This weekend, I was lucky enough to score tickets for an early screening of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. To my delight, it soared above expectations, especially after already hearing this was one of the greatest superhero films of the year. With the long-awaited story of Miles Morales being told, it could not be in hands better than those of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Not only is the comedy on the same frequency of that of classic Spider-Man light-heartedness, but they also strike a chord with emotion that is so powerful that all audiences can do is vibe with the experience that is delivered in the cinema.

Let me start off, though, with beautiful tapestry the animation creates. I am not one for animated films, but this movie pops with color and quite literally brings a comic book to life in a way live-action only dream to do. The possibilities are endless when it comes to animation, and this movie exceeds at taking advantage of that fact. My screening was in standard definition, but I have to say, I need to see this movie again in IMAX and then AGAIN in 3D. Most movies these days tend to be put in 3D, but this one is truly deserving of it.

The lore of Spider-Man is spun, weaved, and embedded throughout this spectacular masterpiece, blending so many styles together in a unifying way with each Spider-Man (or Woman) that participates in this adventure. This shows in how these characters are drawn to life, but even more so in the voices, soundtracks, and most of all stories they bring from their home univere. The recaps of origins of are cleverly brief, allowing them to reveal their character through what they are doing instead of what they have done. Ultimately, though, this story is Miles’. Instead of taking focus away from him, the Spider-Verse phenomenally develops Miles into the character he’s destined to be, particularly the commonalities that every Spider shares in consequence of their “great power”. It acknowledges the fact that, even though he’s not the only Spider-Man, it doesn’t make him any less important. In fact, it makes him uniquely best. The film conveys this gradually and exhilaratingly, making your heart fill more and more with emotion in each step of his journey.

Like I said, I’ll be seeing this movie at least two more times in theaters, and many more times beyond that. I believe this story and the energy it has generated for itself will allow us to propel into the infinite Spider-Verse it establishes. Overall, it embodies the best of universe-building and is an example of one of the greatest ways it could be done. We should definitely be seeing more of the two biggest threads in Spider-Man movie history this film sets up: Miles Morales and the Spider-Verse.

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Written by: Mike Guimond