Spider-Man is back in theaters, but this time it's a whole new ballgame. Unlike Spidey's previous cinematic adventures, Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an animated film that focuses on the story of Miles Morales and a ragtag group of Spider-People from across the multiverse. What the movie does have common with other Spider-Man films is that it comes with a 3D showing
If you'd like, you can read CinemaBlend's official review of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but this review is solely based on the 3D technology. This Spidey film has lots of fun with other dimensions, but does it conquer the almighty third dimension? Without further ado, let's swing right into it and see if this 3D made our Spider Senses tingle or if it left us hanging by a thread. (You know, because of spiders and webs and stuff.)
Animation just lends itself better to 3D than most live-action movies and if you combine that with the high-flying action of a superhero movie, then you've got a recipe for success. I can't think of a superhero better suited to 3D than Spider-Man. He's an incredibly mobile character, swinging above the most famous city in the world. There are lots of things to show off in a 3D space, and when used properly, the technology can generate films that make you feel like you are right there flying through New York City with the Web-Head.
You can tell that a lot of planning and effort when into the 3D of Spider-Verse. This isn't something that the directors and tech team just slapped onto the film. There are lots of great visuals to behold, and the 3D adds lots of depth between the characters and their surroundings. If there is a downside, it's that there are some spots where it's apparent there wasn't much 3D going on, but it hardly outweighs the rest of the scenes that are using 3D at its full capacity.
Probably the most famous aspect of 3D is the idea that images from the screen leap out at the audience. Oddly, Spider-Verse doesn't utilize this trick often or at least not in an obvious way. While there are scenes where debris will bounce off the screen, it was usually too fast or subtle to have an impact. However, the movie does have some clever uses with a splatter effect that hits the "camera," such as the juice from Peter Parker's burger or Miles Morales' spray paint hitting the corner of the screen.
For a movie that works so hard to emulate a 2D comic book, there is an incredible amount of 3D depth on display. The many buildings and long streets of New York City seem like they go on forever, while even the hallways in Miles' high school seem to stretch on for miles (or maybe that's just how high school feels.) The beyond the window effect really shines in the climactic third act, where some really trippy and thrilling visuals take place. I won't spoil them here, but they were awesome and the 3D helped add a suitable amount of chaos as it balanced many effects at once.
Brightness in 3D can be tricky. The tinted 3D glasses naturally make things darker, and a good amount of it depends on how well your movie theater is taking care of its 3D projection. At least for me, I felt my showing could have been a little brighter. Spider-Verse is a very colorful movie, and I was hoping to see those visuals pop a bit more than they did. I certainly never had trouble seeing what was happening, but New York City boasts so much neon lighting that it could have stood to blast off of the screen more.
A great way to test how good the 3D is in the film is to be counterproductive and take off your glasses. If there's a lot of blur on the screen, that means there's a lot of 3D present on the screen. Spider-Verse has many scenes with a healthy level of blur plastered over the whole screen. However, there were a few that didn't seem to have any 3D at all. These scenes were mostly tight close-ups of character's faces.
It's easy to get a little sick during a 3D film, especially one with so much fast-paced action, but Spider-Verse isn't too difficult to follow. Even during some of the most complex and busy action scenes with multiple Spider-People at once swinging around, I was able to keep up with the action. That being said, there were some moments in the film where things were moving too quickly for the image to remain solid, but it was never distracting.
When all is said and done, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a great experience in 3D. It's extremely well put together with action that is easy to follow as Miles and the crew leap and swing through the concrete jungle. Overall, the 3D conversion holds up really well. There are some minor hiccups with brightness, but if you know a theater that has a good 3D projector, than Spider-Verse in 3D is well worth the price of admission.
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Be sure to visit our full To 3D Or Not To 3D Archive.
Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.
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