Like many theaters, before I entered the theater there was a sign warning about the strobe lights in this film, and I’m glad that warning was there (I can’t remember there being one for any other action movie I saw, not even The Incredibles 2 and that had a lot of flashing images in it) . It was actually the first film I saw where the theater had a warning about strobe lights (to understand the significance of the strobe lights in the film, The Mighty has a piece about it here).
The film definitely does has a lot of strobe lights from the very beginning. Even as someone who does not have chronic illness or autism, I had to close my eyes at some point due to the flashing lights. The illustration of the characters, as well as that of the Spider-verse, however, was incredible and the characters really came to life on the screen. I also loved the soundtrack of the film (I found myself bobbing my head while “Hypnotize” by the Notorious B.I.G. played in one of the scenes). And similar to many action movies, the film’s beautiful score truly conveyed the intensity of the scenes.
The cast was also excellent. One of the villains, Doctor Octopus, is a female in this version of Spider-Man (in Spider-Man 2, Doc Ock is male), which is pretty epic in my opinion considering many villains tend to be men. For some reason Doc Ock looks like a combo of Professor Trelawney in Harry Potter and Shego in Kim Possible. At the end credits, there were several actors I didn’t even know were voicing the characters, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, and Nicholas Cage to name a few. The late Stan Lee also makes a cameo in the film (not telling when he appears if you haven’t seen it yet) and receives a touching tribute in the credits.
The film has a very encouraging message, too. The main character, Miles, is so inspired by Spider-Man, but he gets discouraged when he realizes how hard being a superhero actually is. However, like other Marvel and DC films, he learns that in order to truly defeat evil, he must conquer his self-doubt and confront the villains head-on in order to save his friends, family and society.
And also, let’s just say how thrilled I was to have a person of color playing Spider-Man! 🙂 Miles is half-African-American and half-Puerto Rican. The last film I saw by DC or Marvel that had a Black superhero was Black Panther.
Overall, I highly recommend this film. It deserves to win for Best Animated Picture at the Oscars.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. 1 hr 56 min. PG for frenetic sequences of animated action violence, thematic elements and mild language.