There are so many things I could say about “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”
I could talk about its exquisite animation that makes you feel as though you’re in the pages of a comic book. I could talk about the film’s wonderfully weaved plotline and motivations for its heroes and villains. I could talk about the film’s soundtrack, which fit the film’s urban and youthful theme perfectly.
I’m not going to talk about any of that. I’m going to talk about what this movie does for Spider-Man.
I’m a pretty big comic guy, and I’ve been pretty happy with the way Hollywood has brought the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man to life. Spider-Man 2 is a wonderful Spidey narrative, and I don’t think any actor has a better live portrayal of Peter Parker than Tom Holland. Including the recent Amazing Spider-Man films, which I’m personally not a huge fan of it’s safe to say that we’ve seen a lot of Spider-Man on the big screen.
But none of those movies, in my opinion, are as good as Into the Spider-Verse, because none of those other movies encapsulates the character like this one.
We’ve seen Peter Parker on the screen for ages, but this movie doesn’t focus on the tired hero. It shifts the spotlight instead to Marvel’s Ultimate Universe version of the character, Miles Morales.
Throughout the film, we see Miles’ journey to mastering his newfound powers after a spider bite. We watch him conquer his doubts and fears and ascend into the Spider-Man his New York needs after the death of Peter Parker in his universe.
It isn’t just him, though.
We see five distinct iterations of the character from various alternate universes. They all exhibit the fun-loving, action-packed and wise-cracking characteristics that make Spider-Man (in addition to Gwen Stacy’s Spider-Woman and Peni Parker) so iconic, but they all do it in their own unique way. The movie’s star studded voice cast, with everyone from Nicholas Cage to John Mulaney, flesh out their characters so vividly that each of the film’s seven iterations of the web-slinger manage to stand out. The viewer will watch multiple spider-people fly across the screen at once, but every single one of them showcases the spirit of the character in a way that live-action films simply cannot replicate.
As it stands, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is the ultimate Spider-Man movie - in this universe and the next one.