Why Into the Spider-Verse is still the best superhero movie ever made

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Into the Spider-Verse is still the best superhero movie around.

Sony Pictures

No one was ready for Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. We’re not used to superhero movies being masterpieces. We are used to mediocrity.

Superhero movies thrive on mediocrity. I complained about superhero fatigue, now I kiss her. Go for your life, Marvel, make your three star movies a few times a year. At least they are not The Rise of Skywalker. No they are just poor and it’s good ?

Unfortunately for Marvel, every once in a while a superhero movie hits theaters to remind you of what magic looks like. To recalibrate your idea of ​​what “good” is. In 2018, that movie was Into the Spider-Verse.

And by God, you should watch it.

But watch at your own risk. Seriously. I’ve spent the past five years gorging myself on as safe superhero movies as I can get. After Into The Spider-Verse, watching it on repeat for years now, it’s hard to turn back the clock.

It is visually stunning

Are you ready for a hyperbolic, totally uncritical look at why Into The Spider-Verse is the best superhero movie of the past decade and beyond?

Sony Pictures Animation

Brilliant. Let’s get started.

The best is probably to start with the aesthetic and visual design.

Producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller wanted Into The Spider-Verse to look unique from the start, which resulted in over 140 animators combining computer animation with a hand-drawn style designed to mimic the comic art.

When I heard about this, I was cynical. Movies that take visual risks or pioneer unique artistic styles tend to be rated well by default. “Here is your cookie to try something different.” It’s the sort of thing that tends to make movie critics like Pavlov’s dogs salivate.

But that’s not enough, right? Lots of animated films (* cough * Kubo and the two strings) have pioneering artistic styles but are full rehearsal parties. That’s not the case here.

Into The Spider-Verse has a built-in aesthetic, but what really elevates the film is how inventive it is, how vibrant it is, with visual storytelling.

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The visual storytelling is awesome.

Sony Pictures Animation

I still think of the scene above, when Peter Parker and Miles Morales, the two main “Spider-Men”, try to escape from a villain’s lab. They are spotted and every scientist in the building jumps, immediately takes action. Except one. Who continues to eat his lunch. She’s seen it all before. It’s a villain’s lair. There are always superheroes out there trying to play with their shit. It’s just another day at the office. Literally. She just wants to finish her tea break.

It’s a fraction of a second, but betrays an insane commitment to detail. A commitment to be inventive, to subvert, to engage with strange ideas and to be courageous with them. It’s a spirit that infects every frame of this film.

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Kingpin, the bad guy.

Sony Pictures Animation

How about Kingpin’s visual design, which is almost comically oversized, but still emanates an incredibly intimidating aura.

What about the fact that Into The Spider-Verse harmoniously blends characters from different universes (noir, anime, traditional 1930s animation), giving each their own unique visual flair, but somehow gives the impression that everything belongs to the same movie?

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“It MAY get weirder!” “

Sony Pictures Animation

It’s ignoring how this movie moves – at a schizophrenic pace with action sequences that never let go, and never cease to surprise you. Like when Miles Morales finds himself glued to an unconscious Peter Parker and another glued to a moving subway train and chaos ensues. Or when an inexperienced Morales must escape the Prowler by rushing through abandoned tunnels using powers he just acquired. Each sequence jumps off the screen with an intense and dramatically hyperactive sense of the imagination. It seems both meticulously planned, but spontaneously executed.

It is impossible to take your eyes off the screen.

The scenario is … [chef’s kiss]

It is not necessarily the scenario who grows in the Spider-Verse. “Script” is just a catch-all term for the story, which takes a traditional hero’s journey and twists him in all kinds of weird directions. It’s a shortcut for how he takes the traditional Spider-Man myth (man gets bitten by a spider, man watches his uncle die, man becomes inspired to take responsibility) and subverts him. while maintaining great respect for the timeless story device that it has become.

He even comments on himself as an origin story, in a meta sense, without becoming bossy or depriving his audience of a living in the time of Miles Morales’ journey to become Spider-Man.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse juggles all of these internal responsibilities (being cool, being funny, not taking yourself seriously, having a heart, being sincere but smart, being sentimental but not sickly) and doing it effortlessly. Or – at the very least – did an amazing job of masking the effort it takes to create a superhero movie that does everything perfectly.

In its own way, Into The Spider-Verse is a small miracle.

In fact it is a huge miracle.

He does all of these things without rushing or exceeding his welcome. Most of its narration is visual, without exposure. It does justice to the stories of several characters. Miles Morales’ journey, obviously, is exquisitely told, but so is old man Peter Parker, a Spider-Man we’ve never seen before: middle-aged, bored, depressed, broken. by a failed marriage. A man who would rather take the bus than wander around New York. Even Kingpin is a sympathetic villain, driven by a desire to save his own wife and children from death.

Each loose end is tied together – quickly, subtly, cleverly, seamlessly – in a way that almost every other superhero movie feels awkward and old-fashioned.

This movie feels real

For an animated film on six spiders of six different sizes Using supernatural powers to take down a 900-pound man and costumed cyborg robots, Into The Spider-Verse is remarkably grounded.

It’s a story about the family, about what it means to be a father, what it means to be a son. What it means to struggle with the expectations of others and live up to your own potential. More than any animated film I have ever seen, it feels carried out. It has the spontaneous energy and heart of wacky comedy, the incredible scale of superhero action at its best.

You’d have to go back to The Iron Giant or The Incredibles to find an animated film that looks like this. real. A film which offers almost every possible spectra that you could invent, but which remains original and new.

If you haven’t watched Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, you are selling yourself short. Like me, you’ve probably spent the last few decades wallowing in the mediocrity of superhero dirge. It is very good. Its good.

But it might be worth reminding yourself of what it’s like to enjoy something great.


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