The best movie of the year and the best Spider-Man movie yet. Period.
I actually wasn’t too keen to see this film. Although Spider-man is easily one of my favourite superheros, he’s had a bit of a rough run over with Sony of late. After Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 delivered us a sub-par Venom and an emo, dancing Peter Parker, we were given the a reboot that nobody wanted and then an awkward deal with Marvel Pictures saw Spider-Man arrive in the MCU. And that wasn’t too bad, but it’s not really the Spider-Man that I’ve come to know and love. So when I saw that Sony were releasing an animated Spider-Man feature, I just took it as a last ditch effort to make a little bit of money based on the brand. But how wrong I was.
In an attempt to stop the Kingpin’s latest dastardly plan, Spider-Man breaks up the flow of a machine that apparently has connections to other planes of existence. A young Miles Morales (who was also bitten by a radioactive spider, its a whole thing) just happens to be in the right place to witness this throwdown. But then some weird things start happening, he starts meeting other versions of Spider-Man from other dimensions. They all must team up to bring down the Kingpin before he destroys all multi-verses, or Spider-Verses! But can Miles learn to control his powers in time?
What you’ll notice is that this isn’t your typical Spider-Man origin story. Sure we’ve got a new, young Spidey to follow in Miles Morales, but it isn’t the same old tired origin ie. Uncle Ben dying, with great power comes great responsibility… etc. The movie knows that, and they make fun of it. Every time we meet a new Spider-Man type, they joke ‘Ok, for the last time,’ before giving a quick, montage back-story. It’s brilliant.
Now bringing an ensemble of superheros together has proven to be a really good idea (Avengers) or a really, really bad idea (Justice League). But how do you bring a bunch of basically-the-same characters together? With great writing. And that’s my highest praise for Spider-Verse, is that it is perfectly written. Just like a good comic book, it doesn’t feel watered down by Hollywood. Although it may seem complicated, it’s simplified in a way that everything makes sense. And all the versions of Spider-Man are just great, whether it be Spider-Man Noir with his trench coat and monologues, Spider-Pig or the anime style Peni Parker, I love them all and now want to go read all the comic runs of every character.
It’s so much fun to go on this road to discovery with Miles Morales, but they’ve played a really smart move by inserting a version of Peter Parker in here to keep us grounded to the original concept that we’re all so familiar with. Although it is a down and out Peter Parker, from a universe where he has struck out with MJ and is basically a bum. And who better to voice this guy, then Jake Johnson of New Girl fame. A match made in heaven.
Funnily enough the thing that makes this movie work so well, is the thing that had me hesitant from the start. The animation is perfect. Absolutely outstanding. I saw this at an IMAX and I was just blown away by how incredible every sequence jumped off the screen. Truly like a comic book come to life. This story would never have worked in live action, it would have just looked silly, but with such an amazing art style, this will show you just how magical animation can be.
So as I said, as far as Spider-Man movies go, this is the best of the bunch. It’s so great to see Spider-Man back on top, I was starting to lose faith in my old buddy. I can’t recommend this movie enough.
5 out of 5 – Must Watch