by Hunter Johnson
After six live-action films, a full integration into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a weird Venom spin-off/reboot, Spider-Man has hit theaters yet again, but this time, he’s animated, and his name isn’t Peter Parker.
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman and is written by Phil Lord, the writer/director of films like “The LEGO Movie” and “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.”
The film follows the young Miles Morales as he navigates middle school in Brooklyn and gets bitten by a radioactive spider, gaining the proportionate strength and agility of a spider. The story may sound similar to many, but it takes a unique turn when Miles finds out that he’s not alone. There are people just like him in alternate dimensions with the same powers. He fights alongside Peter Parker, the Spider-Man we all know and love, and several other Spider-People in order to defeat the dangerous supervillain Kingpin.
This movie is weird. To be more specific, it’s so weird that at a certain point of the film, the audience meets Peter Porker, also known as Spider-Ham, a spider named Peter who got bitten by a radioactive pig, turning him into a pig with the strength and agility of a spider.
The whole film is filled with oddball characters and extremely fast-paced storytelling, which itself makes sense considering there’s so much story to tell in a two-hour film.
But somehow, they pulled it off. This film is brilliantly funny and beautifully animated. The creators understood the boundaries of a live-action Spider-Man and realized what they could do with an animated version of the character.
The visuals in this film are astounding to watch. There are scenes in this film that will simply leave the audiences’ jaws wide open with how stunning and crazy the spectacle of the animation is. And it’s so meticulously detailed, so much so that viewers will likely see new things going on in the background with every single watch.
The performances are fantastic. Shameik Moore puts on a great vocal outing as the new Miles; he’s joined by Jake Johnson as Peter Parker and Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy. All three of these leads are great and perfectly fit the roles they’re playing. Jake Johnson especially does a great job as a slightly older and disheveled Spider-Man.
Brian Tyree Henry and Mahershala Ali co-star as Miles’ dad and uncle, respectively, and they both bring some much-needed heart to this film.
Stealing every scene that they’re in are Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir and John Mulaney as Spider-Ham. The actors are perfect in their roles and they bring two extremely different, but equally funny, types of humor to this film.
In general, this film doesn’t really do anything wrong. Every single performance is spot-on and the creators are extremely knowledgeable with the source material, but also know how to make a good film. It never slows down and consistently hold the audience’s attention from beginning to end. The soundtrack is fantastic and the visuals are a groundbreaking achievement.
This is a must-see film, especially on the big screen in theaters. It’s already being debated as possibly the greatest Spider-Man film ever made and it’s sure to be the first in a long run of Spider-Verse sequels.
Hunter Johnson is a sophomore theatre major and an arts and entertainment writer for Cedars. He spends his time acting on stage, reading and watching Star Wars, and occasionally doing homework.