Shortly after Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is bitten by a radioactive spider, he meets Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), the Spider-Man from another dimension. Miles works with Peter to learn how to be Spider-Man and to stop the Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) from tearing apart reality.
There is nothing left for me to say that I haven’t said before on this blog about my love for Spider-Man. And after 6 live-action movies (7 if you include his appearance in Captain America: Civil War), which include three origin stories, since 2001, you would think Sony wouldn’t have anything left to say about the character either. However, Sony dug deep and gave us a new look at the character. In doing so, they circumvented any expectations you might have had, delivering their most memorable and faithful take on the character yet.
The first thing you’re bound to notice when watching this film is its gorgeous animation. I can truly say I have never seen anything like it before. It looks like you’re watching a moving comic book. What blows me away is the way the backgrounds are animated. If it’s not the focus of the shot, it’s blurry and often the colors go outside the lines, like something you might have seen back in the early days of comics. To also go along with the classic comic book style, this movie pulls a 1960s Batman and shows action words with the heroes’ punches and kicks. And if they are tapping something, squiggly lines appear so you know there is contact. I can’t say enough good things about the animation style; I love it!
Miles Morales is a fan favorite character, so it was brilliant to finally tell a story centered around him. Peter Parker is the Spider-Man we all know and love but we’ve gotten to know him and love him on the screen plenty since 2001, so it’s probably time for him to let another spider hero take the spotlight. While this is yet another superhero origin story, and contains many of the tropes you might have come to expect, it still has a lot of heart. As a result, there is a lot of familiarity but it manages to feel different at the same time.
Much like Paul Rudd in Ant-Man, Jake Johnson is not a name I would have picked to portray a super hero. However, Johnson’s take on Peter Parker is great. His voice fits the older version well. I wouldn’t have expected Johnson to ever play a superhero, let alone be a good one.
One of Spider-Man’s signature characteristics is his quips and jokes both in and out of battle. And honestly, as great as several of the live-action films have been, Spider-Man’s humor is something they have consistently missed to varying degrees. However, Into the Spider-Verse nails it on the head. I think this is why Johnson ends up fitting into the role so well. If you’ve seen him in the television series New Girl, you’ll know that he has good comedic timing, which he uses to create a Peter Parker that is more like his comic book counterpart than any big screen iteration of the character to date.
Another thing that I love about this movie is the amount of spider heroes it introduces. Not only did it stray away from having Peter Parker being the main character and not only did it introduce Miles Morales, it introduced a whole group of new characters. Other fan favorites like Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Man Noir (Nicholas Cage), and Spider-Ham (John Mulaney) made appearances and played decently significant roles in the film. I can’t see this kind of story being adapted in a live-action setting so kudos to Sony for using an animated film to tell this story and bring these characters together. The door is now open to the literally endless spider men and women that can show up in future sequels. Personally, I can’t wait to see more.
I thought Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was GREAT 😀 It blows away any expectation I had going into it. I’m excited to see Miles finally getting his own movie, while also bringing in other popular alternative spider heroes. While taking a back seat to Miles, Jake Johnson’s Spider-Man is the most like the comic book of the version character that has been brought to the screen. In taking a chance on doing something different, Spider-Verse has given us the best representation of Spider-Man and the Spider-Man universe on film yet.
Cast & Crew
Bob Persichette – Director
Peter Ramsey – Director
Rodney Rothman – Director / Screenplay
Phil Lord – Story / Screenplay
Daniel Pemberton – Composer
Shameik Moore – Miles Morales (voice)
Jake Johnson – Peter B. Parker (voice)
Hailee Steinfeld – Gwen Stacy (voice)
Mahershala Ali – Uncle Aaron (voice)
Brian Tyree Henry – Jefferson Davis (voice)
Lily Tomlin – Aunt May (voice)
Zoe Kravitz – Mary Jane (voice)
John Mulaney – Spider-Ham (voice)
Kimiko Glenn – Peni Parker (voice)
Nicolas Cage – Spider-Man Noir (voice)
Kathryn Hahn – Doc Ock (voice)
Liev Schreiber – Wilson Fisk (voice)
Chris Pine – Peter Perker (voice)
Oscar Isaac – Interesting Person #1 (voice)
Greta Lee – Interesting Person #2 (voice)