Nicolò Grasso’s review published on Letterboxd:
Original Title: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Year of Release: 2018
Genres: Animated; Action; Comedy; Adventure; Sci-Fi
Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Writers: Phil Lord, Rodney Rothman
Main Cast: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Nicolas Cage, Kimiko Glenn, John Mulaney, Mahershala Ali, Liev Schreiber, Chris Pine, Jorma Taccone, Zoë Kravitz, Kathryn Hahn, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Lake Bell, Lauren Vélez, Stan Lee
In the modern animated landscape, it’s quite rare to find a film aimed at families that isn’t pandering or cynically made, one where passion for the craft comes before corporate gain. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a breath of fresh air, not only among animated films, but among superhero movies in general.
The biggest achievement of screenwriters Lord and Rothman is how perfectly they balance tone: they know when to throw a constant barrage of jokes and visual gags at you, but they also know when to slow down and focus on more serious character drama. There are multiple moments in the film that get quite emotionally-heavy even for its source material, and while I didn’t cry, more than one person in the theatre had wet eyes. By having genuine emotions, it makes every moment of comedy funnier, every kinetic action scene more exciting and vibrant, and the ending truly satisfying.
The animation here is absolutely fantastic, the true definition of a comic book brought to life. They use a mixture of pop art, 2D hand-drawn and 3D digital animation to create a true piece of art where every frame belongs in a modern art gallery. How they skip some frames here and there, add small details in the background, accompany sound effects with words, and add small effects here and there is no short of a technical achievement. The music by Daniel Pemberton, while something I don’t personally enjoy listening to, works in the context of the film and with the type of music Miles would listen to.
Overall, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a thoroughly entertaining animated film, a blast from start to finish, emotional and hilarious, and just beautiful to look at. Easily the best animated film of the year, and among the finest of 2018.
Visual Effects: 10
Violence & Gore: 5
Sex & Nudity: 2
Drugs & Profanity: 1
Intensity & Horror: 4