The well-trodden Marvel universe gets some further Spider-Man love with a film that packs more superhero fun than all the other Spider-Man films put together. Here you get not just one but seven web-slinging Spideys … and they're all from different universes.
I'm sure the superhero-fatigued will be rolling their eyes about now. But stay with me here, because this flick is the perfect tonic for the Marvel-weary. Take it from me—an ardent eye-roller of the spandex clad — this movie is brilliant!
An origins story of sorts, this animated tale introduces a new Spider-Man, teenage Brooklyn graffiti artist Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), who is (yes) bitten by a radioactive spider, endowing him with special powers.
New to the webbed gig, Miles struggles with his newfound powers but when a crack opens in the space-time continuum, five other Spidey iterations from wildly different parallel universes pour in to help.
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Among them a female version, Spider Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), and her male counterpart, Peter Parker, who both offer their assistance. One problem; this version of Peter Parker has gone to seed and is a burger-scoffing, sweatpant-wearing slob who's given up on hero-ing (Jake Johnson is perfectly cast here).
Reluctantly, Peter helps Miles harness his powers as the posse of arachnid heroes battle to get back to their own parallel universes.
Plot-wise, its fairly standard procedure, but where this tale excels is in its delivery. Drawing on its comic book roots, the same producers who brought us The Lego Movie have gone with an animation style that fizzes and crackles with explosive energy, creating the genuine feeling of a comic book leaping on to the screen.
The banging soundtrack will have you buzzing and writer Phil Lord (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) brings a level of quick-witted irreverence and humour that manages to ground this preposterous tale.
The result is an unconventional, vibrantly fresh and laugh-a-minute loving ode to the comics. It's really something special.
Cast: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson
Director: Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti
Running time: 117 mins
Censor: PG (Violence and coarse language)
Verdict: A well spun web worth getting caught in.