Monday, March 18, 2019

Short Attention Review - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Short Attention Span Review - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

I've been down with Spidey for about as long as I can remember, and I'm a 40-year-old dude who still rocks comics.  Bonus points: the one mainstay on my pull list has always been The Amazing Spider-Man.  With that in mind, I believe I can speak with some authority when it comes to the webhead.  My expertise extends beyond the comics and also applies to the movies, to include the appropriately obscure.  Of course, I've seen all the mainstream ventures, but I didn't stop there.  Seriously, have you ever gone on a quest to track down every episode of the 1977 television series starring Nicholas Hammond--and forced yourself to watch them all?  Dear lord, I hope not.  I like to think that I paid that tab for all of us.*  Anyway, I say all that to say this: I was a bit unsure about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and my unease may have increased in light of all the incredible praise heaped upon this 2018 animated adventure.  Surely, I thought, it can't be that good.  Listen up, peeps.  It's that good.  It's freaking epic.  It rocks.  I didn't like it, I positively loved it.  The animation is unique but brilliant, the voice performances are perfect, and the soundtrack is nothing short of superb.  Most importantly, the direction courtesy of Bob Perischetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman is amazing, and the screenplay from Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman is spectacular.  They weave a mesmerizing web of rollicking action and heartfelt drama that elevate this into the upper stratosphere of comic book movies.  Look, I drooled over Infinity War with the rest of you, but Spidey snuck in like a thief in the night and rocked the Casbah with this vivid and thoroughly entertaining smash hit.  I do not believe I am taking things too far when I dub this the best Spider-Man movie we have seen to date, and I enjoy all of the previous efforts, even Spider-Man 3**.  I rate Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming as among the best comic book adaptations ever produced.  Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse surpasses all of these adventures starring the wallcrawler we hold so dear.  Guess what?  I'm not stopping there.  No, I would like to take things even further, to be honest, and I'm here to declare this one of the best superhero movies out there.  In terms of craftsmanship and quality, it is on par with the best of the lot, to include the previously-mentioned Infinity War, as well as other legit classics in that realm, movies like Logan, The Dark Knight, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Superman II.  I can't recommend this one highly enough, and it is a joy to encounter something that is equal parts diverse, inclusive, and splendid.  I want to thank everyone involved for taking my favorite superhero to new heights.

*For the record, they're kinda fun, and I give the makers of the show props for trying really hard.  That's probably too kind.  Okay, okay.  Let's be real here.  The show was so hokey that it flirts with comedic glory.

**Shoot me if you must.  It's true.

Final Grade: A+

This wonderful feature succeeds partly by inviting lots of takes on our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man to the party, but mostly because it nails each and every one of them, and allows them to participate in a marvelous story.

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