‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ review: not just your average Marvel movie

“Spiderverse” is arguably the best Spidey film to date.

Another non-Marvel Studios Disney superhero film. Most superhero films outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe are considered to be not as consistent in quality, mainly the DC Films, with even “Wonder Woman” still not being that good. In all fairness, the MCU films, aside from James Gunn’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, are overhyped and sometimes plain dull. Even the critically praised ones, specifically “Black Panther” are incredibly derivative, regardless of what the overall consensus is.

Like “Logan” before it, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a cut above the rest. Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman, “Spider-Verse” is about Miles Morales, voiced by Shameik Moore, a teen who takes the mantle up of Spider-Man. Circumstances lead to several other Spideys getting transported into Miles’ continuity, and all have to team up to get back to their timelines. Those include Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), hard-boiled Noir Spider-Man  (Nicolas Cage) and Spider-Ham (John Mulaney) in addition to the normal Peter Parker being voiced by Jake Johnson, not to mention Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry and a host of other well-known actors.

It may sound like a superhero team up movie, but Miles takes center stage and he is the strongest character with his family life and daily existence being interesting. Really, this movie proves that Morales is a much stronger and more interesting character than Peter in general, making him seem bland in comparison, an apt comparison being Luke Skywalker to Kylo Ren, and makes me want more of him, specifically more of Shameik Moore’s performance, as he nails the character the first proper time I have seen him, and has surpassed all the other Parker portrayals as my favorite.

The large cast comes with complaints, as Spider-Ham, Peni and Nic Cage’s Spidey really don’t play that big of a role, and really aren’t seen all that often with Gwen being used sparingly as well. The result makes me want more of them, but their inclusion to the story is incredibly refreshing in that big universe franchises like post-Disney “Star Wars” and Marvel genuinely seem to be afraid of getting into cool stuff, and end up playing it safe. Spider-Verse does the opposite and it works wonderfully.

The animation has to be touched on as well, and it is excellent. It is nothing I have ever seen before, sort of like a “Telltale Games” style animation but injected with an insane amount of steroids and money. There is nothing else out there like it, and the film had me dumbfounded at points asking how that level of detail and animation was accomplished. Occasionally, there was a background effect that seemed 3D, contrary to it being a regular showing, that worked half the time and the other was just off putting. Then there is the framerate, which while a stylistic option, pulled me out at points as it wasn’t very consistent. However,  the film is worth the price of admission just to see how stylistically brilliant this movie is.

“Into the Spider-verse” is awesome for all ages. The film is fresh and a cut above, thanks to Miles and the novelty of the alternate universe idea, and how well they’re executed with an interesting cast and overall plot. It is a breath of fresh air in a sea of franchise movies, and I hope the Spider-Verse movies continue, albeit remaining in consistent quality and being willing to take risks.