Today i’m going to be reviewing spider-man into the spider-verse in a franchise bloating with spider-man that all kind of look the same. This animation gives us something new so hold your radioactive spider and hear me out.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Film Review And My Opinion
This spider-man into the spider-verse tells the story of Miles Morales a teenager who becomes a superhero and teams up with other spider-powered individuals from different dimensions to defeat a very large very square bad guy. Let’s go straight into why i’m calling this the best comic book film ever? It’s because of the ingenious visual storytelling that pays homage to the physical experience of reading a comic book. If you have not already seen the behind the scenes video on WIRED’s YouTube channel, called how animators created the spider-verse, then i highly recommend you do it. It is so interesting.
This animation is a creative feast with layers upon layers of detail. Let me go through a few of my favorite examples. In a live action film to direct the audience’s eyes you’d usually utilize depth of field with important things being in focus and everything else blurry. However the animators here wanted every frame to look as if it could be in a comic book vivid and crisp. So what they did instead was to have less important areas have color bleeds that look similar to how a comic book looks, if it’s misprinted.
Another wonderful thing they did is to have what they call pop frames, especially during action sequences where the animation becomes purely hand drawn as if from a simple comic book. In some instances these were also combined with onomatopoeic descriptions such as punk and snicked. These pop frames were a great way to highlight specific movements and moments during the scene for the audience. They were also a very clever transferal of comic book techniques that work really well on screen.
The last example i’ll give is how they conveyed character development through how they animated the movement. When miles and peter parker are swinging through the trees miles goes from being animated in twos, where the same image is used for two frames to being animated in once, where his position changes each frame.
Peter parker is in ones throughout the whole sequence. This effectively conveys how inexperienced miles is in comparison. It was imperceptible the audience didn’t necessarily see the difference but you could feel it. As VFX supervisor Danny Dimian puts it we had an opportunity to create a new visual language. I think they absolutely succeeded. They threw the cinematic rulebooks out the window and thought how best to convey one medium in another. It’s not even just the comic book element that was well done with the film element too. The camera in spider-verse creates some truly breath taking moments. When miles is scaling the building going from horizontal to vertical the camera stays level with him meaning the background suddenly shifts.
This creates a disorientating awe when the rules of the environment are broken. Similar to how Aryane flips streets upwards in inception. When miles takes a leap of faith and New York is turned upside down, i could feel the fear the vertigo and the deaths of the city.
They also made some great decisions with the editing. They used long shots when miles is comfortable and in his element just like at the start, when he’s walking down the street. Then when he starts his new school there’s a frantic pace to the editing there’s close-ups of books, his face clocks it’s stressful just like the experiences for him.
Then there is the sound design and score just like the other technical elements everything had a reason to be there. When the hero finally becomes one with his power there wasn’t the obligatory swelling orchestral music. Instead we get hip hop with an orchestral motif on the side. This was a memorable combination that represents who miles is as well as still being cinematic.
All of these individual elements came together to create the best possible story for this character. You can’t just transfer this template over to another film. It has been uniquely constructed to fit Miles’s character. A perfect way to exemplify this is by looking at the introductions of the other spider people. Each with their own unique characterizations. Noir spider-man had this jazz soundscape black and white, color and dramatic camera angles that elongated the shadows.
On the other hand anime spider girl had the upbeat electronic soundtrack, Kawaii graphics and those signature anime eyes. In terms of character development and story i really enjoyed Miles’s arc. Everyone can relate to the experience of being a teenager and figuring out where you belong.
I loved how strongly connected his growth as a superhero was to his growth as a son. Simultaneously how his father was learning how to be a better dad. Given how important family is to every spider-man it was nice to see how that element of this character was developed within this film.
The other spider people however were pretty basic in comparison. Their audio visual representation was so strong that there is plenty of room for emotional development in any future instalments. A character that surprised me was peter parker. As the OG spider-man it was unexpectedly hilarious to see how disappointing his life has become in his dimension. We’re used to seeing peter parker in love young and being super heroic, not pigging out on takeaway and being grumpy about Mary Jane. It reminded me of the bitter middle-aged wolverine we get in Logan, a superhero film i also thoroughly enjoyed.
I think in both cases seeing the harsh realities of what having superpowers, looks like made me better connect to the characters. It felt like the opposite end of the hero journey, rather than a teenager discovering how to use his powers. We get these middle-aged heroes figuring out how best to distance themselves from their powers. There is just so much to this film and i have barely touched the surface.
It is the kind of animation that gives so much to the audience both young and old. Unlike Logan spider-verse would absolutely inspire a kid’s imagination in dreaming of becoming a superhero just like Miles Morales. I would also describe it as a grown-up animation.
It references so many styles, eras and facets of various media that it is a treat to try and spot them all. Spider-man into the spider-verse is a unique addition to the superhero genre. Endless creativity is woven into the fabric of this animation, breathing life into a stagnant franchise. It is worthy of every award it has been given and i look forward to seeing what they come up with in the sequel.