Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

A follow-up to the six Spider-Man movies made since 2002 starring three different actors in three separate series, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is yet another installment in the Spider-Man comic book franchise that is justifiably the best film as a result of its innovative computer animation and unique storytelling. It is a visually arresting animated feature that relies on a completely new type of CGI very much resembling the aesthetic of the actual comic books while also somehow bringing a level of unorthodox realism. Just by reading the synopsis or even watching the preview, the movie at first seems to be too unusual and convoluted to make any sense but, to my great surprise, it actually becomes one of the most memorable cinematic experiences of the year. The story follows a young black and Puerto Rican teenager living in Brooklyn named Miles Morales, voiced by Shameik Moore, who becomes infected by a radioactive spider that gives him the super powers of Spider-Man. Unexpectedly, he runs into the real Spider-Man, voiced by Chris Pine, battling the supervillain Kingpin, voiced by Liev Schreiber, who is about to unleash a particle accelerator that will open parallel universes and ultimately destroy New York City. As a result of the accelerator’s partial activation, Miles encounters several other iterations of Spider-Man from other parallel universes, including the out-of-shape and depressed Peter B. Parker, voiced by Jake Johnson. Parker reluctantly helps train Miles to save his universe from Kingpin’s maniacal desires, and they are later assisted by Aunt May, voiced by Lily Tomlin, who introduces them to the other Spider-People from the alternate universes. The other personas are rather comical and include Gwen Stacy, voiced by Hailee Steinfeld; the talking pig Spider-Ham, voiced by John Mulaney; the old-fashioned black-and-white Spider-Man Noir, voiced by Nicolas Cage; and the anime Peni Parker, voiced by Kimiko Glenn. The fight to save all of the parallel universes and for the other Spider-Man characters to return to their worlds becomes the responsibility of Miles who must save his own world and destroy Kingpin’s cataclysmic device. While fighting to save his beloved New York City, the young Miles becomes much more confident of himself and comes to better appreciate his family, especially his father and police officer Jefferson, voiced by Brian Tyree Henry, and his troubled uncle Aaron, voiced by Mahershala Ali. Furthermore, even the sceptics, including Miles’ own father, that believe Spider-Man is a menace to society realize they have been mistaken and that really Spider-Man is the true hero of the city. Overall, I found it to be a truly engrossing and invigorating depiction of the tired Spider-Man character and is a remarkable movie for its brilliant use of a new form of computer animation and ability to reconceptualize Spider-Man as an endearing superhero that would make the late co-creater Stan Lee proud.

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