Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Movie Review

First impressions upon leaving the theater after finishing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was that we had just seen one of the best super-hero movie yet. Sure that is an off-the-cuff reaction that may fade with time and reflection but for now everyone who saw the film with me last night, my non-comic fan wife and two kids, all had an absolute blast. You do not need to be familiar with the characters beyond Peter Parker to enjoy the film as none of our group besides myself knew who Miles was, who Peter Porker was and certainly did not know Spider-Gwen and that did not affect their enjoyment of the movie.

The biggest takeaway from the film was how it treated the audience with a certain level of intelligence that you rarely get from super-hero movies. Characters do not state their intentions out loud explaining every thing that they do and characters are just there in the story without having their names spoken and backstory explained. Tombstone is the Kingpin’s henchman but he is never focused on, he is just there doing his thing. The Green Goblin is a huge hulked out monster but there is no explanation or backstory to it, it just happens and the viewer goes along with it. That makes the universe feel full and alive in ways many other super-hero movies struggle with and it feels fresh and new even after more than a decade of super-hero movies filling theaters.

The movie looks amazing with a new style of animation that really deserves to be seen on the big screen. It feels like a living comic book with interesting special effect pop-ups, panels popping up on the screen and text boxes floating around the characters. When Miles finally leaps on the top of a building towards the end of the film the camera follows him over the edge and cuts back and fourth between angles as you feel the thrill of what he is doing. It is chaotic, dangerous and thrilling.

All of the characters feel perfect from Miles to both Peter Parkers to Spider-Gwen, you really care about each of them by the time the movie ends and you will want this to be the start of a new super-hero universe. Sony did the impossible with this film making not only one of the best super-hero movies ever but also made me thankful that they had the rights to Spider-Man and not Disney. This is the type of fresh enjoyable moviemaking that would never have been created there and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a testament to what is possible when every movie does not have to fit into a single narrative universe.

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