Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

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Wick's Review

Created Jan 01, 2019 11:02PM PST • Edited Jan 03, 2019 06:45AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    Into the Spider-Verse is the best Spider-Man movie ever, by far, and also the best 2018 movie I’ve seen. No surprise, it represents the super-pairing of Stan Lee & Marvel’s Spider-Man with über-brilliant pop culturalist Phil Lord, he of the super smart and buoyantly funny Lego Movie and LEGO Batman Movie.

    Basically, Into the Spider-Verse does to Spider-Man what The LEGO Batman Movie did to the Caped Crusader: make him very meta and very funny, then use that admixture to explore and spoof our culture. Spider-Verse does this far and wide: blacks, Asians, females, old white men, the full 2018 melting pot.

    The whole confection – complex yet never bloated – emanates an infectious comedic energy. LOLs are frequent, chuckles consistent. This is the Phil Lord trademark, a Shakespearean ability to play high and low, to little kids and erudite adults. Well, erudite mostly on pop culture, Spider-Man canon especially, with a little physics thrown in for good measure. As to that last, alternate universes are a primary plot device.

    Fortunately, Into the Spider-Verse is a boffo hit, $200 million plus. That means spinoffs are coming. I’m especially looking forward to Spider-Gwen in Spider-Woman. It’ll be a milestone and entertaining as hell.

  3. Perfect 5.0

    None of the voice actors usurp their characters, other than Stan Lee, notwithstanding big stars (Chris Pine & Lily Tomlin) and emerging stars (Shameik Moore, Mahershala Ali & Hailee Steinfeld). All are excellent.

    Spoilers Below

    • Shameik Moore voices Miles Morales, the Spider-Man for a new demographic. Moore had a terrific leading-man debut in 2015’s Dope. No accident, given his winning Spidey performance.
    • Chris Pine imparts the right blend of heroism and insouciance to Spider-Man / Peter Parker Prime.
    • Jake Johnson deftly travels from abnegation to bravado voicing Spider-Man / Peter B. Parker.
    • Hailee Steinfeld is smart, savvy and sexy as Gwen Stacy, aka Spider Gwen.
    • Mahershala Ali is quite charismatic as Uncle Aaron.
    • Brian Tyree Henry is terrifically paternal as Jefferson Davis. (A black character named Jeff Davis?)
    • Lily Tomlin could be the best Aunt May yet.
    • Luna Lauren Velez is sweet as Mile’s Mom.
    • Zoë Kravitz is a beguiling Mary Jane Watson.
    • John Mulaney is fu, fu, funny as Peter Porker / Spider-Ham.
    • Kimiko Glenn livens things up as Peni Parker / SP//dr.
    • Nicolas Cage imparts an Old School vibe as Spider-Man Noir. Loved his Rubic’s Cube dalliances.
    • Kathryn Hahn makes a wily Doc Oct.
    • Liev Schreiber is quite the heavy as The Kingpin.
    Stan Lee’s Cameo

    Stan the Man gets an extended scene, a posthumous cameo, as a character named Stan who gives a Spider-Man costume to Morales. Is this the final Stan Lee cameo? Probably, unless he filmed others before dying.

  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Perfect 5.0
  6. Female Costars Perfect 5.0
  7. Male Costars Perfect 5.0
  8. Perfect 5.0

    Spider-Man became beloved because his alter ego Peter Parker deals with the many tribulations of life in ways young adults can relate, or that anyone who has ever been a young adult can relate. Into The Spider-Verse successfully extends that relatable experience to a broad set of identity groups: ethnic, gender, age.

    Plus, the film brilliantly recreates the comic-book esthetic for the big screen, which is both wildly entertaining and necessary to convey the many splendored story. The nearby video goes into detail.

    The creative geniuses behind this masterpiece are many, with the fecund Phil Lord at the top. He wrote the story, albeit drawing from the deep, deep well of Spider-Man comics, new and old. Then he cowrote the screenplay with Rodney Rothman, who co-directed it with Bob Persichetti & Peter Ramsey. Special notice must also be given to Sara Pichelli, co-creator of Miles Morales, the Spider-Man for a new demographic.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0
  10. Play Perfect 5.0
  11. Music Perfect 5.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 1.9
  15. Sex Innocent 1.5
  16. Violence Brutal 2.6
  17. Rudeness Salty 1.6
  18. Fantasy 5.0
  19. Circumstantial Fantasy 5.0
  20. Biological Fantasy 5.0
  21. Physical Fantasy 5.0

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