Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a new standalone animated film ‘in association with’ Marvel – which introduces not just one new Spider-Man, but seven.
Miles (Shameik Moore) is a teenage kid from Brooklyn, stuck in a high-end school while Spider-Man swings around and stops crime. Miles is suddenly bitten by a radioactive spider and inherits spidey powers of his own. He stumbles upon a dangerous supercollider built by the exaggerated villain Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), which splits reality and combines five different dimensions together – throwing all the different Spider-People into the same universe. They join forces to put the multiverse back in order.
Miles (Shameik Moore) is bitten by a radioactive spider and gains spidey powers of his own
There’s a lot to deal with here, but writers Phil Lord (The Lego Movie) and Rodney Rothman (22 Jump Street) make the plot accessible and have a lot of fun with it. The world opens up like a graphic novel in virtual reality, without being tacky. The edge to animation over live-action offers freedom with the visuals, drawing shots in awesome places. Text bubbles are constantly splattered on screen, showing Miles' thoughts and creating some explosive onomatopoeia – capturing the worldwide iconography of comic books.
Lord and Rothman also seem to be embracing the confusing and downright ridiculous nature of multiple versions of the same character. They include the likes of an anime schoolgirl (Kimiko Glenn) with a web shooting robot and, most bizarrely, a costumed Porky Pig from Looney Tunes (John Mulaney). The writers treat confusion as part of the fun, though sometimes it’s just too confusing.
Miles finds help in a Spider-Man from a different dimension (Jake Johnson)
Even given the entertainment value and the quality of the 3D animation, the story is the same as pretty much every other superhero movie – somewhat scaled back because of the younger target audience. The action scenes are well-drawn and thoroughly enjoyable, but serve to swerve attention away from a predictable plot.
However, the characters are vivid enough and funny enough to carry the film to that obvious destination, never feeling overly tedious or superfluous. And considering the writers’ comedic roots, it’s no surprise that Into the Spider-Verse is the funniest Spider-Man movie to date.
If the post-credits sequence is anything to go by, Marvel’s tangled tree will likely sprout some more branches strewn with cartoon cobwebs. Maybe a whole Animated Cinematic Universe will emerge? Will each version of every Avenger join together to form a massive comic army? Considering the overwhelming reception for Into the Spider-Verse, it’s far from unthinkable.
|What||Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse film review|
On 12 Dec 18, TIMES VARY
|Price||£ determined by cinemas|
|Website||Click here for more information|