Film Review: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

08:55 December 14, 2018
By: David Vicari

I wasn't a fan of 2017's live-action Spider-Man: Homecoming because I felt the plot was old and moldy and Tom Holland's hyperactive performance as the web-slinger was incredibly annoying. Just about everything I felt was wrong with that movie is done right in the new and exciting animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

The mundane life of African American and Hispanic high schooler Miles Morales (voice of Shameik Moore) is forever changed when he is bitten by a radioactive spider. He gains the power of invisibility, as well as the ability to climb up the sides of buildings—just like Spider-Man. You see, the hero Spider-Man exists in this world, and Miles is now another Spidey.

At first, Into the Spider-Verse seemed like a rehash of the origin tales we've already seen too many times: Miles is a teen; has a crush on a girl, Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld); and his life gets complicated when he gets superpowers. But then something happens: The first Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Chris Pine) is killed by villain Kingpin (Liev Schreiber)! That's not all. Because Kingpin's particle-accelerator machine goes awry, Spider-Men—and women—from other dimensions show up and help Miles battle the bad guys. The first Spider-Man to appear is Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), who is divorced and a little out of shape. There is also a cartoon-pig Spider-Man (John Mulaney), who drops anvils on bad guys and can produce a giant magnet that is powerful enough to collect guns. 

Spider-Verse is a little longish at 117 minutes, and some of the animation is so flashy that it comes close to possibly giving you a seizure. Besides that, this film is imaginative and fun, with a smart and likable central character in Miles.   

*** out of four

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