Review from Jason Hendon, Hazardous Reviews
The short version: a great visionary feast with a simple but strong story with a nice moral tied into the end of it.
Into the Spider-Verse is supposedly based on the 2014 comic series simply titled Spider-Verse … I am not really sure how, as the story is vastly different, but they do both deal with multidimensional plots and multiple Spider people. The movie takes a far less graphic approach to the story, which makes sense. It centers around Miles Morales the new Spider-Man of his universe, and him coming to term with his powers. Through use of a Super Collider, alternate universes are temporarily merged into Miles and the other Spider characters are forced through. The rest of the movie is about Miles learning and coming into his powers, while they all team up to stop the Collider from being activated again, as they fear it will create a giant black hole and kill everyone.
This is the first time I know of that a movie has focused on a non “Peter Parker” Spider-Man. And as Iconic as Parker is, it was refreshing to see a new face in that role. Miles is a very different character from a very different background. Even though yes, we got an Origin story, it wasn’t one we have seen time and time again. Although Peter was still a prevalent character, Miles really did shine in his initial outing. I do wish the other roles had gotten more screen time, but with them introducing a 6 person team, you knew not everyone would get the spotlight. Spider Gwen and Parker were the two supporting roles, while the other 3 were relegated to background characters most of the time. Nicholas Cage’s Noir Spider-Man was the biggest disappointment, as he was easily my favorite of the group.
When this movie was first announced, I was disappointed it was animated. After seeing the first trailer, a lot of that went away. The way it is presented has a strong comic meets pop art vibe and it just comes across as stunning. It oozes style and being animated allows them to do some neat things that other Spider films have not. Once Miles get his powers, you start to see comic-style pop ups for example. Things like text boxes or bubbles showing his thoughts; they even use comic panels when he is freaking out. It is not something they overuse either, so it never really gets to the point where it is detracting from the experience. Where this really stood out for me though was with his Spider-Sense, or his innate ability to sense danger and where it is coming from. We see Miles huddled behind a small structure at one point, then the words “LOOK OUT” quickly flash in the glass behind him seconds before the whole scene erupts into chaos. It was a cool, creative moment.
I really liked this movie. Yes, it had some flaws, but they were nothing compared to all it did right. I enjoyed the comedy, and seeing them poke fun at the old films as well as all the little Easter eggs it dropped in. Check out the Contacts in Mile’s phone for an easy-to-spot one. I loved the overall style and tone of the film, and the creativity and the final message it tried to present. Anybody can wear the mask, anybody can do what is right. It also features Stan Lee in what I understand is his last Cameo, as well as a nice tribute to him during the credits. Stick around after that, as there is an actual end credit scene as well.