Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse - Movie Review

The Movie: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse

The Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

The Cast: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Valez, Zoë Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber, Chris Pine

The Story: Miles Morales becomes the Spider-Man of his reality and crosses paths with his counterparts from other dimensions to stop a threat to all reality.

The Review:
The best and most simple way that I can describe this movie is that it takes all the fun of reading comic books and throws every ounce of it on the big screen in the best way possible. From the very beginning, this movie is nothing but fun and is a stunning celebration of what an animated feature can be. There are so many jokes about the genre, the characters, the stories, the source material, and just about everything in between yet it never feels exclusive to any specific audience. While watching the movie, I noticed that kids, adults, families, couples, and everyone else in the theater were all enjoying the film just as much as I was as it really does have something for everyone.

Fans of Miles Morales as Spider-Man are going to be overjoyed and compensated for their patience in being able to see this version of that wall crawler finally come to life on screen. Voiced by Shameik Moore, Morales is brought to life perfectly in ways that highlights who he is as a budding super hero as well as who he is as an ethnic kid (He is both African American and Latino) growing up in New York. His parents are fully realized characters in the story and he has all the normal problems you might expect, but there's also this little thing about getting bit by a radioactive spider that complicates things a little further.

For those who are only familiar with Peter Parker as the spectacular web spinning super hero, you are in for a treat as he is also in the movie as well as several other alternate universe versions of the character. This is a little hard to explain without going through several paragraphs of exposition which I'm not going to do but you can feel at ease knowing that the film makers found a super fun and creative way to introduce each version of the character that is flawless in its efficiency while also poking fun at the origin story aspect of super hero story telling.

When it comes to animated films, you can't really talk about the acting but I will say the voice work in this movie is pretty fantastic and the cast that was brought in to do the work is spot on perfect. As I mentioned before, Shameik Moore plays Morales and he does a fine job in the lead role but I really need to point out Nicolas Cage who is the voice of "Spider-Man Noir" which I can't even begin to describe with words and Jake Johnson as a Peter Parker who is a bit older and little less super than you might expect. Both bring so much life, personality, and humor to their characters, there really needs to be an awards category for voice acting so they can be nominated.

Visually, this is one of the most stunning animated features you will ever see. Well, at least that we've seen so far. After watching, your eyes are actually going to tell you that they want to see the movie again because they nearly exploded the first time around trying to take in all the awesomeness. Seriously though, you will want to see it at least a second time, mainly because it's a great movie but also there is so much going on that you are sure to take in a lot more with repeat viewings.

One of the things I really liked about the animation style is how it looks like artwork from a comic book that has come to life and this is realized in a lot of different ways that are hard to describe so again, you'll see what I mean when you watch the movie. There is so much creativity that went into how this film looks, I can only really scratch the surface from typing out words so take a look at the photo below which gives you a taste of what I mean. Notice the dots which are prominent on the cab and on the building to the left which are a classic hallmark of the comic book printing process.

The Verdict:
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse stands out among super hero movies in ways that none ever have before. It is a fun, exciting, engaging, and emotionally captivating treat for kids of all ages. I'm done typing now, go see the movie. Seriously, go. Right now.

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