Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the exact polar opposite of what Venom was. Instead of it being so bad it's good, and moments that are so darn cringy you can't help but laugh at them. This is an actually good film, the best-animated Spider-Man since well, a certain "Spectacular" show. No scratch that. This is a REALLY good Spider-Man film! I dare even say it might have done the impossible and eclipsed Spider-Man 2 (2002).
This film just never skips a beat and just never feels to be dragging ever so slightly (aka the subplot of Pete stopping as Spider-Man and you're just waiting for Doc Ock to finally show up to do villainy enough to warrant Pete back to being Spidey). This just balances every character this film has and there's a lot of them. Center to the film is Miles Morales (Shameik Moore). At first, I was happy that Miles finally got his movie but was kind of worried he'd be playing second fiddle to all these Spider-people just like how he kind of was Disney cartoons *cough* Marvel's Spider-Man or Ultimate Spider-Man *cough*. That this film would be so bloated that the character just wouldn't get any room to breathe like in that.
Thankfully, that doesn't happen and Miles entire character arc in this film is just perfection. Every family member from his parents to his estranged Uncle Davis (Mahershala Ali) to his life. You get everything creators of the character Brian Bendis and Sara Pichelli did in a nice tidy cliff-notes version of his origin from the comics to here. I was amazed at how much Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman crammed in this movie. Plus snipped away any of the excess parts of that didn't work *cough* needless death *cough*. Plus, I gotta say I always hated that Miles never fought the Kingpin in the Ultimate Universe. Oh sure, Ultimate Norman was an unholy bastard. But Bendis's Kingpin was THE villain of his run, and it just felt empty when the character was cast out prematurely in the comic, while Norman kept showing up still.
So to see that version be tied to Miles' origin is just absolute perfection. More so, just see Spider-Man fight the Kingpin again. Like seriously the last time Kingpin was in a Spider-Man cartoon was in the early-2000s with the MTV one where Michael Clarke Duncan reprised his role from the Daredevil movie. It's been THAT long.
Though he's not Vincent D'Onofrio, Liev Schreiber exudes just as equal menace whenever his Kingpin is on screen in the film, and damn if it's not the Ultimate version which I just love.
That's what I love about this film as well. Lord/Rothman play with this universe of Miles. The Spider-Man villains in this film are just so welcome to have. The two secondary villains in this are just as threatening and also amazing to behold onscreen whenever Schrieber's Kingpin isn't there. Both have just a good motivation to where they are, and damn are they just as entertaining villains like Fisk is. Plus they aren't Spider-Man villains we're used too.
But still, speaking of refreshing villains where's the Hobgoblin Sony? Seriously, what is with your fetish for the Green Goblin? He just has to appear in every goddamn Spider-Man film of yours. Give the better goblin some due dammit! WHY DO YOU KEEP USING THAT FOOL OSBORN WHEN THERE'S A PERFECTLY BETTER GOBLIN OUT THERE?!
Likewise, the other Spiders get some um.. "dimension" namely Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld ) and elder Peter Parker (Jake Johnson). Of course, the scene stealer is Spider-Man Noir (Nicholas Cage doing his best James Cagney and it's utterly glorious every scene he's in. And it just pisses me off what "Spider-Geddon" did to the character. DAMN YOU SLOTT!! WHY DID YOU DO IT?! WHY?! YOU MANIAC!! DAMN YOU! DAMN YOU TO HELL!!! Wait.. Christos Gage also wrote that too...
But that's the reason I love this film. This film was made for comic book lovers to show to new fans to convert them. You see why this film just works so well in animation than say live-action. The character designs are just amazing and some of the freaking shots in the film are gorgeous as hell.
Again, you have to pinch yourself to remind you're watching a Sony movie, with no executive meddling it seems (okay save the Sony product placement). Plus I fully digress, there is one scene that honestly-- something finally hit me and I ended up balling in tears. But the scene is just perfect, and already it might be spoiling too much of what it is so I'll stop.
So if you're a Spider-Man fan of any era. See this film. Cause this movie was freaking amazing. It hit the points that I love about Spider-Man. Okay.. save for the fact that there is no Hobgoblin in this *stops self* Okay, and no Mayday Parker too. Not even a tiny cameo? COME ON! Or Kaine, but then again I might be pushing it at that point. Still, those tiny complaints aside, this is a really "amazing" Spider-Man movie. Like it literally has me questioning how this might have toppled the mighty Spider-Man 2. I enjoyed it that much. If only it had the Hobgoblin it truly would have been perfection... But seeing the journey of Miles Morales and why I used to enjoy the character? Yep. This movie did a damn solid job at that.
5 out of 5