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

2018 Ranked

Not only the best Spider-Man film to date, but the best animated film since The LEGO Movie. The animation itself here is vibrant and jaw dropping (probably the best animation I’ve ever seen), not only utilizing it to look like a 3D comic book, but also cleverly utilizing it by means of visual storytelling to its full potential. Every single action setpiece is breathtaking, with so much creativity and energy in both choreography, location and staging, that it makes most action setpieces in live action comic book films completely pale in comparison. Even the editing is flawless, and better than most of the editing I’ve seen in live action films this year (especially comic book films).

But the film doesn’t just shine through its visuals. The script itself is a key element to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse working as well as it does. Not only does all of the film’s humor land perfectly (my whole audience was laughing throughout, myself included), but there’s so much genuine heart here rarely found in comic book movies, and the characterization, while it may tread beats we’ve seen before, is much better than I expected. Even despite that the other “Spider-People” might be in the film for fan service (which this film is full of, yet it knows it and never once comes off as a distraction from the narrative), they actually feel like a necessary part of the story instead of glorified cameos. Each character actually has groundwork and a real purpose of being in the film (yes, even Spider-Ham), but that mainly applies to the protagonist Miles Morales, whose determination to become a hero after getting his powers, despite being done to death in origin stories before, feels so fresh and grounded here, and even the exploration of his relationships with various characters are fully realized, and all of the voice acting is strong across the board. Even the villain has a decent motivation.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse fully recognizes the reasons why many people love comic book movies while being subversive. To say it is a great entry in the animation medium and comic book genre is an understatement. It is a masterful and groundbreaking addition to both of those, as well as just a masterwork all around. See it ASAP on the biggest screen possible.

9.5/10 - A (possibly a 10/10 - A+ on repeat viewings. This probably is a masterpiece like most are saying, but I’ve been let down by comic book movies this year, with many of them disappointingly not holding up for me on repeat viewings/further thought. Really hope that doesn’t apply to this one.)

EDIT: Bumped to 10/10 - A+ on rewatch.

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