A new Spider-Man? Another one?! Scepticism about Into the Spider-Verse is more than understandable – after all, how many different versions of an arachno-powered youngster do we need? Spider-Verse answers that question with a resoundingly confident “at least six”. A spectacular collision of Spider-Beings, it’s an endlessly fun superhero story that breathes new life into the genre.
Our initial Spider-Man is high-school rookie Miles Morales (Shameik Moore). A couple of nefarious inter-dimensional schemes by the Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) later, though, and he’s joined by a litany of alternate Spiders. Top-ranking among them are a washed-up Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) and the lightning fast Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld).
Spider-Verse keeps these characters distinct with a truly astonishing art style. It’s got the kinetic energy and eye-popping colour of classic comics, but with a stop-motion weight to the characters, who nevertheless move with a joyous fluidity.
It’s a unique and beautiful new style of animation (you really haven’t seen anything like it before), with plenty of flexibility. For example, Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage) is always coated in monochrome shadow, regardless of location, and Japanese Spider from the future Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) has an anime zip to all her scenes.
The story is a little formulaic and too busy and frenetic for all the emotional beats to land, but it moves at such a pace and with such consistently entertaining set pieces that this hardly matters. It’s also very funny, especially in the first half, the comedic genius of producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller shining through.
Perfect for both genre fanatics and those who may have grown tired of the shared-universe superheroics that dominate cinemas, Spider-Verse is as original as a comic book movie can be. Also, John Mulaney voices anthropomorphic pig hero Spider-Ham, so what more could you possibly want?
CAST: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Nicolas Cage, Kimiko Glenn, John Mulaney, Brian Tyree Henry, Liev Schreiber, Mahershala Ali
DIRECTORS: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
WRITER: Phil Lord
SYNOPSIS: Spider-Man crosses parallel dimensions and teams up with the Spider-Men of those dimensions to stop a threat to all reality.