10. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
You know Spider-Man, right? Well what if a movie killed him, passed his mantle on to a newcomer, introduced an alternate universe version of Peter Parker alongside an anime mech suit, a Noir character and a talking pig and still found the time to truly display what it is that makes Spider-Man so special. Well that movie exists, and it’s called “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”.
This movie could only exist in animated form and that’s a good thing. The pure imagination of this movie is just bursting at the seams and it’s just not something that can be achieved with live action. With what DC Comics has been doing with their animated features and this, I’m convinced animation should be the only option when making a superhero movie. I’m not even sure what to call this animation style as it’s so fresh and kinetic it might be in its own world. The scene where Miles and his uncle are in the alley tagging the walls with graffiti is so loud and energetic and really displayed the art style perfectly.
The other special aspect of this movie is that aside from all the insanity going on, it still gets to the heart of Spider-Man. We’ve seen generic superhero get their powers, fight an alien or evil version of themselves and move on to the sequel or next movie in the interconnected franchise like 30 times now. Into the Spider-Verse did something that virtually no comic book movie has ever done. It satisfied me. I sincerely didn’t know where this movie would end up. Obviously the good guys are going to win the day, but this movie is dealing with so much more then just good vs. evil. The heart of this movie is Miles learning to accept himself and be confident. It also focuses on Peter trying to find something worth living for again as his life has become so hard for him. Kids will relate with Miles and adults will relate with Peter.
I’ve also got to give this movie props on its inspired voice acting choices. Nicholas Cage (who is having a HELL of a year if you ask me) kills it as Spider-Man Noir, John Mullaney is the only suitable choice for Spider-Ham and Shameik Moore and Jake Jonson turn in very emotional and fun performances as Miles Morales and Peter Parker respectively. The real MVP for me though is Mahershala Ali as Uncle Aaron. Ali has already proved to be a force on screen, but the amount of regret, pride and love he injects into this character with just his voice is stunning. He doesn’t have very many scenes, but what he does with what he is given is very special.
As a lifelong comic book lover, I can honestly say this just might be the greatest superhero movie ever made. It gives you the flashy excitement of a blockbuster and it pushed the limits of animation, but more importantly it cares about the people under the masks and that makes all the difference.