Let's get this out of the way first thing: I'm not really a Spider-Man fan.
I don't dislike him, either. Overall I'm pretty "eh" about the friendly neighborhood dancing kid in the onesie.
Cut to last week, when two of my closest friends spent a solid 30 MINUTES raving to me about this new movie I'd never heard of, Into The Spider-Verse. I was... intrigued. So yesterday John & I went to see it with some other friends and their kids.
To demonstrate John's level of excitement for this film, allow me to present his FB update, written IN the theater just before the movie started:
Exactly two hours and 15 minutes later, John added this amendment:
Now, somehow neither of us saw a single trailer or image from the movie beforehand, so John and I went in with zero expectations - and I think that made it even better? So if you're as clueless as we were, and want to be completely surprised by an amazing movie, then close this tab and go see Into the Spider-Verse right now, before the rest of the 'net catches up and spoils it all for you. I can already see the groundswell starting, so I predict this is going to be the movie everyone's talking about for the new year. I mean, just look at the Rotten Tomatoes rating!
If you're Ok with knowing a few things, though, and/or have already seen the trailer, then let me break down 5 of the things I loved most about Spider-Man: Into The Spider Verse.
1. Characters You Instantly Fall In Love With
Miles Morales is the Peter Parker I've always wanted - I just never knew it. I loved Miles from the second he appears on screen, crooning away with his headphones on. He's not the wimpy shy guy you might expect; he's confident and charming and just the right amount of awkward. You really feel for him as he navigates a new school, and the embarrassment of having a loving-but-strict cop father. (I won't spoil it, but THAT scene with his dad was John's favorite, ha.)
Beyond Miles, though, it's fun and refreshing to see an out-of-shape, older Peter Parker, strong parents (plural!), and a whole cast of side characters that grab you from the beginning. The subplot with Miles' uncle was especially good, and left me wanting more.
2. An Animation Style That Will Make Your Spidey Senses Tingle
I'll admit, I was worried at first. The opening credits blast you with a frenetic flickering that promises full sensory overload - or at least a headache. That calms down once the story starts, though, and ends up being a blend of Pixar-level 3D, Borderlands-style cell-shading, and classic comic book dot colors, word bubbles like "POW!," and typed-out thoughts. If that sounds insane, IT IS, but in the best possible way. I haven't seen something this different since Toy Story, and it's exciting!
One thing I didn't like: there's such a heavy use of blur and double-vision overlays that you sometimes feel like you're watching a 3D movie without the 3D glasses on: