Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse Review

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was released on December 14, 2018.

Courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was released on December 14, 2018.

Samantha Roehl, Eastside Features Editor

2018 was a year of superheroes. Quite possibly a year of too many superheroes. Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Aquaman, Deadpool 2, Venom, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Incredibles 2 all opened in 2018 and even the most die-hard superhero fans started experiencing some fatigue. Despite this, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has been lauded by casual viewer and critic alike. And for good reason.

The movie follows Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), an eighth grade Afro-Latino from Brooklyn. He receives his spider-bite and is thrust into the world of superheroes, one in which he has only ever existed as an observer. Soon, the Kingpin’s (Liev Schreiber) scheme to rip a hole in the universe – right under Brooklyn – leads to Miles meeting a gaggle of Spider-People from other dimensions. With the help of a washed up Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), a survivor’s-guilt ridden Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), a grim Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), an anime Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) and the absolutely hilarious Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Miles has to save Brooklyn and transform into a hero.

The movie, written by Rodney Rothman and Phil Lord and directed by Peter Ramsey, Robert Persichetti Jr. and Rodney Rothman, is essentially a comic book that jumped onto the big screen. Not only is the cinematography flawless, but the blend of animation styles is not only pulled off but executed to its maximum potential. The mix of hyper-realistic animation with pop art is not only the perfect way to translate comics to screen but also the perfect medium for this specific story.

But cinematography alone does not make a movie. Thankfully, every other component of Into the Spider-Verse is just as well crafted. The pacing is perfect and the dialogue has all the witty quips required of Spider-Man (times five!). The original soundtrack is also perfect for this version of the web swinger and adds to some of the movie’s most intense and meaningful moments. The music, mainly pop/rap, adds a rich texture to Miles’ NYC and context to his life as an Afro-Latino teenager. And that’s important because the movie makes itself clear that it is a Spider-Verse movie but, more importantly, is a Miles Morales movie.

In a movie with five Spider-Men/Women/Pigs, it is amazing that it is a superhero movie, a coming of age movie, and a message about how anyone can be Spider-Man. And it is all of those things in the best way possible. It did this so well that #Spidersona went viral and social medias were flooded with drawings of differently themed Spider-Men.

Into the Spider-Verse is a stunning and emotional tribute to what makes Spider-Man. As Stan Lee once said, “That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.”