It’s been more than a week since Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hit theatres in Brunei while the rest of the West have to wait another week. But since then, it’s received nothing but praise from it’s radical shift of character, storytelling and art style from what we traditionally get out of the idea of “cinematic animation”.
And honestly, it makes sense why this movie will probably win Best Animation movie of 2018.
So, “Let’s start from the beginning, one last time…”
We all know the story of Peter Parker and rather than snooze you through it, Into the Spider-Verse does exactly what we’ve all been asking since The Amazing Spider-Man came out in 2012 – summarise it and move on. We get the jist of everything lightning fast in a montage and boom! back to the main story.
The spotlight falls on a fresh face, (well, to non-comic readers mainly) a younger and modern more relatable character in Miles Morales.
This adds a new dynamic to the classic superhero without compromising its integrity, something which a lot of movie studios STILL struggle with in adapting franchises for general audiences. We still get Spider-Man albeit varying in origin with plenty of parallels to play with.
To the uninitiated, Spider-Verse was a comic book arc introduced back in 2015 which immensely expanded the library of Spider-Men with as many variations as Marvel editorial wanted. That’s how we got the popular picks of Spider-Punk, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Ham, Scarlet Spiders and loads more in proper canon. The story used the Spider-Multiverse to its advantage and made its longevity an endless possibility for source material.
With this movie, we only get a fraction of that potential which is a good thing. Having too many characters share the screen without a proper introduction is a disaster waiting to happen but Into The Spider-Verse went with the smart route and only featured eight. (You post-credit loyalists know what I’m talking about)
Miles is a strong lead to carry this movie on his own and though his age and inexperience in the story isn’t something I can relate to personally, I’m sure a lot of younger fans could appreciate it and find a common ground with him.
“Visually stunning” is an understatement here. The art style literally destroys the boundaries and physics of every scene, creating a dynamic twist of comic art brought to life. You can forget about that Scott Pilgrim movie and its claims of masterfully combining comic and videogame tropes to live action – Into the Spider-Verse is the new benchmark when it comes to transcending an animation style to the cinematic plane.
I guess the only struggle worth noting is the lack of a substantial villain for the protagonist(s). Sure we had Kingpin at the helm with variations of Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Prowler, Scorpion and Tombstone but they were more of a nuisance rather than a threat to the plot. This is in no way discounting the collider as a threat by the way, it’s just that the slot was open to be filled but instead they settled for a McGuffin disguised as a Goober.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is by far the most self contained and satisfying Spider-Movie I have personally enjoyed in awhile. Maguire was good for his time (though I hated his ‘loser’ portrayal of Peter in all three movies), Garfield was sidewalk trash picked up by Gwen Stacy and Holland was a bus ride snooze waiting for the next Avengers stop. Into The Spider-Verse is the new flavour we’ve all been craving for and all it took was more than one Spider-Person to make us THWIPP-ing again.
Verdict – 9/10