Review: Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse introduces a new Spider-Man in a fun and dynamic way

  • Heart-warming and fresh superhero origin story
  • Bold and ambitious animation style 
  • A great homage to the Spider-Man franchise

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the latest computer animated film to come from Sony Pictures Animation and is directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman. Along with producers and writers Chris Millar and Phil Lord who have worked on The Lego Movie21 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Into the Spider-Verse stars Shameik Moore as our protagonist Miles Morales, Jake Johnson as Spider-Man and Hailee Steinfeld as Spider-Gwen. Considering that Sony Pictures Animation gave us the infamous Emoji Movie, when hearing they were going to do Spider-Man’s first animated feature film did leave me apprehensive at first. However, it is safe to say that this film surpassed many expectations and was a huge success – currently grossing $234.6m worldwide. 

The film opens with an introduction to the basic origin of Spider-Man, just in case there is someone in the audience who does not know the Spider-Man backstory. An advantage this film has is the Spider-Man franchise itself. The film makes it clear that there have been a huge number of Spider-Man films in the past and everyone is familiar to who Spider-Man is and his story. This introduction is done for every new Spider-Man that gets introduced with quick cuts of clips of their backstory with their narration. The film uses this method to great comedic effect whilst also being an efficient way to save time.

Still from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Peter B. Parker, Gwen Stacey and Miles Morales are just part of the Spider ensemble cast. Credit: Sony Pictures 

Moreover, the film follows Miles Morales, a teenager who has recently moved to an elite school but he cannot help but feel out of place. Through various escapades he finds himself gaining spider powers and steps into the role of Spider-Man. The film’s villain, Wilson Fisk, has built a particle collider that allows him to access parallel universes. This leads other incarnations of Spider-Man, each interesting and unique, being pulled into Mile’s universe. Miles has to save the alternate versions of Spider-Men by getting them home whilst also stopping Fisk from ripping another hole in the universe. 

The theme running throughout the film is the great expectations people have of you. For Miles, it’s the expectation that he has to live up to being in an elite school and the huge responsibility of being Spider-Man. Miles’s expectations seem even greater when you are introduced to the other Spider-Men. This is skilfully done through the writing of the film as it still manages to have great comedic timing but still manages to have those moments that carry real weight and emotion. 

Still from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Into the Spider-Verse demonstrating its distinct animation style. Credit: Sony Pictures 

When first seeing the animation style they were going with from the promotional material, I was initially sceptical. However, the animation is something you do get accustomed to after the first few minutes, if you had any reservations. The animation of Into the Spider-Verse becomes something that is a definite highlight of the film and breaks new ground for the form.

The animation essentially places you into a comic book as it lends itself to the art style you would normally see printed on a page. This makes the world seem more vibrant and energetic whilst also having a great sense of motion. The different and unique art style of this film will certainly set it apart from other recent animated films.

If you are a long time fan Spider-Man, I could not recommend this film enough. If you are a fan of films in general, there’s enough here to keep you engaged and laughing out loud. Into the Spider-Verse is a great and unique coming of age story that manages to introduce the concept of the multiverse, a well-known concept in geek culture, onto the big screen. It’s an all new, different Spider-Man film that is a refreshing take on the Spider-Man franchise in contrast to the live action Spider-Man films. Into the Spider-Verse has a great story, amazing writing, superb animation, likeable characters and overall is one of the best Spider-Man films to date.