spider-man: into the spider-verse
DIRECTOR: Bob Persichetti (debut) and Peter Ramsey (rise of the guardians)
STARRING voice talent: shamiek moore, jake johnson, chris pine, zoe kravitz, and nicholas cage
REVIEWERs: joel mills and nick tonkin
Bitten by a radioactive spider, teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into Spider-Man. He must now use his newfound skills to battle the Kingpin, a hulking madman who can open portals to other dimensions.
Review by Joel Mills
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a film that seamlessly blends the look and style of comic books and 3D animation to create gorgeous colourful visuals and fast paced thrills. Combining multiple art styles from a variety of dimensions, it cleverly evokes the panels of a comic book with split-screen shots, thought bubbles, and lots of on-screen onomatopoeic “Thwips” and “POWs”, all helping to create a living comic book brought to life on the screen.
This is a movie that revels in the fact that not only is Spider-Man a character in this world, but the various comic books, merchandise, and fans that come along with that heroism are all here too. It is acutely aware of all the tropes and quirks of the character and its various iterations.
The look and kinetic action evokes shades of Edgar Wright’s ‘Scott Pilgrim vs The World’, but also the addition of an actual cartoon character, an anime character, and a noir character (always in black & white) into the ‘real’ world delightfully feels like a bit of ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’ has been thrown into the mix.
Full of clever humour ranging from cartoon slapstick to wry references to past Spider-Man comics and films, the film is punctuated with intense action and grounded characters. Each Spider-Man (or Spider-Woman ) is a fully realised and interesting hero, each with their own backstory and hardships they've faced up to this point. The interaction between them and the shared camaraderie after all this time being the lone 'Friendly Neighbourhood Spiderman' in each of their world's, makes for a compelling team.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse stands proudly alongside its live-action counterparts in terms of humour, creativity and story. The vibrant colours and stunning imagery are a sight to behold, preferably on the biggest screen you can find.
Review by Nick Tonkin
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a fantastic take, one which pulls from disparate and obscure areas of the Spider-Man universe to create both a thrilling and compelling story centred on the young Miles Morales as he takes on the Spider-Man mantle.
The film introduces a young Miles struggling to accept life in a new school, a change imposed upon him by his straight-as-an-arrow policeman father. He finds understanding in his uncle Aaron, whom the film suggests has a strained relationship with Myles' father. During a night of commiseration and graffiti with Aaron, Miles is bitten by the familiar power-bestowing spider that begins his transformation and leads into the event of the film.
Miles' story is a coming-of-age tale, when being reductive; though one furnished with entertaining and compelling supporting characters, one of which the film provides a satisfying story arc of his own. These characters give Miles the support he needs in order to understand his own Spider-Power development in order to address the villain.
The villain of the film is Kingpin; a character drawn so ridiculously large that it seems obvious that his nefarious intent is proportional to his huge stature. However, Into the Spider-Verse provides him with an interesting and strangely understandable motivation for his dangerous criminal undertakings. It is a minor tragedy for the character that he doesn't realise his actions will provide long term harm to those he desperately seeks to be united with, not to mention to innumerable people both present and future.
Into the Spider-Verse is a stylish and clever film. The visual style utilises an effect that is reminiscent of printed comics, and flourishes such as a chromatic aberration type effect are employed to indicate the urgency that is key to the plot. This is combined with a contemporary and engaging score that all serve to elevate the film.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a fantastic watch, and may just be the best Spider-Man film ever committed to the big screen. Highly recommended.