Boats’ Belated Film Reviews: Into The Spider-Verse

Okay, so for starters, I haven’t blogged in a few days but don’t think for a country second that means I haven’t been splitting content in half. I tried out for the Massachusetts Pirates arena league football team last Saturday, and ever since, my 7-year-old Macbook Pro has been overheating as I’ve cut up every last shred of footage on my one-week free trail of Adobe Premiere (paying’s for losers). Anyway, last night I decided to see the Thursday night opening of Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse and let’s just say it didn’t disappoint…

Unlike former installments of Joey Boats’ Belated Film Reviews, I can promise this installment will a.) actually discuss the move, rather than inexplicably ramble off into oblivion; and b.) concern a movie that I actually saw in prompt fashion. Normally I wait until shit hits Netflix to give it a ride but I may start making exceptions.

To make things clear, the reason I don’t go to the theater much has a lot do with the fact that every theater chain has seemingly instituted “Fenway” concession prices. On top of double-digit ticket prices, you need to take out a loan to afford a pack of watermelon Sour Patch Kids nowadays. More than that, however, is that the movies generally suck.

I’m not trying to be a “get off my lawn” type guy with that comment, but there’s some truth to it. Every major Blockbuster released in the last 4 years seemingly has a track record. Every Superhero movie has twelve installments, four spinoff trilogies, and nine different reboots. Hell, there are currently TWO Joker movies in production as we speak; not mention, one of those Joker movies is a spinoff that manifested from Suicide Squad, the biggest steaming pile of cow shit I’ve seen showcased in a theatre since Grownups 2.

In other words, I’m not a big superhero movie guy—I just got around to watching Infinity War a couple weeks ago—but allow me to claim with the utmost sincerity that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was one of the funnest (my blog, my words) experiences I’ve had in a theater in quite some time…

Disclaimer: I won’t spoil any of the plot below. Don’t worry about it, chief…

For starters, what drew me to this movie (as opposed to the fifty-thousand other superhero movies that have been released over the last week) was the animation. For the record, I’m a sucker for animated films, especially those that break the mold of “traditional” animation. With Spider-Verse, the attempt to create an experience that mimics the pages of a comic book is pretty evident—facial features look “pencil’d,” actions are complimented by on-screen, onomatopoeias, transitions often feature comic strip boxes—and, with all things considered, I felt they nailed it.

As someone who considers themself (or themselves, I don’t know) a writer, I’ve always felt the script is the most important part of a movie. You can spend all the money in the world on special effects; however, without a solid plot laced with engaging dialogue, you’re Avatar.

Luckily (and surprisingly), the script was a lot wittier than I expected and matched the pace of the film throughout. For the record, this movie is FAST. As I said, it was one of the funnest experiences I’ve had in a theater and I believe a lot of that reason had to do with the pacing. Normally, I can’t wait to drift from my seat and take a piss/refill the Gaterade bottle I snuck into the theater but this movies makes you think twice about it. There was one point during one of the seemingly “slow scenes” where I took a wizz break and, when I returned, I had to go off contextual clues for the next 5 minutes to piece together what I missed.

Along with the dialogue, the voice casting is near PERFECT. I’m not sure if they give out Oscars for voice casting, but if they do, Spider-Verse should take home some hardware of sorts. The fast-paced, back-and-forth chemistry between Shameik Moore (Miles Morales) and Jake Johnson (Peter B. Parker) is undeniable. Furthermore, Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali (Uncle Aaron) brought some much needed heart to the film while John Mulaney (Spider-Ham) and Nicolas Cage (Spider-Man Noir) brought some unnecessary, but much appreciated laughter throughout the latter half. Not to overreact but, complimented by Nicolas Cage’s best performance in a decade, Spider-Verse may be the funniest film I’ve seen in a while.

So that’s about it. I’d go into more detail but I feel this blog’s already long enough. Long story short, Spider-Verse is an incredibly self-aware film that injects stunningvisuals, fast-paced action, witty dialogue, phenomenal voice acting, and just enough heart to cement it as the best animated film I’ve seen in years. Expect hardware come Oscar season…

Final Rating: 9.4 Mary Janes out of 10

– Joey Boats (@joey_boats)

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