Aronne Ibarra’s review published on Letterboxd:
Okay, my expectations were high...but holy fuck.
Let’s get a few things out of the way first. One, this is indisputably the best Spider-Man movie in existence. Two, I think this is the best superhero movie-- of all time. Three, this is the best animated movie in the last five to seven years. Four, this is the best thing Marvel (and Sony) has ever produced. And five, Chaplin can move over because this is my favorite first watch of the new year now and it’s gonna be placing high on my all-time list. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse rules!
Late to the party but never too late to enjoy is how I’d describe my experience. This came out three years ago and I didn’t believe the hype. Oh how massive of a fool was I back then because this film is otherworldly. From the incredible visuals showing off the true power and capabilities of animation as a medium to the impressive story that fleshes out all of its characters and themes, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is truly one of the best films of our generation and perhaps of all time. I can understand the love people have for this movie now and I’m ready to spread the good word to those who remain unconvinced, if there are any at this point.
Right now, let’s talk about animation. I think animation is the superior film medium. Kubrick, Kurosawa, and Bergman be damned but animated films are the best. Animated films create worlds like no other, convey emotion like no other, and utilize human creativity and imagination like no other. Live-action filmmakers say they have a vision and strive to push the boundaries of cinema itself but animators are rarely constricted by the limitations of the real world-- they can do
a n y t h i n g.
And that’s what directors Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, and Bob Persichetti did with Spider-Verse.
The crazy and inventive camera angles, the fresh aesthetic fusion of 3D, 2D, and classic comic books, the irresistible palette that uses just about every color known to man, and the stunning-- STUNNING-- animation work are what makes this movie really special, at least at face value.
Aside from being one of the most beautiful and imaginative films ever made, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse wowed me with its deep and complex understanding of its main superhero’s character. If you didn’t know by now, Spider-Man is my favorite superhero and I’d even argue he’s the best one ever created. Oh and superhero fan or not, one is always happy when Stan Lee cameos. We all know the story of Peter Parker and the film itself is literally self-aware of the origin tale. But Spider-Verse is about Miles Morales, a teenage boy trying to fit in a top school in Brooklyn. Miles is not Peter but they are both Spider-Man in essence and that’s the genius of the movie.
This film is about parallel universes and how there are many other versions of Spider-Man. There’s a washed Peter, a classy Noir Spidey, a Spider-Woman, an anime-style robot Spidey, and...a cartoon pig named Peter Porker? It’s weird and all so fun and self-referential but really, it doesn’t matter who Spider-Man is because there is no one Spider-Man. It’s the struggle and the overcoming of that struggle that makes Spider-Man who he-- or she, or whatever-- is. A youngster with spider powers who’d always choose the normal life over the superhero life but has no option to protect people and the city in the midst of perpetual danger, that’s who Spider-Man is. A person trying to balance small daily situations with bigger responsibilities, that’s who Spider-Man is. Someone who wishes he or she could protect everybody but must learn that it’s impossible and live with the outcome, that’s who Spider-Man is. And somebody who has fears about the people they love and how having someone to lose motivates their good actions, that is who Spider-Man is. And if you look close enough, you’re Spider-Man too, just without superpowers. Spider-Verse does a great job of telling that story and developing those themes so smoothly while being a refreshing superhero action movie, a funny and endlessly entertaining family flick, and an emotional and genuine coming-of-age drama.
Aside from the stellar animation and story, this film features amazing voice acting and a lit soundtrack and score. Everyone doing the voices did a perfect job. Shameik Moore killed it as Miles Morales. Other outstanding vocal performances include Jake Johnson as Peter, Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy, Liev Schreiber as Kingpin, Mahershala Ali as Uncle Aaron, Bryan Tyree Henry as Miles’ cop dad Jefferson, the Nic Cage as Spider-Man Noir, and even John Mulaney as Peter Porker. There are a lot of big names included in the cast and all the performances here were all on the same flawless page.
‘Sunflower’ by Post Malone and Swae Lee was a song I’ve been listening to since Spider-Verse’s initial release and until now I think it’s a fire song. In fact, what a great full soundtrack; one of the best I’ve heard. Such a great score by Daniel Pemberton, too. The two go together so perfectly to create a cool and chill hip-hop-oriented contemporary sound and feel to the movie I absolutely enjoyed.
Spider-Verse made my hair stand up, my eyes widen, and my heart pounding. Any movie that does that on a certain special level deserves a five-star rating from me. What a bounce-back move too (take that, Sia). Had so much fun watching greatness unfold before me, but being the nitpicky bastard I am, I think Spider-Verse isn’t a perfect 100 yet.
I’m done with my superhero movie phase and I hate those theme park rides now but I forgot that I did just within the film’s first minute. Spider-Verse’s story is super interesting and fun and new but it has those moments you’ve kind of seen before, like that one twist villain reveal. And the villain, Kingpin, could have been written a little better than a big, scary dude who blames Spider-Man for his bad behavior that eventually led to his wife and son walking out on him, later dying in an unforeseen car accident. Those little things kept me from dishing the film out a perfect score but it’s a masterpiece and one of my new favorites.
This was a really great movie and I envy those who were able to experience it in the theater. And I envy Miles for rocking those Chicago 1s. Also, I need a solo of Spider-Man Noir. Yeah, that’s about what I have to say. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an electric film and one I cannot wait to rewatch, even for the hundredth time. It’s one of those rare movies. It’s so good, I tried my best talking about it, and thank you for reading! How’d y’all enjoy this film? Thanks again guys and take care. Adios!