Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse

This will be a short review of an animated film that you really should take the time to see. It has a magical quality that deserves its critical praise.

Spider-Man Into the Spider-verseWhile I am admittedly late to the game in seeing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, it seemed far too intriguing to let it slip away. In that regard, while it will be competing with both the influential Brad Bird’s Incredibles 2 and Wes Anderson’s remarkable Isle of Dogs, I fully expect this film to walk away with the Oscar this year for Best Animated Feature.

To begin with, this is one of those adult animated films hiding behind a children’s pretext. As the actual Spiderman encounters a villain that he may not be able to conquer, a spider bites an inner-city kid known as Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) who has to deal with his new-found strength that he totally doesn’t understand. In the process, you watch his interaction with a caring police officer father as he is reluctantly sent to an upscale charter high school to advance his education.

From then on in, the film evolves into a drama that is nearly as engaging as any film you have seen in 2018. Family values and friendship are expressed in a cultural environment never seen before in an animated film. As good guys rally to challenge the venomous villains, you watch loveable characters get killed that brings tears to the eyes of their surviving colleagues on screen and will leave you a bit emotional as you watch with heartbreaking enthusiasm.

One of the things that makes this film so special is the contribution of some marvelous actors and actresses. When can you point to an animated film that has had contributions from Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lilly Tomlin, Zoë Kravitz, Nicholas Cage, Katheryn Hahn, Liv Schreiber, Chris Pine and Oscar Isaac? This is one of the principle reasons that this film has both style and substance and really shouldn’t be missed.