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

A leap of faith.

Casually miraculously assimilates text, language and aesthetic into an unconditionally joyful coalescence of everything that's great about this exact cultural moment, largely through rearranging its overall clutteredness into this beautifully rich pop-art tapestry that's equal parts excitingly kinetic and graciously meticulous. It is also so much more than just impassively checking diversity boxes, throwing a blandly timely inspirational message on a boilerplate narrative from a massively popular genre and calling it a day, it's actively, and remarkably earnestly, 'weaponizing' said stories' infatuation with itself - and audiences' seemingly endless adoration for them - as a gateway for an open world of creative and dramatic expression that might as well not have been this enthusiastically embraced. One could even go as far as saying that, much like its eminently likable characters, the movie's also putting on a mask to realize its full potential, but right along with it comes the enlightening mindfulness of the necessity of continuously trying to figure out who you are behind it.

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