Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a riotous animated adventure led by high school student Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) as he is bitten by a spider and finds he has developed powers. Across town, Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) opens a portal into other dimensions and, while it doesn’t do what he wanted, it does mean that numerous other spider-heroes fall through into Miles’s world and only by working together can this team stop Kingpin from opening the portal again and causing total destruction.
The voice actors who’ve been assembled here are an absolute treat, from Hailee Steinfeld’s Gwen Stacy to Jake Johnson’s washed-up Peter Parker and the sublime genius of Nicolas Cage’s noir Spider-Man. It continues to impress beyond the heroes themselves, with the likes of Mahershala Ali, Chris Pine and Lily Tomlin also adding to the superb work done by all.
While artistic Miles may be at the heart of this story – and a compelling and engaging one at that – it’s when the others show up that the fun really kicks up a notch. There are hilarious backstories to discover and in-jokes and brilliant banter between the different heroes to enjoy.
On top of all of this, there is an utterly breathtaking blend of some very different comic book styles as the different comics come to life – and together – on the big screen. The animation is flawless in its execution, playing on the stylistic differences with great success, and it is truly majestic to witness.
And while it might seem like there’s just too much happening with this many stories converging in one film, the directing team of Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman and the writers Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman prove that there can be such a thing as the more the merrier, not too many cooks spoiling the story. The many voices and versions that come together for this stunning film all work brilliantly to make one epic tale that is sure to get those spidey senses tingling.
Full of wit and humour, this new take on the Spider-man universe is great entertainment for all. Some moments might be a little too scary for particularly jumpy or young kids but it is otherwise a superb spectacle of colour, adventure and fun and an absolute delight from start to finish. And the Stan Lee cameo is just perfect and truly honours his legacy.
Whether this is your first or fiftieth comic book film, it’s an absolute must-see.