Sunday, December 23, 2018

Into The Spider-Verse

The entire Spider-verse was one of the best directions Marvel ever took the Spider-Man franchise in. The idea is simple. Each dimension of the infinite level of dimensions has it's own Spider-Man aside from the Peter Parker that we know and love. This story introduces Miles Morales, the black teen Spider-Man who brings the joys and struggles of being a young hero from the comics to the big screen and does so in spectacular fashion. This is the Spider-Man movie you didn't think you needed but we need it so badly in these troubled times. Learning to be a superhero through various rights of passage is just about the best theme for a film that there can be.

I have been fortunate to see both Aquaman and Into The Spider-verse in the same month. I remember loving the introduction of all the different 'spiders', especially the Japanese Spider-Man who controls a huge robot ala Power Rangers. How freakin' cool is that? He was on the comics but not the movie but his replacement is just as memorable.

"I am the emissary of Hell and I shall fight this great evil for the fate of all Spider."
This movie gives us a fresh Spiderman origin story that involves all the usual moments of discovery but puts the responsibility on a new person's shoulders. Call it Spider-man 2.0. The whole dimension hopping backstory took care of providing our novice webslinger with mentors and friends while HIS world is in danger by the Kingpin and the dangerous super collider he is in control of. This machine can tear the dimensions apart. Trust me. It all makes sense why there are all these different types of 'Spiders' but it's so great that they are there. Each is unique and the only Spider-person in their home dimensions but often get 'invited' to these kinds of gatherings in the comics by the universe. That is a strength taken from the comic. Even little kids will get it as will the dumber of your teens.
The animation is fantastic and mixes all kind of styles that makes this one fun to look at at all times. I loved that each 'Spider' was surrounded by a color palette and separate style of animation that is unique to them. That is unlike anything I have ever seen in an animated superhero movie. A lot of the film has these beautiful little touches that reward adults and long time fans of Spider-Man comic books. And the way the Spiders move through space while using their powers is thrilling. They even animate the sound effects and show thought panels like in a comic book. They are able to do things with animation that would seem insane in live action and that is what makes this one possibly the best Spider-Man movie of all time. It takes all we already know and puts such a fresh spin on the whole tale that you can't help but smile at all the sweet Easter eggs mixed throughout the film. I cared about each character and watching Miles go from spider bite to Spider-Man is a thrilling story that doesn't punk out on the whole 'with great power comes great responsibility' theme but does it in a new way proving that those words are eternal for any character who wants to do the right thing and has the superpower to do it.
After meeting Peter Parker, who himself has been Spider-man for ten years (or has it been 22 years), Miles get schooled in how to be a hero. This Peter has trouble of his own like he always had. That is a refreshing piece of nostalgia that helps fuel a great story that is even better for a Spider-Man fan like me. I am bathing in all the cool. Everyone becomes better because of their interaction with each others. Team work where people put their ego aside? Wow! What a concept! The results have emotional resonance and that's how I knew that this film was something special. It hit me right in the middle of my Spider-Man sweet spot.
The villain here is the Kingpin who controls a super-collider that has the ability to destroy all the multiverses so the Spiders must unite to save us all. And what a fun mix of Spiders that they are. Spider-Ham will be a huge hit with the kids. He needed more screen time than he got but he did great with his part.
The Stan Lee cameo and the appearance of Aunt May made me tear up and that is because the people who made this film fully understood how great a hero Spider-Man is and how to use his whole history to tell maybe the greatest Spider-Man story of all time. It's all about finding the Spider-man inside all of us which is really, kinda, sorta, the point, isn't it? And I will admit that watching Miles being HIS kind of Spider-man for the first time was pretty damn thrilling for me.
The film also introduces the Prowler who is the uncle of Miles Morales in the comics books.
As I mentioned before the action is fantastic with all the action seen from multiple points of view that I doubt could be replicated in live action. This is also why I could watch one of these animated feature every single Christmas. In fact it would make a terrific afternoon animated series if they keep the comedic elements intact.
Into the Spider-verse will make you laugh and smile while telling you a thrilling coming of age story about a boy becoming a hero. That idea is timeless and here it is executed to near perfect effect. Another one to take the family to see if they are killing each other after Christmas. You will have a great time yourself.


Rob R said...

I was so impressed with this movie! I remember smiling about 2/3 into it thinking I am not sure how it was going to end. Not knowing the outcome in a superhero film was such a refreshing feeling! Sony did the impossible twice now... giving two back-to-back solid Spidey films: Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Like I said, this was a great spider-man origin story without Peter Parker but reminded us all of how great the character is no matter who is behind the mask. I had a lot of fun and smiled alot.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing this one but you know me, I have to wait until the crowds die down before I'll venture out to the theatre to see it.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Another one you will enjoy. Everyone knows enough about Spider-Man to really dig this one.

Bob/Sally said...

I found the clash of animation styles really distracting, to the point of headache-inducing. The story was good. The recap of the origin stories was fantastic, especially with the little nods to things like emo-dancing Toby. As an old school comic fan, I loved seeing Spider-Ham, but the whole Spider-cave of gadgets and costumes just struck me as odd - it wasn't 'my' Spider-Man.

Chase March said...

I saw it today and loved it. Great film that didn't follow the comic book story at all. It has warmth and humour and was very well done.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Yeh but in someone's dimension that IS their Spider-Man and I have read some stories where Spider-Man runs his own corporation based on his inventions. I could see that happening if he had access to the tech from his villians.