Jan 16, 2019
We’re back today with not just another Golden Globe nominee (and winner), but also the first from what we hope to be many reviews from our good friend Garrett Wright. You may know him from his Takeover Tuesday review for “Creed II” (Episode #335), but he’s also one half of the Two Views Movies podcast, which you’ll hear about in a minute. But I would feel remiss if we didn’t mention that today’s film won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Motion Picture. If his review doesn’t make you want to see the film, I don’t know what will.
Welcome aboard, Garrett!
My name is Garrett Wright and I co-host Two Views Movies podcast along with my friend Carson Graff. We are a spoiler-filled podcast by two guys who love watching movies almost as much as we love arguing about them. Our weekly podcast features reviews of new releases, retro reviews of older favorites, obscure top 5 lists, and our two views of all things movies. You can find our podcast on all major platforms and at TwoViewsMovies.com where you can also find spoiler-free written reviews of the movies we watch. I’m excited to be back on the One Movie Punch podcast, this time as a regular contributor. You can follow me on Twitter at @TwoViewsGarrett or you can follow the podcast on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at the username @TwoViewsMovies.
Today’s movie is “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (2018), the animated film directed by Bob Perischetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman and written for the screen by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (2018) focuses on Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) who is juggling his life between being a high school student and being Spider-Man. However, when Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk (Liev Schreiber) uses a super collider, another Spider-Man from another dimension, Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), accidentally winds up in Miles’ dimension. As Peter trains Miles to become a better Spider-Man, they are soon joined by four other Spider-Men from across the Spider-Verse. As all these clashing dimensions start to tear Brooklyn apart, Miles must help the others stop Fisk and return everyone to their own dimensions. The film also features voice acting from Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Zoë Kravitz, Kathryn Hahn, Chris Pine, Jorma Taccone, and Nicolas Cage.
You can ignore your Spidey-sense today, because we’re keeping it spoiler-free this episode…
As someone who has never been a fan of Spider-Man, I met the deluge of praise for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (2018) with a healthy amount of skepticism. I have never liked any of the Raimi films (yes, even “Spider-Man 2”) and the Andrew Garfield-led reboots fell equally flat. While I have enjoyed Tom Holland’s take on the character, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017) still felt as though there was something missing. So I resigned myself to the fact that perhaps Spider-Man simply is not the superhero for me.
But then I watched “Into the Spider-Verse” and for the first time, I now have a Spider-Man film that I can truly say I love. Every single aspect of this movie works perfectly. The animation style is truly astonishing. It is deliberately unique and modern yet makes a concerted effort to feel retro at times by mimicking the look and feel of tangible comic books. The performances of the voice actors from Shameik Moore’s Miles Morales and Jake Johnson’s Peter B. Parker to supporting roles from Mahershala Ali (Uncle Aaron) and Brian Tyree Henry (Jefferson Davis) provide emotional punches that transcend any barriers presented by being an animated film. And Daniel Pemberton’s score has a fluidity that is able to keep pace with the plot that unspools at sometimes breakneck speed. The music seamlessly shifts tones as the scenes jump back and forth between various plots and characters. At no point does the score feel out of place from what is on screen.
Needless to say, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (2018) could only have been accomplished as an animated film. Its plot is as ambitious as it is unprecedented. It is a testament to the team of writers and directors that a story this complex is able to be presented in a way that is easily digestible and immensely entertaining. Most superhero movies struggle to tell a coherent, emotional story with a single hero at the center. “Into the Spider-Verse” manages to be successful while juggling multiple variations of Spider-Man on screen at the same time — as well as a variety of villains — and never loses its heart in the process. The audience is always keenly aware of not just Miles’ conflict and development, but also Peter Parker’s and even Kingpin’s. And though it is filled with humor, it never lets the jokes undercut the moments that need to be serious.
Speaking as a recent convert to Spider-Man fandom, it feels like the world of animation is where Spider-Man truly belongs. A character whose skillset and humor is conveyed more effectively in the hands of comic book artists and animators than actors and special effects shops. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (2018) is unquestionably the best Spider-Man film to date and is the best animated film of 2018. And amazingly enough, should be in the discussion for best superhero film of all time.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97% (CERTIFIED FRESH)
Metacritic: 87 (METACRITIC MUST-SEE)
One Movie Punch: 10/10
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (2018) is rated PG, and is still available in theaters.
Thanks for listening to my review here at One Movie Punch. If you like what you heard – or didn’t – reach out to me on Twitter at @TwoViewsGarrett and let me know. I’ll be back soon with more reviews on One Movie Punch, but you can always find me on the Two Views Movies podcast.
I’ll catch you next time.