Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ★★★½

Spider-Manathon: #8 of 8

The Spider-Man marathon comes to a close, and I'm so glad it ended with this one. While I don't consider it a masterpiece of entertainment (its current placement on the Letterboxd Top 250 is a bit extreme in my opinion), I still love it and am glad to see that Sony Pictures Animation managed to express themselves freely. Much like everyone else, my favorite aspect of this film was the animation. The visual style captures the characteristics of a comic book in the best way possible, and the presentation allowed for a gorgeous color palette and several types of animation seamlessly blend. The comic book panels, the character design, everything is a feast for the eyes. There's no doubt that I'd return to this one for its animation alone. If only more 3D animation studios learned how much stylization matters.

The concept itself allowed for a fresh spin on the Spider-Man story, even if the overall story and character beats aren't anything new. It also helps that the story is playful throughout most of the running time, fitting the comic book style animation quite well. While there were some unintentionally cheesy moments as the story transitioned into the third act, Spider-Verse doesn't take itself too seriously outside of those moments, and it adds to the charm. The humor was also varied and did prove to be effective at points. I was never rolling out of my chair nor were the laughs consistent, but it's admirable that the film didn't stick to one type of gag. The only humor that didn't work for me was Peter Porker, who became annoying pretty fast. Even so, he's nowhere near as bad as other comic relief characters in animated movies.

All of the vocal performances were great. Shameik Moore fit Miles Morales like a glove on top of the rest of the voice cast. Even Nicolas Cage makes an appearance as Spider-Man Noir, and he does a great job. The remaining aspect of the film I'd like to mention is the score and soundtrack; for the most part, they fit the scenes and the Urban setting of the film very well. However, there were two montages in the film to emphasize the emotion of Miles, but the music choices didn't fit whatsoever. I wanted to feel the sadness of Miles, but the conflicting nature of the songs wouldn't let me. All of that aside, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a breath of fresh air when it comes to comic book movies and animation. It's an entertaining ride that'll please almost any audience, and I hope that studios strive for actual quality filmmaking and creative expression more often.

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