Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld
Length: 1h 57min
Now I must admit, I walked into the screening for Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse completely blind and had no perception of what the movie would be like; except from the expectation that it must be absolutely amazing after reading all of the recent critic reviews. I am not going to lie and say I was blown away by the film, but I was indeed impressed by the strong storytelling and genuinely interesting and fun characters that were well fleshed out within the film. With a surprisingly strong voice cast and compelling writing, I can definitely say that this movie was a stronger addition to the portrayal of the webbed superhero than the most recent Marvel live action version, Homecoming.
The movie follows the story of Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), as he is bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway and becomes the one and only Spiderman; well at least the only one is his universe anyways. He comes up against the evil tycoon, Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), as he develops a weapon that can open portals to other dimensions, so that he can retrieve those that he has lost. The opening of such portals ends up in a flock of alternate versions of Spiderman to be thrown into Miles’ universe and become trapped with no way home. Miles and his newfound friends; Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Spiderman Noir (Nicolas Cage) and Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) must fight against Kingpin and his villainous friends Doctor Octopus (Kathryn Hahn) and Prowler (Mahershala Ali) to ensure that they can get home and the weapon is destroyed.
The film has many strengths throughout and is not just an animated film for a younger audience which is sometimes assumed when you see the PG rating. The movie provides some visually stunning shots, and still manages to convey a sense of awe in some of the scenery and action sequences that many animated movies fail to pull off. The plot as a whole is very entertaining and simply just a fun journey, and does boast some shock factor and reveals that add to the attractiveness of the film. However, there are some more serious tone changes in the film which are necessary, and work well in creating a cohesive story that allows the audience to connect with the onscreen characters. The voice cast also is very suited to their own characters, with many actually not standing out as their own voices, giving the characters a better chance to tell their story without a reminder of who is behind them; apart from Nicolas Cage because how could you not recognise his voice?
The film is not completely perfect, but much of that comes down to very personal preferences. I found the animation still unique, but very hard to adapt to; at least for myself. I spent the first half an hour of the movie simply trying to wrap my head around the style they were going for and how I felt about that. The risk of producing a comic book movie that actually looks like a comic book did work out in the end, but do not go into the film expecting the same style of recent animated movies. Also I could not help feeling like I wanted more of a focus on the alternate versions of Spiderman than the Miles Morales version as they simply seemed more intriguing and a change from the normal male version of the superhero. However, this could simply be a tactic from the filmmakers to increase the interest in a sequel which has already been confirmed to be in the works.
Aside from this, the film is a very strong addition to the big screen adaptations of Spiderman and I highly recommend as a must watch for any age who simply wants to observe a fun comic book adventure.