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

This was so much damn fun.

Into the Spider-Verse feels so massively refreshing amongst the many less interesting animated and superhero films. There's so many fun traits as the film goes on, culminating in an ending that's perhaps easy to predict, but so damn satisfying in the moment. This film operates in comic book logic, which allows for plenty of really fun set pieces and moments that would be considered contrivances in other films, but since it works within the same rules, you buy it. All the characters act in unique ways, and they never enter cliché territory. The development isn't necessarily anything wildly new, but the way they get to that point is constantly subversive and emotionally impactful. Miles in particular is so different to Peter Parker. He's a teenage kid forced into unfamiliar territory, unsure of his identity and struggling to find solace in anyone. I love how the visuals change slightly when Miles gains his powers, without ever making the animation too busy.

Spider-Verse has such a great sense of style, always finding new ways to express every event. This is the best visualisation of Spider-Man powers I've seen in my life, only really achievable through the medium of animation. Even in normal scenes, there's a lot of fluid and unique camerawork which clearly took a very long time to get right. The lower frame rate is never distracting, but rather is a perfect accompaniment to the comic book aesthetic. Oh, and the music is absolutely fantastic. It works at eliciting the correct response in every scene, and incorporates some great motifs and at one point combines a character's theme with another piece in the score to reflect how they've changed. It's so clever and like nothing I've seen in a superhero film in such a long time.

My only major problem with this film is I feel the whole multiverse plot is a huge drag on Miles' arc, which is by far the more interesting part of the film. Don't get me wrong: I loved the different multiverse characters. They're all really fun and hilarious and they all manage to undergo their own small arcs too. They're handled about as well as possible but the issue comes when you try to cram too much into one movie. I get the point was to set up sequels but it does hinder the main plot significantly. Otherwise, it's a super fun film that made me laugh harder than any other film I've seen this year. Check it out please.

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