For the past 16 years, we have seen a lot of Spider-Man films with Peter Parker as the protagonist. In 2018, Sony decided to release “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” an animated movie that features the story of Miles Morales as the hero for the first time on the big screen.
After seeing an early screening, I am surprised that it took so long to make a movie about this character. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is by far the best animated film of the year, and the best Spider-Man film since “Spider-Man 2.”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” follows the story of how Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man and shows what his personal and school life is like. Furthermore, we get a look at how the city is run by Kingpin and other villains.
After a portal to other dimensions opens up and wrecks havoc, other Spider-Men from different dimensions end up in Miles Morales’s universe. This leads them all to team up to not only stop Kingpin from taking over, but for the other Spider-Men to return to their dimensions.
From an entertaining perspective, this film succeeds tremendously. With a runtime of approximately two hours, the film flies by in an instant, with no scenes that drag. The film presents its story as if it were a comic book. There are scenes where you will see captions of what is going on in Miles’ head. It’s a love letter to comic books and other Spider-Man films, as there are several visual recreations of scenes from other live-action films.
Since the format the film chooses to tell its story works so well, it leads to flawless editing and animation. It is refreshing to see an animated film that blends hand-drawn and computer-generated images.
It’s not only the technical aspects that work in all the right ways, but the characters are all fascinating. Similar to Peter, Miles is a regular kid who is trying to balance his social, school and family life. His father, a police officer, and his mother, a nurse, want what is best for him. But even then, the relationship between Miles and his parents is not exactly stable. Miles has a close relationship with his uncle, who his father insists is not a good role model.
Other characters include different types of Spider-Men, including Peter, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man: Noir, Gwen Stacy and Peni Parker. All of these characters shine and deliver a lot of great supporting roles. Each has their own spin on the Spider-Man character, and every time there’s an introduction to their character, a lot of laughs are provoked.
Speaking of the humor, this film is incredibly hilarious. Consistently throughout the film, I was laughing hard. It was a good balance between that aspect and the thrilling actions scenes.
Above all of that, there is also a lot of heart in this film. There are a lot of emotional moments with Miles and his family, and scenes in which characters reconcile and have conversations that stick with the audience.
As an animated film and as an overall film, it has everything to offer. We have gotten a plethora of superhero films over the past couple of years, and even then, it still feels refreshed and original in the right ways.
When it opens in theaters on Dec. 14, make sure to go see it on the big screen. It is absolutely worth it.