Friday, June 12, 2020

So I Finally Watched this Little Animated Film...

And here's another one for the better-late-than-never archive: after sitting on the movie for what feels like forever, I finally saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse. And, hoo boy, was that a total blast. Considering how real life is going at the moment? That was the kind of escapist fun I needed.

The animation is just unbelievable. It's different from what we've learned to expect nowadays even from powerhouse animation studios like Disney and especially Pixar, which tend to be fantastic in their own ways, but also fairly standard at this point. What we get from Sony's entry is something else entirely - pretty much an animated comic book. I'm not an expert on animation by any stretch, but the wild ride from start to finish looked like a seamless blending of both digital and 2-D hand-drawn art styles.

Then again, given the mind-boggling technological advances in computer animation we have nowadays, I wouldn't be surprised if the 2-D elements are really computer-made. I haven't read up on the work behind the cameras in this movie, so I could be way off base. Regardless, it's a terrific, visually arresting film.

Then there's the story itself, which is a great blend of both humor and heart. My only exposure to Spider-Man was the old cartoon series, which I even barely remember save for the theme song. I never saw any of the live-action films and am only familiar with the Spider-Man incarnation put out by Marvel Studios as part of their cinematic universe. Hell, I haven't even gotten around to seeing Tom Holland's solo outing that now runs two movies long.

That said, Miles Morales's origin story and the converging of different universes into his is really sweet at times, bittersweet in others, horrifying now and then, and funny almost all the time. And since Miles is a teenager, the idea of his feeling isolated and alone in his experiences is a universal one, though his case is also pretty special (for obvious reasons). It's definitely the kind of real-unreal conflict that I'd love to lose myself in if it means forgetting about the present world for a couple of hours.

The pacing of the story is helped a lot by the energetic and even bonkers animation. I definitely recommend this film even to those who, like me, aren't big Spider-Man fans.

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