It’s time to look at the recent Spider-Man film that came out. This one was getting quite a lot of buzz when it came out. It certainly kept us waiting as I feel like the movie was announced ages ago. It’s definitely a very enjoyable movie. I think a lot of your enjoyment for it will depend on what you think of the animation style but regardless the writing is solid and I always do like crossovers.
The film starts out with Miles starting up in a new school. It’s a rather prestigious one so he is a bit nervous at having to say goodbye to all of his friends to make new ones. Still, he’ll make the best of it. Unfortunately school goes off to an awkward start as the only student who was friendly to him gets her hair ripped off thanks to Miles being unable to control the new powers he got from a spider. Then he is forced to watch as Spider-Man falls to the Kingpin. He now has a mission, Miles must destroy the Collider before it is activated again. If not, the whole multiverse will fall apart. Fortunately since it was active for a few minutes he will now have some backup in the form of Spider-Ham, Anime Spider Girl, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, and Fat Spider-Man. Together they will stop the villains or die trying!
I think the animation style is important to talk about right off the bat. As you may or may not know, it isn’t my cup of tea. It looks like an awkward blend of CGI and Stop Motion, neither of which I am a big supporter of. The former can look good at times though while the latter has never worked. For the former, it’s also tough because my favorite style is what’s considered to not look very good. The old Spider-Man 1 game, the Machinima Transformers show, I tend to like CGI like that where the character models are very colorful and retro even if they may not be the most detailed or fluid. The latter just tend to try a little too hard. I think the best CGI are the kind that try to look like they’re anime/traditionally animated while the ones I don’t care for as much try to look very realistic/live action.
This one is more towards the former which is a good thing. I also think the animators did work really hard to do the best they could with this program. The credits along is a good example of something that must have taken a very long time to do. Throughout the movie we get a lot of sudden effects that will pop up as scenes have dozens of jump cuts. These aren’t used to highlight the action though, but typically as visual gags. It’s a style that works really well and I always enjoy it when watching something abridged or a good Youtube critique. Constant visuals like that help get you in the moment. It is something to watch out for if your eyes are sensitive though. The colors happen quite suddenly and keep on coming. It’s almost like a jump scare for your eyes as opposed to your ears. This is especially noticeable when watching in the theater.
Again, this works pretty well for me. I love the constant stimulus but it isn’t for everyone. I think ultimately that helped me get into the film more. The effects were just masterfully done and helped the animation hold up. I also did like the bright colors for the fight scenes. The Prowler chasing Miles around the city for example was quite nice. Even just scenes of the characters walking around like Miles in the opening are pretty crisp. Sometimes it could get a little sloppy like when Peter was eating a burger near the beginning though. Most of the ingredient character models seemed to be pretty iffy at best and I think that scene may have been done in a hurry.
The fight scenes also look pretty good. My favorite moment in the film was definitely when all of the villains showed up in Aunt May’s house. It’s rare that we get a proper group vs group fight where all of the combatants are locked in such a small place like this. Naturally things didn’t go very well for the house, but it was definitely an excellent fight. A shame that it had to end off screen though. That’s always a little disappointing. Nonetheless, the action scenes were always on point whenever they would happen. I would have liked to have seen more of them if anything, but that’s not to say that there isn’t much action here. There’s a good amount so I believe you will be satisfied.
Where the film falters a bit is in its choice of Spider-Man. We get to see the real Peter Parker at the beginning of the film and this is a problem. It’s a problem because he completely outshines everyone else in the film to the point where it isn’t really all that close. He’s the perfect hero and a nice guy to boot. He always wins and has a perfect character arc since he is the Spider-Man from the original trilogy and he actually had a happy ending. Once he’s gone we are met with the main Spider-Man of the other universe. This one is made to be worse in every way. He’s mean, overweight, and just isn’t very professional at all. It’s nice that he’s still pretty confident and all. When he isn’t being corrupted by his cells he actually is decent at times. Still, he can be very annoying until the climax and you just wish the real Spider-Man was here.
The other Spider-Men were all pretty solid though. Noir doesn’t get a huge role but he shines in every scene that he gets. His old school way of talking is always fun and the guy does back up his tough talk. I don’t think he loses a single fight in the film and he probably looks the most impressive. Somehow I feel like he would be the one to not return in a sequel but it would certainly be fun if he did. Then we have Spider-Ham. He’s basically the comedy member of the group, but the film never overextends with him. He gets a few scenes with the gags you would expect, but they’re written well enough. Then we have Penny Parker who is the anime character. I do think the film dropped the ball with her a bit since she actually looked pretty weak next to everyone else. I guess she doesn’t have to be the strongest or anything, but I feel like she was the only one to not really have a pivotal moment. She is low key the smartest of the bunch though as she was able to fix the Goober for the others with ease. Her robot wasn’t quite as likable, but it could fight pretty well.
Then we’ve got Spider-Gwen. She’s a fun character as you would expect. You might have some questions about how she so seamlessly fit into the real world though. Between the constant glitching out and the fact that she’s only been around for a little while it just doesn’t seem all too realistic how she has avoided detection. Well, that’s a pretty minor thing I suppose. Gwen has a good amount of confidence and was a solid addition to the team. I’d definitely be up for seeing her again in a sequel.
Aside from the Spider related characters we’ve also got Miles’ supporting cast. His parents are definitely good characters. They’re written pretty well as affectionate parents who are looking out for him from start to finish. They don’t have any crazy misunderstandings with Miles and while the Dad dislikes Spider-Man he isn’t crazy about it either. Miles’ uncle is also a good character who may not be the most positive influence out there, but makes the right calls when necessary. Miles also has a roommate but the guy doesn’t do anything so we can skip him.
I suppose now’s a good time to talk about the lead. Miles is a pretty decent main character. He is pretty witty from the start and does try his best to be a hero. I’m a little dubious about him wanting to put stickers everywhere even though he knows it’s against the law and has been told several times. It’s a character trait that seems a little bit forced, but I guess it was a good transition to show that his uncle’s influence has gotten to him to an extent. It takes Miles a while to really get into the zone with his powers but by the end he has them down. The film almost starts up a romance for him which is fortunately avoided. I do think Miles didn’t handle that part well at all which hurts him a bit, but he could have been worse about it.
As for the villains, we have quite a few here. Not all of them get a whole lot to do here. One of the main ones is the Prowler who is definitely cool. He has a great costume and fights sort of like the Beetle. Then you have Doctor Octopus although this is a slightly different version than the one you may be familiar with. She’s a good fighter, but not a very interesting villain. The heroes probably should have seen her coming a little more than they did.
Which, I could talk about how the Spider-Sense should have looked a lot better than it did, but I suppose it wasn’t super egregious here. You could also argue that having so many Spider folk in one place may have disoriented it a bit. Kingpin is the head honcho here and the animators definitely had a lot of fun with his design. The guy’s huge and looks like he is some kind of living wall. He’s definitely a fun antagonist and you don’t get to see him go up against Spider-Man all that much anymore. It was a nice throwback to the good ole days.
There also is an after credits scene which is definitely a lot of fun. I’d definitely recommend checking it out. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the next film but it’s just a great moment. i always believe that a film should always have an after credits scene but it needs to be a good scene. You can’t just put something random in or a scene that’s dull. It should have some kick to it and that’s exactly what this film did. It ends the movie on a high note.
Finally, we have the soundtrack. This one I was less crazy about. The songs are all very loud and I wouldn’t say that any of them are all that good. The instrumental battle themes and such are good, but the lyrical songs weren’t really my cup of tea. Nothing that would hurt the experience for you though. You’ll be too distracted by the fact that Spider-Man has a spider cave to give it much thought during the movie.
Overall, This was a pretty good Spider-Man movie. I do think it’s the kind of film that really benefits from a theatrical viewing though as it helps ramp up the effects and everything. There’s a good mix of humor and action in here. The audience was roaring with laughter quite a lot. It was deserved as the humor was pretty good. The gags aren’t typically annoying or anything. As for how funny you find it, that’ll naturally depend on what you find entertaining. The gags are very quick regardless which is always good. Dragging out a joke is something you do not want to do. The pacing is pretty good and the fights are quite excellent so all in all it lived up to expectations. You’ll get what you expect here and that’s a good thing. Hopefully the sequel is just as fun.