Over the past decade or so, the only thing DC has had an upper hand on (when compared to Marvel) is animated films. I say this because some of the best animation action/superhero films I have seen are all by DC. Batman: Under the red hood, Batman: The Mask of Phantasm, Justice League: Doom, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and above all Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox (my favourite).
With Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse, Marvel gets very serious about replicating its live-action success into the animated world.
For everyone who is wondering how this links to the Avengers, Tom Holland's Spiderman and MCU, let me not drag on. If MCU is the only reason for you to consider watching this, then find another reason (seriously, find one). That's because Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse is not part of the MCU but is rather a stand-alone film. Maybe calling it a stand-alone is a stretch but then, I don't wanna give away too much. As always, I will try my best to review without any spoilers.
Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse starts off with Spiderman (Peter Parker) telling us about his journey, you know, the one where he gets bit by a radioactive spider. We all have seen that story enough times to last us a lifetime and the creators also know that. So, they breeze past the obvious stuff without wasting any time and in a flash, we get to Miles Morales. Our hero. Miles lives in Brooklyn, does regular teenage stuff, loves doing graffiti which his cop father disapproves. He is under pressure to perform in a top-notch school (that he hates) and so he regularly skips out from his hostel at night. During one such night, Miles is in an underground tunnel, expressing himself through his art, when a radioactive spider bites him. His life changes from this point on and reading this, you will be thinking "Yeah, I know the rest". Trust me, you don't.
Even though on the surface, the start of the story may seem like the same old Spiderman, but in reality, there is not even an ounce that feels repetitive or old.
Right from the start, 'Into The Spiderverse' is fresh, funny and thoroughly entertaining. Miles is such a believable character that your heart immediately connects with him. He is ably supported by not 1 or 2 but 6 more Spidermen/Spiderwomen, from Peter B. Parker & Gwen Stacy to Peni Parker, Spider-Ham and Spiderman Noir. Each one of them is a delight for comic book fans and especially Spider-Nerds. Even the characterization of the villains is top notch. Wilson Fisk is at the centre of the chaos that floods the multiverse, wreaking havoc in the lives of our beloved Spidey. There are other notable villains making brief appearances. We see Scorpion and Green Goblin, the latter being re-imagined almost dragon-like. However, there is another baddy in the film that deserves a special mention because he is terrifyingly good. 'Prowler' is powerful, extremely swift and simply delightful to watch. On top of that, you get a fabulous ensemble cast boasting of names such as Mahershala Ali, Nicolas Cage and Liev Schreiber.
The highlight of the film by far is the quality of its animation. It is way ahead of anything that has come before it simply because it fits the narrative like a glove.
The effort gone into animation is not to make it all look real, not even close. The film is based on comic books and the animation supremely complements that facet. We get to see stunning visuals, giving the feeling of comic book pages in motion. What accentuates the visuals and the pace of the film is the piercing background score. The music adds another dimension to not just the bright scenes but even the edgy, fast-paced chase sequences featuring The Prowler. Another high point of the film is the writing which is quirky, smart and hilarious. There isn't a dull moment in the 1.5 hours and honestly, the film was a little too short. I guess that is my only complaint.
Simply put, Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse is one of the finest films I have seen this year and the best animation film to date. I can't wait to watch it again but before I go for seconds, do yourselves a big favour and go watch it now.