Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse offered impressive animation, plenty of action and a diverse set of characters, but ultimately relied on a wildly unbelievable, messy plot in an attempt to create something original out of a story that has been retold one too many times.
The movie centers on Miles Morales, an out of place teenager in Brooklyn who gets bitten by a radioactive spider and gains the supernatural powers possessed by Spider-man. Miles then watches as Peter Parker (Spider-man) dies trying to stop Kingpin, the story’s villain, from opening the inter-dimensional portals, which could destroy humanity. He promises Parker that he will put a stop to the evil plan. Because the portal was temporarily opened, Miles is soon joined by five other characters from separate dimensions who all assume the role of Spider-man back home. Together, they tackle the challenge of saving the universe from Kingpin’s destructive portal.
Despite the lackluster plot, the animation techniques used in the movie were quite ingenious. The picture appeared to be a nice blend of cartoon drawings and modern animation, one that fit the story well. Modern animation would have been a bit too realistic in comparison to the plot, which was completely wild and involved the inter-dimensional travel of talking pigs). Yet, pure cartoon drawings would have been too simplistic to account for the softer sides of the plot, such as Miles’s relationship to his family, particularly his dad and uncle.
Another noteworthy element of the movie was the inclusion of a diverse set of superheroes. Miles, the movie’s main character, is biracial, with a mother of Latino descent and an African-American father. The additional Spider-people are of varying genders, races, time periods and species. This is a nice change from the earlier Spider-man movies, which revolved around Peter Parker, a typical American male.
Unfortunately, the movie’s plot was wild and messy as a result of the creator’s desire for an original product. The very basis of the movie (that six Spider-people from alternate universes unite and join forces) gives off the impression that the people behind the movie were hopelessly desperate for anything new to justify another Spider-man movie. In addition, there seemed to be hundreds of subplots, and there simply wasn’t enough time in the movie to develop each of them, leaving the viewer confused and unsatisfied.
Overall, I would recommend Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse to anyone who is familiar with the Spider-man series. Otherwise, save your money.