Review – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

For several years, I have been a self-proclaimed Spidey-fan. Whether or not a version of the hero is seen as bad, and whether or not the style of film-making is seen as bad didn’t matter much to me, as the character of Spider-Man and his secret identity of Peter Parker has always been among my favorites, and viewing these movies has been an experience different than other hero films, for whatever reason. It pained me to have to wait to see the latest Spider-Man film, even though the latest was an animated feature. It turns out this one was a highly-loved and highly-rated film for not only the hero, but also…just for the year in general! I had to see this movie.

Interestingly enough, this film focuses on Miles Morales, a variation of Spider-Man not often focused on in film, but Peter Parker is a main character. Take of that as you will, but the most important thing to realize with Peter Parker’s character is that he is essentially the Tobey Maguire version of Spider-Man, as some of his most famous scenes are recreated for character development purposes, and it is hilarious. I’d tell you the scenes in question, but just go watch it for yourself.

The fact of the matter is, this is a movie that is difficult to find faults in. Maybe the acting isn’t as strong as it could be, and maybe they could focus a little more on the individual characters and how the specific roles they play in the outcome of the movie, but I’ll be honest…that’s really the most faults I could find. And as far as what blew me away specifically? The visuals. The artistic design behind this movie is intense and unlike anything else I have even seen in the year. But…let’s get down to the nitty gritty, anyways.

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. “Spider-Man(TM): Into the Spider-Verse” introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.

Sony Pictures

PEOPLE – 15/20 (75%)

Acting – 2/4 | Characters – 4/4 | Casting – 4/4 | Importance – 2/4 | Chemistry – 3/4

This film excels in so many categories, but if there was one category where they could have decidedly done better in, it would be the PEOPLE category, and the PEOPLE category did just fine overall, when you think about it. The main issues here come down to acting range, which is mostly just fine throughout the film, and doesn’t really change overall, and the importance of the characters. This was a very colorful cast of characters, and when it comes to the characters alone, they were very, very memorable…but their specific roles kind of blend in together as the collective helper role. The only people that really held importance was the two main Spider-Man characters…and that was it. Chemistry was also pretty solid, but wasn’t as strong as it could’ve been overall.

WRITING – 8/10 (80%)

Dialogue – 2/2 | Balance – 2/2 | Story Depth – 0/2 | Originality – 2/2 | Interesting – 2/2

The writing had a mostly solid score here, the only real problem came down to how deep the film came on a certain level. For the most part, I just sensed a whole heck of a lot of fun coming out of the movie, and very little real depth. Yes, Peter Parker was distant with MJ, and yes, there is something sketchy going on with Miles’ uncle, but these were mostly place-mats that were put in to move the story along, and you don’t really connect much with them. Everything else is perfect. The dialogue is often hilarious, there is a solid goal each character is heading towards, it feels shockingly and refreshingly original, and my interest in seeing what happens next never died down.

BTS – 10/10 (100%)

Visuals – 2/2 | Cinematography – 2/2 | Editing – 2/2 | Advertising – 2/2 | Music/Sound – 2/2

The behind-the-scenes area is clearly where this movie held the most strength in. As mentioned before, the visuals are top notch, and the artistic design is beyond all else, where this film strives. The visuals clearly create a mood that is hard to forget. The cinematography does a great job telling the story in an effective and memorable way, the action is all strung together quite nicely for the editing, it was as advertised, and the music chosen for the film and sound in general all made this movie worth while.

NARRATIVE ARC – 10/10 (100%)

Introduction – 2/2 | Inciting Incident – 2/2 | Obstacles – 2/2 | Climax – 2/2 | Resolution – 2/2

The film easily followed a solid narrative structure, which is somewhat surprising, given the sheer number of characters taking up the screen. The focus was never lost on our main heroes, there was a clear moment in the beginning of the film that changed the direction of the rest of the movie, including a crossing-of-the-threshold moment, there are plenty of obstacles that pop in for every character, a good epic conclusion that calms down and returns to a new sense of norm. All-in-all, a perfect narrative arc.

ENTERTAINMENT – 8/10 (80%)

Rewatchability – 2/2 | Fun Experience – 2/2 | Impulse/Buy – 1/2 | Impulse/Talk – 1/2 | Sucks you In – 2/2

For an entertainment score, 80% is definitely solid, and almost reaches the “holy crap, my mind is blown” score. I would willingly search for and rewatch the movie, I had a great time watching it, I wouldn’t mind owning it, but I doubt I’d buy it at full price, it has a lot of great discussion-worthy elements in the film, but I wouldn’t rush off to tell someone to go see it, and ask yourself this question – is it a movie that you could easily pause to do some chores, or go to sleep and finish it the next day…or is it a movie you need to keep watching and find yourself impulsively holding your bladder to see what happens next? This is more of the latter, so it definitely sucks you in.

SPECIALTY – 40/40 (100%)

Spider-Man – 10/10 | Spider-Verse – 10/10 | Action – 10/10 | Halfway Decent – 10/10

When it came down to the things specific to this movie, I wondered how it was as a Spider-Man movie, and it’s one of the better movies all-around that I’ve seen from the character. I was ultimately impressed by him. As a whole, I’ve heard of Miles Morales and had a general sense of what this whole spider-verse thing was – but have never seen it or read it, so I had no idea if I’d even like it. Ultimately, I thought they dealt with the concept really well…the best way they could have, really, so that gets full points, too. As a Spider-Man movie, you also expect there to be some decent action, and there is, honestly. As for being halfway decent? Duh. Full points.


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