It’s not exactly a secret that Marvel (and in turn Disney)have had a stellar year. From the success of Black Panther to that finale of Avengers: Infinity War to the sass of Deadpool 2. What is more surprising however is that they might just have saved the strongest for last with Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse. It’s hyper stylised visuals and often self-aware humour disguise a superheromovie brimming with heart. Oh, and it’s animated too.
Miles Morales is a teenage kid struggling to fit into a new school when he’s bitten by a radioactive spider. A familiar story of the origin of Spiderman becomes complicated when the Kingpin attempts to find his deceased loved ones from another dimension that results in a few different spider heroes being pulled out of time and other dimensions into Miles’ one.
The first thing that will strike you about Into the Spider-Verse is the animation. It’s really beyond words. Usually animation is occasionally something we admire for its beauty and then effectively ignore itfor the rest of the movie. Into the Spider-Verse doesn’t allow such an option.It’s hyper kinetic comic book infused is a character unto itself. It’s as if they made the comic page itself come alive with paneling and grain. Yet it’s used to frame and move the story in a fresh way. It’s often at times bright and at others sombre. Considering the mish-mash of Spider heroes that are brought together so that its cohesion is something special.
Into the Spider-Verse is also a deeply funny film. It’s very aware of the ridiculous nature of its premise and also some of the more ludicrous incarnation of its character. Yet it is both broad and yet deeply held in-jokes. From Spiderman 3 dancing to mockery of multiple origin stories it has a truly ingrained love of the its original source material yet still we have that broad comedy of awkward moments of teenage romance and lacking co-ordination. It has something for everyone in terms of humour.
Yet it’s not just a film for laughs. It sets up tense action pieces that are somehow freer than their live action counter-parts but also far more elaborate. The premise that is largely successful in bringing in all these disparate characters works well. Yet it might be an overwhelming premise for some especially its core audience of kids. The question might be who is that and why are they here would be an echo for some children and the uninitiated adult.
Yet if anything Into the Spider-Verse succeed it’s its big heart. Unashamed to wear it on its sleeve it deals with issues of family, of identity and how easy that can be taken away from you. It’s hard not to acknowledge its earnest attempt to make you feel but that it covers some fairly complicated territory about betrayal and honouring the legacy of people’s mistakes as well as their memories.
Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse is in my opinion the best thing to happen in the Marvel Universe this year and that’s it an excellentyear. It’s ambition, its heart, its humour and especially its animation overcome any minor flaws or confusion that the convoluted premise might present. An absolute must see.
+ Brilliant hyper stylised animation.
+ A sense of humour that will please both the geeks and the widest audience possible.
+A big heart.
-Perhaps a little overwhelming or confusing for the uninitiated.