In a world inundated with superhero films, it’s difficult for a new contender to make its mark. Specially so if it’s a Spider-Man film following six predecessors.
There’s something different about Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse, however, that makes it stand out from the pack. Part of it is the unique animation style, but it’s also the fact that it’s a fresh take on a familiar hero.
Responsibility and Legacy
The story focuses on Miles Morales, a biracial kid who receives powers similar to Peter Parker’s and struggles to follow his legacy. On the way, he is assisted by an older Peter Parker who has fallen down on his luck, along with a cast of other Spider People.
The interplay between the different heroes is a joy to watch, and Miles is fleshed out well enough with an appropriate focus on his family and life. The heroes are opposed by Kingpin, who is a menacing and hulking brute trying to reunite with his family. The themes of family are resonant in this film, as are loss and responsibility.
The true star, however, is perhaps the outstanding visual style, which has plenty of comic booky elements such as dialogue boxes and sound effects.
It’s a refreshingly unique style that stands out in today’s crop of animated movies, and here’s to hoping it pops up more in future films of this caliber. The city is gorgeously realized, and the action is vibrant and fun.
What Works (and doesn’t Work)
On the character side of things, the mentor student relationship between Peter and Miles is nicely handled. Peter’s laid-back nature contrasts nicely with Miles’ more earnest personality. Spider Gwen and Spider Ham also stand out from the cast, as does Spider-Man Noir, thanks to a delightful turn by Nicolas Cage.
The movie is not without it problems. For instance, it could have fleshed out its antagonist more, although it does feature a new twist on Doctor Octopus. Nevertheless, writers Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman have crafted a fine addition to the Spider-Man mythos. There is news of a follow-up to Into the Spider Verse, and if it’s as good as this one, then that’s certainly something to look forward to in the future.