Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

This one was a genuine surprise.

I didn’t initially even want to see it because the animation looked choppy and weird and I was certain it was going to give me a headache…but it didn’t and it was AMAZING.

No doubt about it, the animation was weird, but it was an artistic choice and it worked on an entirely different level from any other movie out there.

I have never seen anything like this before. It was completely new, completely fresh, completely stylistically unique.

It is a stand-alone superhero movie (cartoon, no less) amidst a tidal wave of superhero movies.  It did something none of these movies have ever really 100% accomplished: I honestly felt like I was sitting inside a comic book.  It was so interesting and conceptual that I’m actually going to see it again in 3-D just so I can get the full effect.

This movie embraced everything good and everything bad about Spider-Man and turned it into a stunning, visual, heartwarming family movie.  It somehow managed to get my buy in at every turn…even when “Peter Porker” a Porky-the-Pig style version of Spider-Man from an alternate universe showed up complete with jokes about trademark infringement. As stupid as it sounds, you just have to trust me when I say it works on every level for every age of comic book fan.

The movie focuses on the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man, who, in the comic books, takes up the mantle from Peter Parker.  Alternate realities collide and Miles ends up learning what it means to be a hero from different versions of his own character, and, more importantly, from members of his own family.  This movie is filled with role models and even the bad guys have something to teach Miles.  No one is acting without justifiable motives and each individual’s reasons for doing what they do is absolutely compelling.  It was as inspirational as it was just plain cool.

Mild spoiler about the best part (calm down, it’s evident in the trailers): one of the alternate Spider-People is a washed up, loser version of Peter Parker from a different reality where Mary Jane dumped him over his commitment issues. A burned-out, depressed, fat, middle aged, jaded Spider-Man whose super-suit keeps riding up over his gut and whose final act before getting pulled into Miles’ universe is to use his web-slinger to desperately try to grab his last slice of pizza out of the box is a Spider-Man I can totally relate to.  It’s honestly my new favorite version of the character, possibly excluding Miles.

Move over Tom Holland.  Miles is about to Tobey Maguire you.

spider-man--into the spider-verse

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