SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (PG)
D: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsay & Rodney Rothman
Sony/Columbia/Marvel (Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller)
W: Phil Lord & Rodney Rothman [based on characters created by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli)
Mus: Daniel Pemberton
voices of: Shameik Moore (Miles Morales / Spider-Man), Jake Johnson (Peter B. Parker / Spider-Man), Chris Pine (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Hailee Steinfeld (Gwen Stacy / Spider-Woman), Mahershala Ali (Aaron Davis / Prowler), Brian Tyree Henry (Jefferson Davis)
Released at a time when superhero movies are getting a little oversaturated and with no less than 6 Spider-man movies between 2002 and 2017, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse makes for a refreshing alternative to the norm, as well as being a highly entertaining animated film in its own right.
With identity politics being a hot topic in 2018, there was a fear going into this movie that it would be an agenda-pushing agitprop to appease the Buzzfeed & Huffington Post crowd, mostly due to the marketing campaign which made it feel so, but I'm glad to say I was completely wrong about that.
The story follows Miles Morales, a new boy at school who has trouble fitting in, especially with his police officer father, finding a better connection with his shady uncle. When spraying graffiti art in an abandoned subway station, Miles is bitten by a radioactive spider (the same which gave Spider-Man his powers) and it soon emerges that immediately above the subway station, a group of super villains have been creating a particle accelerator with the intentions of bringing multiple alternative universes together and a whole host of spider-people along with them, including an older, dishevelled Peter Parker who becomes Miles' mentor.
What makes the film so entertaining is the witty screenplay, which does a great job introducing alternative superheroes, even for people unfamiliar with superhero comics. The characters are also very engaging and the dialogue feels incredibly natural. The film also has a unique animated style which feels like you're actually watching a comic book unfold before your eyes.
Not the best Spider-Man movie, by any means, but it's certainly better than the last few produced by Sony Pictures, although the message that "anyone can be Spider-Man" may work for this example, but it may not necessarily work for other characters (James Bond, for example), but I'm happy to judge this film on its own merits.