In August 1963 Stan Lee and Steve Dikto released Amazing Fantasy #15, which debuted an obscure new character called Spider-Man. Five and a half decades, six movies and millions of fans later Spider-Man is a household name and part of the very fabric of modern pop culture. There have been three live-action Peter Parkers in the last ten years alone, but the well worn "With great power comes great responsibility" character arc has become somewhat exhausted by now. In its opening scene, Into the Spider-Verse respectfully acknowledges the web head's recent escapades then boils them down to a hilarious recurring gag.
Phil Lord - half of the genius behind The Lego Movie - pens the spectacular Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. High school student Miles Morales becomes the Spider-Man of his reality, but after arch villain Kingpin messes with the space time continuum and opens up the doorway to numerous different dimensions, Miles comes into contact with his Spidey counterparts and is forced to fix the fabric of time before New York is swallowed up whole.
Prepared to be razzle dazzled by the greatest Spider-Man movie yet. Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2 has held its title as the quintessential Spidey adventure up to now, but after fourteen years Into the Spider-Verse changes everything. This canvas splashed caper abandons the web head’s exhausted origin story and thwips the focus onto newbie Miles Morales. Swinging beyond the bounds of animation with a vibrant comic book aesthetic - Into the Spider-Verse is a crowning achievement for superhero movies and cartoons alike. The film recognises the true value of Spider-Man, as well as highlighting what he symbolises for so many people.
Lord and Co. spray paint an electrifying new hero using a completely redesigned Spidey stencil. The film is somewhat of an epiphany, one of the biggest wins for Into the Spider-Verse is the new protagonist Miles Morales. Marvel have struggled to broaden the horizon for mainstream audiences, routinely churning out the same old Peter Parker storyline. There is no pussy footing here though, with youthful swagger and attitude, Into the Spider-Verse stamps its feet on the ground and proclaims "This is Spider-Man!". Miles is an endearing and refreshing take on your friendly neighbourhood hero; he is also naive, artistic and extremely charismatic. He expresses himself through graffiti and music, and the film establishes him very much as his own individual rather than just the next recreation of the Peter Parker role.
Correspondingly this is the most mature incarnation of Peter we've seen on the silver screen. No longer the remarkable young scientist he once was, the years have not been kind. As the various dimensions collapse into one he is forced to grow up a little bit more. Although he may be twenty six in this film we still see the same innocent naivety in him. With that, Into the Spider-Verse also offers a plethora of other spider people; from Spider Gwen to the anime inspired Peni Parker and Looney Toons style Spider-Ham. Biazzarely and rather miraculously - Lord fleshes out these characters so that they slot perfectly into the story, Into the Spider-Verse advocates how Spider-Man can literally be anyone, but accepting the responsibility is what makes a real hero.
The animation is unlike anything we've ever seen before - bold yellow boxes reflect the character’s thoughts and sharp, squiggly lines mimic the impact of actions and movements. What's more, when Peter meets Miles for the first time the eye-popping merging of their spider-senses is simply astonishing. When it all adds up, Into the Spider-Verse is the epitome of everything that's perfect about Spider-Man. This momentous adventure is beyond Stan Lee's wildest dreams, offering new direction for the iconic web head in what is hands down a Marvel masterpiece - Excelsior!
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:
This review is dedicated to Stan Lee, a man who taught generations of people the brilliance of the unusual, as well as what it truly means to be a hero.
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.