SPIDER-MAN: TREAT OR MENACE

A review of Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse

By Ethan Johnson

*Warning minor spoilers ahead*

After releasing the abysmal failure that was the Emoji Movie, it was believed that Sony would never be able to create movies that could compete with the media giant Disney. However, in defiance of all odds, Sony has gotten it right. Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse is a breath of fresh air that has quickly climbed to be the greatest animated movie that came out in 2018.

Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse tells the story of Miles Morales, a middle school kid from Brooklyn, who gets bitten by a spider and develops powers similar to the famous Spider-man. He later meets the original Spider-man and, due to some space-time mumbo jumbo, meets more spider-people from other dimensions as well, including Spider-woman, Spider-man noir, and Spider-ham. They all soon discover that there is a threat to the multiverse and must work together to stop it. Despite the many cliches that pop out at first, the movie actually manages to create a new story and does not make you feel like you’re watching Marvel movie number 616.

After many years of big name Animation being nearly dominated by the iconic pixar style it began to feel like every animated movie was simply going to be more of the same. Into the Spider-verse explores new ground by using an animation style that seems to bring comic books to life. With this style, the movie creates a beautiful New York City with all of the lights, graffiti and people that make it so wonderful. It doesn’t restrain itself to New York though, with scenes taking place in a breathtaking snow filled forest of red leaves or a finale that resembles a kaleidoscope. In whatever setting this movie seeks to execute, it manages to do so in an awe inspiring manner. However, due to the comic-like style of the movie, sometimes it appears like its running at less frames per second than most movies which can be annoying to some viewers.

With an amazing soundtrack, it makes you feel inspired one moment and scared the next. Each theme ties with the scenes various tone perfectly. One particular villains theme manages to give me chills every time I hear it. The superior music choice can really get you engaged in the movie. Whether the stakes are high or just playing a gag, the movie always seems to have track ready to match. It’s actually refreshing to see that the movie didn’t rely on the original Spider-man theme to carry the soundtrack.

It’s easy to see the main character, Miles Morales, as a cheap move to add diversity to a movie, but instead Miles is a well written character with his own personality and not just a Peter Parker of color. In fact, all of the cast is given the time to truly be a character instead of a gag or gimmick. Many movies make the flaw of having comic relief characters never serve any other purpose and often have them crack jokes in even the most serious of scenes, but Spider-verse even gives the cartoon pig time to be serious. Despite many of the alternate universe Spider-people being comical interpretations of many other styles, each one is still allowed to have their own motivations and a personality beyond the jokes.

Spider-verse may be serious at times, but it’s not shy of making jokes either. It does well in remembering that at heart, it’s a kids movie. What sets it ahead of other kids movies however is that its jokes are clever and timed well. The jokes never felt forced into a scene that was dramatic or intense. Instead the jokes happen when they should and keep the tone of the movie at an enjoyable balance. The movie’s also not afraid to make fun of itself at times too or even many plot holes that movies find themselves falling into. I don’t wish to spoil any of the jokes but I will recommend waiting till the end of the credits for what may be the best one.

With a fresh style of animation, a spectacular soundtrack, as well as a cohesive and compelling story with a memorable cast, it is no wonder that Spider-verse won the Golden Globe for best animated picture.

With all of this in mind, I’m rating Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse with a spectacular 9.3/10. I recommend that any fan of Spider-man should watch it as well as anyone who wants a fun movie. This movie may even be better than or at least on an equal level with Spider-man 2.