Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ★★★★

SPIDER-VERSE is incredibly dense a production. There is so much packed into a limited runtime that it doesn't quite feel like the formulaic film that it really is.

But to begin with, SPIDER-VERSE innovatively gives mass audiences a brand-new style, which is a welcome breath of freshness in the big-budget superhero landscape. The animation's crisp, yet classic 2D feel is gorgeous. Almost every frame of it.

Secondly, Miles Morales--his world, his character development--is thorough and sincere. Similarly, older-Peter Parker is just about perfect including Jake Johnson's dry-comic voice.

And thirdly, the ambitious, high-energy script and the quick moving from scene to scene, from setpiece to setpiece (in this dazzling animation) hypnotically draw the audience in to the Spider-Verse's world. Interesting, though, the film's energy and uniqueness give most of the silly or unoriginal elements (and they’re there although you wouldn’t know it from the dizzying positivity of reviews out there.  Noir Spider-Man, Anime: silly. Dimensional big-ball of destruction Collider: unoriginal) a complete pass.

When enthusiasm and a unique vision are at the table, almost any foolishness has the potential to take a backseat, which is the case here. I'm not sold on this the way many have been--there are too many traditional elements that bind Spider-Verse to its genre template. Although, largely they are well managed, there are a few too many characters to deal with. But like I say, give me something new and shiny, root it in strong character work, and deliver it with humour, and it'll work. And that's what Spider-Verse does well here, not unlike what LEGO MOVIE did a few years ago

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