Whilst standing in line for a ticket, I heard someone near the poster area ask: “A Spiderman cartoon?” “Why is there a Spiderman cartoon?” Why indeed? There have been 7 (and counting) big screen Spidermans in our lifetime. Do we really need another?
The Bad News:
At one point in Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, my sister who was next to me, tapped me on the shoulder and asked me about who exactly Kingpin is, and whether or not he possesses superpowers. And because this movie has a lot of Spidermans (Spidermen?) with their own varied back stories, the villain wasn’t really given as much attention. I mean, I am glad he was made a sympathetic villain as opposed to a mustache-twirly one, but to those unfamiliar with the Kingpin, he has an amazing back story that makes us understand how he can be a monster whilst having this fierce love for his family. And because the movie didn’t have time for that, I think his villain potential for this movie was cut short.
And the animation, which I love, and will take more about below, can be a little on the hyperactive, frenzied side, and it can be a little dizzying at times.
And while this is a movie that prides itself in being outside of your usual superhero movie mold, you can still pretty much find certain problems resolved in a trope-y way.
The Good News:
This is one gorgeous piece of animated film. The phantasmagoric visuals is nothing I have seen before. The Pixar-looking animated movies are great, sure. But this was a breath of fresh air, with its comic book inspired look and feel. I love how sequences would look like comic book panels, I love how dialogue would appear in the air, and I love the onomatopoeias popping up here and there.
Story-wise, I dug it. And like I said, we have had a lot of Spiderman movies, 7 (so far) to be exact, and they all feature Peter Parker as our lone, web slinger. So it’s great that we get to see a new, cool Spidey; who is not Peter, and is not an orphan. Miles has a cool mum, a cool dad, and a cool uncle. He is like from this really cool family. Okay, I am going to stop now. But seriously, he exhibits “cool”, and you’ll know it when you see it. And it is great that they allowed us to get to know him first as Miles the normal kid, showing us his hobbies, his struggles in his new, very white school, etc., before we even got to him as Spiderman. And that made his character all the more relatable and fleshed out.
And I have always been a sucker for parallel universes/multiverse stories and the idea of having multiple, but different kind of yous in each one is just mind-blowing to think about. So imagine having 5 other Spidermans (spidermen?)! And each is in no way like the Spiderman you know! And being a Looney Tunes kid, I am a huge fan of Spider Ham! He has Acme superpowers, you guys! And Spider Noir…I… can’t… even.
And I have always been a fan of Lord’s and Miller’s smart dumb humor, if that makes sense. They do all these silly jokes that are just, you know, smart. Okay, I cannot really explain how that is. But you know when you see their stuff. And I do love the energy their movies have, it’s very excited and feverish. I can feel their love and passion for whatever character they are bringing to life on-screen, and in this case it’s Spiderman. And I think Stan Lee would be so proud. Sniff. (He has a cameo in this one. SNIFF!)
This movie also hits a couple of emotional beats about family, and friendship, and grief and second chances, and has a lot of amazing action sequences, which makes this a well-rounded film for adults and kids alike.
All in all, I love this movie to bits, this is perhaps the best Spiderman film I have seen! That’s right! I said it.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Watch this if:
- You are experiencing superhero fatigue and want something a little different
- You want an animated film that doesn’t look Pixar-esque
- You love looking at hand drawn art
- You love the aesthetic of comic books
- You miss Nick Miller (New Girl)
- You want to have a good laugh!