Some people were skeptic of a Venom film without Spider-Man. As October pushed forward, we start to hear more and more Spider-Man based projects moving forward without the webslinger. Jared Leto's Morbius, Silver & Black (whether or not it's still happening is another story in and of itself), Kraven the Hunter - just to name a few. Then, Venom, finally arrived. It was meant with mixed results to say the least but in its' post credit sequence, it featured a scene from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It started to beg the question, what if Sony is addressing approaching their Spider-Man properties in the same vein as DC does with animation, comic, television and film.
For now, its merely a theory. Though, for its first animated feature with the webslinger, we are introduced to a multitude of variations on the famous hero. Spider-Verse brings multiple variations of Spider-Man together after a collider falls in & the heroes must stop the villainous, Kingpin.
Even from the title sequences of this film, the animation goes above and beyond. I honestly don't even in now where to begin describing the animation. The animators of this film experiment with some many diverse style, giving Spider-Verse a bold and original look. Taking influences from manga, pulp art, Wes Anderson animation (The Fantastic Mr. Fox & Isle of Dogs), street and more. Spider-Verse has a visual voice that allows it to easily stand out from the competition. I would even dare to say has the making of a classic.
Animation aside, the actual plot of this film offers audiences everything you want in an movie. I was honestly surprised by how much heart this film has. When you watch a lot of the marketing campaign for this film, you're expecting this light and funny, almost comedic superhero film. The comedy of this film is fantastic. It's the heartwarming moments that really bring this film to a new depth. There are a few moments that will truly challenge your tear glands. So, you may want to bring a issue or two.
The chemistry between Peter Parker and Miles Morales is another wondrous depth for this picture. Every exchange between these two characters feels nature. Whether its comedy or drama, the relationship between mentor and men-tee feels like cinematic perfection. Not only that, the relationship arc also makes for a more satisfying arc with Peter B. Parker as a whole.
As much praise as I can pour onto this family outing, it does suffer from the Marvel curse. It spends so much time building up the heroes of the Spider-Verse, that it ultimately fails to develop its villains. When you have a lot of Spider-Men, you're bought to have a lot of spider villains as well. So you can expect to see Green Goblin, Prowler, Scorpion, Doc Ock & of course, the head honcho himself, Kingpin. The villains are not only two dimensional on the screen, they're also the down side to the beautiful animation. While the heroes feel grounded and like their comic counterparts, the villains are over exaggerated in their forms. They look and feel larger than life. It almost feels like they spent more time on bulking them up physically and not enough dimensionality.
Overall, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, is a wonderful surprise filled with humor, heart and wonderful character moments. Not to mention, its drowned in a world of animation that adds to the film making it a visual spectacle. It is cursed by Marvel's formulaic villains and lackluster character development for them. Still, you'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll want to be your own version of Spider-Man.
Credits: Video Intro by Dallas Mora. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is property of Sony & Marvel. We do not own nor claim any rights.