I’m usually so careful with expectations, but you can only hear “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the best Spider-Man film ever” before you get sucked in.
This is a stunning looking film, a kaleidoscopic treat for the eyes that is full of character and action and humour. Yet it somehow doesn’t hit the heights I was expecting. I’m struggling to put my finger on why, but perhaps it was built up too far.
Spider-Verse goes further than the usual ‘comic book come to life’, by essentially being a moving comic book. It even has the dimple effect from old printed comics! From a visual perspective it’s one of the most interesting and vibrant movies I’ve ever seen.
In a time where we’ve recently had both a great Spider-Man film and a great Spider-Man game focus on Peter Parker, it’s about time we got something for Miles Morales. I’m only generally aware of his character, but this was a strong introduction. There’s enough there to make recognisable as a Spider-Man, whilst giving him different abilities and a very different personal life.
But he isn’t the only Spider in this film, with other wall-crawlers adding most of the humour. I particularly liked Jake Johnson’s older Peter B. Parker. After decades on the job nothing much surprises him, and he takes on the reluctant teacher role well. There is a tear-jerking Stan Lee cameo, and there is an end credits scene that it’s worth staying for.
The story is paper thin, but it’s the characters that raise this film up. These characters have lessons to impart, and they’re all dealing with the responsibility they’ve been given in their own way.
I nearly forgot to mention the music, which I really need to listen to again on Spotify. It isn’t what I’d usually consider to be my type of music but I rarely find myself looking for soundtracks after I’ve left the cinema.
Maybe I wasn’t blown away like I was hoping to be, but Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an enjoyable visual feast. Perhaps future viewings will see it move up.