Movie Review: Into the Spider-Verse

Critics are calling it the best Spider-Man movie of all time and for good reason! After 3 reboots in the last decade, Sony finally did right with a Spider-Man movie. In what is a cross between a psychedelic sundae of a music video, a comic-book page coming to life, coupled with a very strong script and character development, this movie is a Home Run for the studios involved.

The story starts off paying homage to the numerous iterations of Spider-Man over the years, both live action and animated and as a religious follower of the comic book mythos, I like many others completely lapped it up. There’s a fine line between fan service and fan pandering. The latter is not good. By just taking the most iconic moments from the pages and archive reels and recreating it in a whole new setting instead of slyly referencing some page of some comic that came out in 1972, the creators appealed to all audience and that’s what makes these moments so amazing.

And the computer-animated route the filmmakers took fits perfectly into the larger scheme of things as its the best way to correctly represent Spider-Man and all his array of visual emotions without seeming to cartoony. Also, the more fantastical parts of the film fit seamlessly into the CGI world without seeming too jarring, credit due to the spot on editing and hours of work put in by the animation teams. There is work and passion put into this film and it shows. There are many a storytelling tropes made famous by other franchises and movies in and out of the superhero genre have made their way into this movie to play for laughs. Some of them work interestingly well. I just hope it doesn’t become a cliche over time. Just because Deadpool and Thor Ragnarok made it work doesn’t mean it has to be shoved into our faces all the time. The mandatory Stan Lee cameo kind of rips at your heart a little bit, especially the timing where it is placed. I’m not sure if it was intentional but it’s a lovely moment nonetheless.

This coming of age/passing of the torch film borrows many tropes but somehow makes it look fresh again. The panoramic shots and time-lapses that one normally grows weary of these days simply for the sheer number of them pushed unnecessarily into almost all movies and TV Shows these days somehow look visually arresting in a CGI setting and that is something I found surprisingly good. It’s rare to find crazy storytelling find a compelling place on the big screen without your head messing with you questioning every technicality, but somehow, this movie has a compelling, interesting story arc supported strongly by the visual treat and technical masterpiece that it is.

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