Published on December 14th, 2018 | by Dan Nicholls


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Got Spider-man fatigue?  Too bad.  Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an amazing adventure that pushes the envelope of animation and storytelling. Strap yourself in!  Thwip!

How much is too much of a good thing? Spider-Man is arguably the most popular Marvel superhero ever but he’s had four solo movies over the past six years, including the new animated adventure Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Plus, the character popped up in bit parts in two Avengers flicks! It might seem like enough is enough, let’s dial it back on the Spidey a bit. But along came a Spider-Verse to change the game completely. This is an inventive, wildly original crowd-pleaser filled with humor, heart, excitement, and visual wonder.

Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) is our web-slinging protagonist this time around. He’s a smart kid with an expressive artistic side that’s nurtured by his Uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali) and misunderstood by his father (Brian Tyree Henry). Miles is making art in the subway when he stumbles upon a battle between Spider-Man and the villain Kingpin (Liev Schreiber). Kingpin opens a portal that glitches and distorts the world and brings with it some visitors from multiple parallel universes.

Conveniently recently bitten by a radioactive spider himself, Miles takes up the mantle of Spider-Man. Or so he thinks, because it isn’t long before a slew of interdimensional unique Spider-Beings arrive to enlist Miles’ help in opening the portal again so they can get back home. Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), and Spider-Man Noir (a delightful Nicolas Cage) are among the heroes we’re introduced to and they make for a helluva memorable crew. Please, please can we get a sequel with this same cast and creative team?

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is nonstop fun. It’s heartfelt and has an easily digestible message for viewers of all ages to take home. This fully-realized world is brought to life in an eye-popping animated style that has to be seen for yourself – there hasn’t been anything like it before. Each frame feels like it has the texture of an actual comic book, you can almost smell the pages as they flip and twist the mythology of Spider-Man on its head.

The movie has relentless energy and a subversive wit that help it stand head-and-shoulders above the rest. It’s been a particularly good year for superhero movies and this is the perfect cherry on top. Not only is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse one of the most creative franchise experiments in years, it’s one of the most enjoyable big-screen experiences of 2018.

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is a Vancouver-based, lifelong movie geek who's been a projectionist, critic, director, (accidental) actor, and writer in the industry since E.T. phoned home. @dannicholls

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