SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE Spoiler-Free Review; "A Silver Screen Spider-Man Classic"

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swings into theaters on December 14th but does it truly deserve the Oscar buzz it's been generating over the past week or so? Hit the jump for our spoiler-free verdict...

When it comes to the wall-crawler, Sony has something of a spotty track record. With that in mind, you can't blame fans for being more than a little cautious when it comes to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, especially when the animated movie features not just one webbed warrior but several! With Venom dividing fans but still powering its way to over $800 million at the worldwide box office, it's fair to say that we need a Spider-Man movie which a) is loved by all and b) washes away any concerns fans may still have about Sony and its "Spider-Verse" (which will incorporate characters like Morbius the Living Vampire and Kraven the Hunter). 

Well, this origin story for Miles Morales is a rousing success and those of you who love comic book favourites like Spider-Ham, Spider-Gwen, and Spider-Man Noir will be pleased to know that they are all appropriately spectacular. However, this is a movie about Miles and Peter B. Parker, a Spider-Man who has been fighting crime for over twenty years. He provides a fascinating glimpse into Peter's possible future and this is every bit as much his story as it is Miles'. Their dynamic is massively enjoyable to follow and the story arcs of both the new and "old" Spider-Man are in equal parts emotional and satisfying. 

The entire cast is amazing but Shameik Moore deserves a special shout out. As realistic as animated characters may look these days, it's often hard to view them as real people, especially in a world as stylised as this one. Well, the actor truly does breathe life into Miles Morales and an argument could be made that he's the best Spider-Man to ever grace the big screen, beating the likes of Tobey Maguire and Tom Holland with ease. 

As fun as they are to spend time with and as well adapted as they might be, the other spider heroes don't receive a huge amount of screentime and aren't quite as fleshed out as some might hope. It's hard to complain too much about that when they all arguably steal the show in their own way, of course, but I for one would have appreciated spending a little more time with Spider-Woman (a.k.a. Spider-Gwen). Luckily, there are rumours of a spinoff movie for her which would make it the first female-led superhero team-up movie. 

Where Into the Spider-Verse really shines is with the animation. Comic panels and sound effects pop up on screen but are never distracting, while the fast-paced action is truly beautiful to behold from start to finish. Giving each hero a slightly different look based on their respective universes was also a smart move, and it's easy to see why it's already garnering serious awards attention from a technical standpoint alone. Plus, you just know that this movie is going to look jaw-dropping when it hits 4K Blu-ray. It also boasts a killer soundtrack and, as a package, is a total winner than hopefully spawns countless sequels and spinoffs alike.

With a strong plot and a fantastic voice cast, it's hard to find fault with Into the Spider-Verse. I could take or leave some of the villain redesigns (the Scorpion, for example) but that's personal preference and not a major complaint by any means. Sony has stumbled across something truly special here and while Miles is definitely deserving of a live-action adventure, I can't wait to spend more time with him in this Spider-Verse moving forward. Just make sure you stay tuned through the credits and keep your eyes peeled for a poignant Stan Lee cameo which may very well bring a tear to your eye. 

With a diverse cast and a vibrant, exciting world which feels fresh and different compared to what we're used to seeing in the genre, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a great launching platform for future animated adventures and an absolute must-see. This is a silver screen Spider-Man classic.

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