Rated PG | 117 mins.
Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Starring Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, Zoë Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage, Kathryn Hanh, Liev Schreiber
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is like nothing you've ever seen before. With all these superhero movies that now exist, we've heard the phrase, "The comic book has come to life on the big screen" or something similar. However, with Spider-Verse, it is quite literally a comic book that has come to life on the big screen. It's a challenge to put into words how this film is laid out and shot, but that's as close as it gets. The story mainly focuses on Miles Morales (finally!) and the other Spider-People who enter his reality due to a particle accelerator that Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin) had built. Both peril and hilarity ensue.
With Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) as producers, and Lord as writer of the story and screenplay, there was a great amount of certainty that this movie would be a hit, and it was. The story line was incredibly unique and makes you wonder why someone hasn't attempted to do something like this yet. At the same time, it's a relief that it was Lord and Miller who got their hands on this project because there's no one else who could execute like they did. Only they could pull off putting Spider-Ham (Mulaney) in a movie and make it not corny. The pig's weapons that consisted of an anvil and a wooden mallet that fits in his pocket are both classic and hilarious for his character. It's perfect.
What makes the movie that much more exciting and fun is actually the music. It's very hip-hop-centric and contains both big name artists like Post Malone, Lil Wayne, and Nicki Minaj, but also has up-and-comers like Juice WRLD, Ski Mask the Slump God, and Duckwrth. They completely encapsulated what it's like to be a half-Black, half-Puerto Rican teenager growing up in Brooklyn. It's Miles' personal soundtrack and we're invited to listen in. Also, shout out to all of the potty-mouthed rappers who were able to keep their lyrics PG just for this movie. Looking at you, Vince Staples.
The main aspect of the film that stands out the most is the impeccable animation. It was like reading an actual comic book without actually having to read it. What was amazing was that there was more than one type of animation style used. They had to integrate modern animation, monochromatic animation, '80s cartoon animation, and anime into one film. It was done with finesse and looked stunning on screen. The movie was a delight to just look at with all of the colors that were popping out. There wasn't a dull moment of Spider-Verse and it just may be the best animated film of 2018. Sorry, Incredibles 2. ★★★★★
★★★★★ Classic | ★★★★ Excellent | ★★★ Good | ★★ Fair | ★ Poor
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