Review: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a bold leap forward for Sony

Today’s movie industry is flooded with super-hero flicks, due in most part to Marvel’s highly successful and accomplished “cinematic universe,” (MCU for short) with films that track the origins and adventures of heroes such as Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Panther.

However, there are a few well-known Marvel properties that aren’t included in the all-encompassing cinematic universe due to licensing issues, specifically with Sony. Most notably, those franchises are Spider-Man, X-Men, and Deadpool.

Marvel and Sony have begun to work together to include Spider-Man in the MCU, as seen in the 2017 film Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the upcoming 2019 release of Spider-Man: Far from Home; however, Sony is free to simultaneously produce movies under its own brand, and the recently released Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the most current example.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse follows Miles Morales, just one of many “Spider-People” in the comic universe, as he gets bitten by an otherworldly spider and naturally wakes up the next day with supernatural, spider-like powers, such as maximized senses and the ability to climb walls, or just stick to things in general.

In typical super-hero fashion, there is a villain with an evil plot to thwart, and this evil plot is what ends up bringing a number of different “Spider-People” into Miles’ world. What ensues is a psychedelic two hours of pure action, fun, and heart.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse stands apart from other Marvel films in that it is an animated film, sporting an animation style that makes it look like a living comic book.

In the West, animated films are produced primarily for younger demographics, so what is most surprising about this movie is how it manages to, in many ways, outdo Marvel’s own attempts at portraying its comic book heroes.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is both accessible for casual viewers, and extremely satisfying for fans of the titular hero and other comic book properties. This can be attributed to its excellent balance of comedy, action, dramatic storytelling, and pure fanservice.

Due to the buzz surrounding the film’s announcement, and commercial and critical success of its theatrical release, Sony has already greenlit a sequel and a number of spin-offs, which appears to mean that there might soon be another “cinematic universe” to compete with the juggernaut that is the MCU.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one of the best movies of the year, animated or otherwise, and the West could soon be revising what it means to be a big-budget animated movie in the future.

For showtimes, visit the website of local theater chains, such as AMC or Cinemark.

The film will eventually be available for purchase through digital and physical vendors.

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