Just like the delectable combination of chocolate and vanilla, Spiderman – Into the Spider-verse marries ultimate animation with ultimate storytelling. This is a Spiderman movie that features Miles Morales’ Spiderman – a character that only the nerds know about. It’s the origin story of the character whom we have never seen before.
On the other hand, the Peter Parker we do know (Maguire, Garfield, Holland) has been web-slinging in the film for many years but something weird happens and somehow – both the web-slingers come together. And that’s not it – a few more Spider-people somehow dive in (including a Spider-Pig!) and what we get is an Ultimate Spiderman film.
Into the Spiderverse is a fun adventure film. It has a big heart and we get invested in no time. If you are a Miles Morales fan – you will drool as the film does full justice to the character. We get instantly attached to him. He is very likable and relatable. What separates this film from other Spiderman films is the focus on showing more of how the character learns of his powers and gets used to his newer self.
We have seen Uncle Ben die multiple times and how Peter is compelled to step into the grueling world. Spider-verse takes a different approach. Miles doesn’t put on the suit for a long, long time. This is what differentiates his version from that of Raimi and Webb. Spider-verse focuses on the growing pain – how Miles tries to figure out everything that is happening to him. All of it is very relatable. And when the time comes – our hero puts on the suit in a spectacular, goosebumps-inducing moment.
Relentlessly Enjoyable with Bucketful of Jokes
Miles is mentored by Peter Parker of our universe – who looks like a slob and gives rise to multiple gags. Peter has a story for his dire situation which works very well for the character. There is a montage when both characters encounter each other for the first time and it’s uproarious.
It’s a great example of the comedy we can accomplish from animation through unbridled imagination and the liberty to do anything. Live-action films are meant to be rational whereas cartoons can be completely over-the-top. There is a lot of visual comedy, accompanied with hilarious dialogues. While Spidey-Pig is super adorable and a joke in itself, Spiderman Noir (voice-acted by Nicolas Cage) is absolutely hysterical and will have you laughing on the floor.
Revolutionary Animation that Warrants IMAX Viewing
The animation is extraordinary. It is very, very slick and works completely fine for the kind of action the makers wanted to show. It varies from being buttery-smooth to very slow. The frame rate drops occasionally to give the film a comic-book feel with all the dots, lines, and text boxes. Whenever characters interact, it’s not differentiable from the stop-motion frame rate but instantaneously, it slows down to bring the comic book feel to life.
It doesn’t take long to slip in and applaud what the animators have achieved – specifically in the action sequences – which are unrestrained and downright phenomenal. The quick frame animation permits the action to be very fast and does absolute justice to the character we have adored since childhood.
There isn’t anything to complain except a couple of nitpicks. While being original for a large part, Spider-verse falls into the Sam Raimi territory for one of its villains. Just like Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock – this particular bad guy is a normal being who has a super-powered suit to bring on the villainy, instead of having any gifted power. Moreover, we never get to know the real reason behind this character’s choice to be on the wrong side. Presumably, its arc is saved for the sequel – which we will get very soon (yes, there is a tiny after-credits scene).
In the end, Spiderman – Into the Spider-verse is a very fulfilling Spiderman film that has opened plenty of possibilities for Sony and the character. There is no competition with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, nor there is any relation with the Venom-verse. It’s a totally distinctive product which Sony can take to an altogether different level.
It’s a great coming-of-age story, a great superhero origin story, and a fantastic Spiderman origin story – which you haven’t seen before. It has a big heart, is exciting from start-to-last – with uniformly excellent voice-acting, and a heartfelt tribute to its creator (the late, great Stan Lee). Watch it with your family, or friends (or both!) on the biggest IMAX screen possible.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.