Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey
Writers: Phil Lord (screenplay by), Rodney Rothman (screenplay by)
Stars: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Zoë Kravitz, Lily Tomlin, Nicolas Cage, Liev Schreiber, Chris Pine, Kathryn Hahn
Where do I begin reviewing this Marvel (pardon the pun) without sounding like a total sycophant. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse not only took me by surprise but knocked me for six with its stylishly stunning animation, taking a combination of 2-D and 3-D effects to create a modern masterpiece. Am I coming on too strong? Well I don’t care. Using the largest collection of animators for a Sony Pictures Animation project (somewhere in the region of 180 individuals) The technical aspects of this film is half of what makes this film a ten on ten (I don’t normally rate films in this fashion) and the other half being a combination of great characters and a strong storyline. A combination of various “Spider” superheroes an hour in really surprised me and knocked me off my stride for a few moments before appreciating how the filmmakers managed to create these different styles but somehow make them fit into this film. Sounds crazy right?
Miles Morales becomes the Spider-Man of his reality and meets his counterparts from other dimensions to stop a threat to all reality. I have known about Morales for a number of years now and when it was announced that the character was finally appearing in a cinematic release, it was music to my ears. My brother Kevan introduced me to this character a while ago and it intrigued me on how the character would be accepted and received by the Spider-Man traditionalists. Fear not.
Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker and Spider-Ham with all of their different perspectives shouldn’t work on paper but thank the maker for Spider-Ham. The MCU for many years now has mastered the right of humour in the darkest of places to perfection. Well here Spider-Ham is to an extent the “Comic Relief” in this film. That’s not to say the character is two dimensional, he has done heart warming scenes also. Peni Parker is a welcome addition that I liked. The Anime style gives the character a real bubbly feel and is the mirror opposite of Spider-Man Noir. The character wouldn’t be out of place in Watchmen. In fact, Noir reminded me of the incarnation of DC’s Batman character in Gotham By Gaslight and was clearly a hero from yesteryear.
Peter Parker on the other hand surprised me. It’s crazy saying this due to the film being an animation but the character doesn’t waste any screen time. Parker is flawed in many ways mentally and physically (check the gut on him) he still has those loveable characteristics that make you route for him and this film reminds you of this.
The cast is amazing. Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Zoë Kravitz, Lily Tomlin, Nicolas Cage, Liev Schreiber, Chris Pine, and Kathryn Hahn all play their part. At no point do you pinpoint the voices to the ensemble of talent. Their audio participation just threads through the fabric with ease.
Overall Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse is a new take on a classic character. The introduction to Miles Morales will surely have been a tie dipping exercise for the studio testing the water with their fan base. They need not to have worried as Miles is a great interpretation of a character we all ready know but want to know more about this kid and how he will deal with “with great power, comes great responsibility” I really hope they go one further with a live action film in the next few years. Technically a masterpiece and a storyline on par with the visuals means I can’t recommend this enough. A must see!