Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is an average kid living in Brooklyn where Spider-Man is a superhero that is loved by all. One day, he is bitten by a radioactive spider and becomes a new Spider-Man himself. When the villainous Kingpin (Liev Shreiber) opens a portal, Miles meets other webslingers from alternate realities, including an older Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), Gwen Stacey (Hailee Steinfield), a noir detective Spider-Man (Nicholas Cage), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) and Peter Porker (John Mulaney), also known as Spider Ham. Yes, really.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the ultimate love letter to Marvel’s incredibly popular character. The film doesn’t shy away from the long history of Spider-Man media; in fact, the movie embraces the history. The Tobey Maguire trilogy, the 1960’s Spiderman cartoon and even last year’s Spider-Man Homecoming are celebrated and used as punchlines. But could expect any less from producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the guys who made The Lego Movie and the Jump Street movies?
But the film doesn’t just rely on references to hold it together, the central story of Miles and the other webheads is incredibly engaging. Instead of being the standard origin story where the main character has to learn their powers and hide their alter ego to the public, the fact that they are a team that all share the same abilities and even personal tragedies, as well as help Miles find his true passion in life (Aside from Post Malone’s Sunflower) is a breath of fresh air and the talented cast brings the characters to life.
The most impressive part of the film is the animation. Lord and Miller intended to create a living comic book, and it absolutely pays off. The film has so much colour and it showcases so much creative movement that has never been seen in a Spider-Man movie before. The tropes of comic books are also a big part of the comedic side of storytelling, utilising thought bubbles, panels, and text describing sound. The characters are also stylised in specific animation styles, with Spider-Man Noir being in black and white, Peni Parker has a big anime influence, and Spider Ham being straight out of Looney Tunes (Great joke about that towards the end).
Overall, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a very unique and enjoyable edition to the ever growing superhero genre, bringing a lot of a heart and laughs for fans of all ages.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swings into cinemas December 13th.