerising comic-book style visuals, bordering on the edge of a kind of gritty stop-motion that blends seamlessly with individual panels, captions and even the odd THWACK or BIFF that pops up on the screen.
But not only does this film bring comic books to life on the big screen like never before, because it also has a stunning and vivid urban vibe throughout that adds to the atmosphere and excitement of the whole affair. Again blurring the lines between gritty urban visuals and psychedelic, kaleidoscopic colours, the film is a dazzling watch, with cinematography that pops in hugely entertaining fashion throughout, adding to the jaw-droppingly good-looking nature of the film, all the while furthering its unique and distinct atmosphere.
And that’s the next thing I want to touch on, because although Into The Spider-Verse does centre on a big Marvel character, what makes it feel so fresh is that unique atmosphere. Of course, the visuals are integral in that, but there’s something deeper that comes from the film’s brilliant screenplay and passionate directing. Landing us in a parallel version of New York City, the movie has the opportunity to play with things we know and love, and give them an original twist to help set the foundations of this world apart from the mainstream comic book movies.
As a result, this film completely breaks the rule book when it comes to modern superhero movies – surpassing even the likes of Deadpool with its originality – with a gleefully fun and playful take on comic book tropes and clichés, all the while still surging with an immensely exciting blockbuster plot that feels pleasantly familiar, but just different enough.
So that means that you can enjoy Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse in a number of different ways, whether it be as a straight comic book blockbuster akin to the MCU and DCEU, a fresh and exciting urban thriller, a visual masterpiece filled with a kaleidoscope of colours, or even a flat-out hilarious comedy. There are few movies in the genre with that degree of diversity within, but it’s that very fact that makes it such a stunning watch throughout, leaving you barely a minute to breathe as it enthralls you from every single angle.
Finally, a mention about the film’s comedy, which is absolutely amazing from beginning to end. It’s a laugh-a-minute rollercoaster of a movie, with both well-written and character-driven humour throughout, as well as fantastically tongue-in-cheek, self-referential humour, doing for Spider-Man what Warner Bros.’ hilarious The Lego Batman Movie did for the Caped Crusader, and a whole lot of winks and nods to modern superhero movies that are sure to have fans laughing on a near-constant basis.
Overall, then, I was blown away by Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. For a film that seems so small at first, it’s actually one of the best superhero movies I’ve ever seen, breaking out on its own in brilliantly unique fashion with an absolutely mesmerising visual template, a thoroughly exciting and original story, a passionate and tangible urban atmosphere, and utterly hilarious comedy from start to finish, which is why I’m giving it an 8.6.