Upon its announcement, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, created an awful lot of discussion.
To give the reins of a new Spider-Man film to the animation company who brought us Hotel Transylvania 3 was cause for reasonable concern, especially under the pretense that they were to produce something of a higher quality than the incarnations we’d seen of the web-slinger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) up until that point.
Yet, despite this, Sony Pictures Animation were able to deliver one of the most exciting, visually stunning and creative Spider-Man movies we’ve ever seen, and easily one of the best features of the decade.
The movie has an awful lot going for it; its perfectly cast with Shameik Moore reflecting Miles Morales’ naivety and determination, its humour is effortless, and its equal attention to blaring, exciting action and genuine emotional beats is masterfully managed.
But if there’s one thing that truly stands out about Spider-Verse, on the surface, it’s the unparalleled visual style.
Treading the line between human realism and comicbook explosiveness, the film defines each character by their look, and their personalities shine through from first glance.
To introduce characters like Spider-Ham and Penni Parker, and ensure they blend perfectly with a parallel world is a feat in itself. But to animate them differently compared to the rest of the spiders, and still maintain a world that feels real and alive is another feat, which is accomplished.
Despite how good comicbook films have been, there’s often a feeling that they’re overall a product developed for the masses.
Spider-Verse truly sets itself apart from these films by taking bold visual risks and setting a new standard for creative animation, one that’s equally experimental and accessible to anyone.
There’s not one movie that looks anything like Into The Spider-Verse, and the visual style captures the comicbook aesthetic better than any that attempted it beforehand, making the film stand out even further.
Aside from the visuals, magnificent script-writing and perfect casting that the film boasts, the music of Spider-Verse is one of it’s most essential storytelling tools.
Daniel Pemberton’s score weaves the audience directly into a teen’s experience of Brooklyn, and the mind of Miles detailing his naivety, fear and confidence without the character needing to say a word. And the soundtrack boasts tracks from artists you’d expect a kid like Miles to listen to in 2018.
The first time we see Miles is when he’s singing along to Swae Lee’s Sunflower, not knowing the words, but confident enough to make you believe he does.
This is the perfect introduction to the character, and using tracks later on like Start A Riot and Hide show exactly how oscillating and vibrant Brooklyn is through a teenager’s eyes.
As the two musical mediums blend when Miles is determined to truly become the Spider-Man his reality needs, Blackway’s What’s Up Danger booms with Pemberton’s righteous score, the audience knows that Miles is now entirely prepared for his final fight with Kingpin; and he doesn’t even need to say anything.
Even considering everything the film has going for it on the surface, its real driving force is how full of heart and spirit the team behind it are.
It’s so clear from how meticulously each frame is designed and how much time the team were willing to pour into the story that the film is a true labor of love; cemented by the Oscar awarded to the team for Best Animated Picture, setting the record for the most characters engraved into the figure.
Spider-Verse belongs to not one person on the team, and this film’s existence serves as a reminder that cinema is a collaborative medium, both behind the scenes and for the audience.
It’s meant to be shared and enjoyed by everyone, and Spider-Verse shows more than anything that film can unify like no other art can.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse alone is a magnificent triumph for the world of animation, and the nerdy landslide of Spider-Man fans, but equally, it represents unity and teamwork like few films before it could.
Miles’ story is easily one of the best of the decade for its style, wit, charm and heart, and every element of the film falls together perfectly to create the best version of Spider-Man we’ve seen on the big screen yet.
Not only is Spider-Verse one of the most important, delightful and exciting films of the decade, it equally stands for the title of one of the best animated movies ever. Not bad for another superhero movie.
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