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I have to admit I didn’t think much when I first saw the trailer for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. I think they played it for the first time when Venom came out. I thought the animation was a little weird and looked like a straight to DVD superhero film so I didn’t think I’d see it in the theaters at all.
Fast forward a few weeks I get this email from Sony. They said because I’m a PlayStation Plus subscriber I had an opportunity to watch Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse two weeks early and for free. Who am I to turn down a free offer? So I signed up and asked a few people if they’d come watch it with me. They had the same thoughts as I did so they declined. I have one friend that’s a big superhero fan and he was gung-ho to watch it with me.
Now, I already thought that we were getting an early showing of the movie, but somehow some reviewers were already posting how great the movie was. I thought this was absurd. How could they see it earlier than the early showing? Nevertheless their great reviews piqued my interest.
When I got to the theater we saw a huge line to get into the place but we surprisingly got good seats despite the fact that seats were available on a first come first serve basis. I’m thinking a lot of people had the same assumption that I did about the movie and backed out.
When the movie started I immediately noticed that they had a different feel to this movie than any of the other Marvel or Spider-Man movies. The art direction was different, the music was more hip-hop and in general it had a totally fresh feel to it. Of all of the Marvel movies this movie displayed and felt like New York had its own culture and history. Hip-hop came from New York and this movie addressed this. I think it’s the first time any of these New York based superhero movies addressed this. That was a nice change of pace.
So the story is about this kid named Miles Morales. He’s a smart teen growing up in New York. He’s got the usual teenage issues that all teens face like family, friends and knowing what you want to be when you grow up. Spider-Man (Peter Parker) in his universe fights with the Kingpin. The Kingpin is trying to open a portal to an alternate universes for reasons I won’t spoil. During this mishap something happens that causes other Spider-Heroes from other dimensions to come to Miles’ universe. In the midst of all this craziness Miles has been bitten by a radioactive spider and gained the spider’s abilities.
This was a fun movie from start to finish. There are tons of smart jokes sprinkled throughout the film. A lot of the jokes are subtle and nods to other movies from the past. Everyone at the showing we went to understood all of the jokes, so it was great to be in on it with them. I guarantee that you’ll have a smile throughout the movie cheering Miles on as he’s a very like-able and relatable character.
The art direction is very different and I grew to love it. The artists had freedom to do a lot of stuff. I like the fact that the art was mimicking the old comic book dot art to help focus the viewer’s eyes to what was to be focused on. My friend thought it was supposed to be a 3D movie but no it was an artistic style to help focus the viewer’s attention to what was most important. Some of the other Spider-Heroes had totally different artistic looks to them but somehow it felt natural within the movie.
Speaking of the other Spider-Heroes. Some of them were really out there, like an anime Spider-Mech and Spider-Pig. I thought this wouldn’t work but they miraculously made this work with the film. They didn’t play huge parts in the film (as they shouldn’t) but it was nicely executed.
Keep an eye for all the Easter eggs in the movie. There are tons! There’s even a Stan Lee appearance in the movie. If you’re a fan of Spider-Man or superhero movies in general this is a no-brainer. You have to go.
Overall, I would say that this movie is a 10 out of 10. You have to see this in the theaters. Watching it with a group of people that get all the in-jokes will help your enjoyment, but not totally necessary. I really hope this movie does well because I want a sequel. This can’t be a one shot deal. I raved about it to everyone and I think I may have to see it in the theaters with them and I will definitely be buying this movie when it comes out on video. I’m sure glad I read my emails!