Spider-Man weaves a delightful web

The latest Spider-Man film introduces new Spider characters from alternate realities (IMDB/Sony Pictures)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Sony’s latest foray into exploiting their rights to the Marvel webslinger, is nothing short of a game-changer. Source: ACOFB.

An animated family film, it perfectly captures the look and feel of a comic, but it also digs down to the core of what made and continues to make Spider-Man such a popular hero with fans of all ages – his universality and his innocent moral clarity.

This time, we’re spared Peter Parker’s origin story. The Peter (Chris Pine, excellent) that we meet is already a fully-fledged superhero. But here’s the kicker: he’s not the hero of this story.

Instead, we follow Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), an African American-Latino teenager who is bitten by a radioactive spider while practicing his graffiti skills in an abandoned subway station with his uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali).

Miles stumbles across a secret lab where Wilson Fisk, a hulking underworld figure better known as Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), has built a particle accelerator, hoping to reunite with his dead wife and child by transporting their replicas from another dimension.

Miles meets Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson, giving a fun spin on the Mr Miyagi archetype), an older, slightly shabbier Spider-Man from another dimension who was sucked into Miles’ world when Kingpin fired up his accelerator.

When the pair meet their dimension’s grieving but steely Aunt May (Lily Tomlin), they realise that Peter B. isn’t the only inter-dimensional Spider-guest.

There’s Gwen Stacy, a.k.a. Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), a spunky chick that Miles already met when she showed up undercover at his high school. There’s also Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage) a black-and-white character from a 30’s universe who wears a fedora and an ever-billowing trench coat and Penni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), a young Japanese girl from an anime-inspired future.

And just when Miles and Peter B. think that it can’t get any stranger, in trudges Peter Porker a.k.a. Spider-Ham (John Mulaney, hilarious), a wise-cracking pig from a Looney Tunes-esque animated universe, complete with the ability to defy gravity and an oversized mallet for clobbering goons.

With each of the interdimensional travellers exhibiting worrying side-effects of their disconnect from their own realities, Miles and his new Spider-pals must band together to reverse Kingpin’s machine before it's too late, putting an end to its reality-bending consequences.

– Reviewed by Callum Ryan, ACOFB

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Voices of Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Jake Johnson, Liev Schreiber, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Velez, Lily Tomlin. Directed by Peter Ramsey, Robert Persichetti Jr, Rodney Rothman. 117 minutes. Rated PG (Mild science fiction themes, animated violence and coarse language).

FULL REVIEW

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (ACOFB)

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