Spider-man again? Another reboot? Yep, BUT…… This is not your average reboot/reimagining/rehash. In fact, Into the Spider-Verse knows this so well that it actively plays with the Spider-Man origin story trope and I love it even more because of this. Basing the story and characters from the comic books of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko (Spider-Man) and Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichelli (Miles Morales) allows a great deal of rich history to be mined, but also breaking new ground in bringing things all together in true comic book cross-over/mash up style!
The first thing that hits you is the animation and the colour palette. WOW! This is such a feast for the eyes as Brooklyn is brought to life with such vivid colours and with a unique style that is pretty much unlike anything that I have seen recently, or before (although my ageing brain might be holding back on me!). Everything on the screen, and there is a lot to take in, is rendered with beautiful, and multiple, styles, relating the characters back to their comic book origins and giving them their distinct look and feel.
The story (Phil Lord, Rodney Rothman) and direction (Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman) are engaging and enticing as it moves along at a good pace, providing thrills and laughs in equal measure. The characters on show, including Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), Peter B Parker (Jake Johnson), Gwen Stacey (Hailee Steinfeld), Aaron Davis (Mahershala Ali), Jefferson Davis (Brian Tyree Henry), Spider-Man Noir (Nicholas Cage), Olivia Octavius (Kathryn Hahn) and Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), are all extremely well done and feel like proper characters.
I really need to see Into the Spider-Verse again (and again…) to appreciate more the work that went into making this film, and try to take in as much of the surrounding animation as well as the foreground, as I’m sure there is plenty more to be gained from multiple rewatches. High praise indeed for an animated film and one that has chosen to take its own path, rather than push out another clone. I’m always impressed by animated films that can elicit emotional responses and enable connections to the characters on screen and Into the Spider-Verse has this in buckets.