Swinging low beneath the movie radar is this animation that is quite possibly the most ingenious genre-piece for some time.
Outside of Pixar and some highly-acclaimed Japanese studios, it’s rare that you’ll find a computer-generated movie that is done so well – so much so it’s completely a breath of fresh air.
Written by Chris Lord – one half of the team behind The Lego Movie – this beautifully-crafted take on the Spider-Man universe really hits the spot.
It doesn’t just cater for the over eights – and has more than enough references for adults/parents of any age to relate too – but particularly the teenage market, which is a rare thing in this field which usually caters for the young ‘uns.
And that’s because it ‘gets it’.
It’s intelligent, witty, boldly scripted, strikingly animated – and most importantly it has an emotional heart beat too.
When Spider-Man (Chris Pine) seemingly dies at the hands of Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) – with Spidey trying to prevent him from destroying Brooklyn with a ‘collider-type’ machine – it’s left to young Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) to take on the mantle as he’s bitten by a inter-dimensional spider in an underpass while doing a spot of graffiti with his ‘black sheep’ uncle Aaron (Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali).
But when he crosses paths with another Spider-Man (Jake Johnson) from an alternate universe, he realises a portal had been opened by Kingpin throwing his Spidey counterparts from other dimensions into his world– and they must combine forces to stop this threat to reality.
These include Peter Parker’s friend Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), 30s-set Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), futuristic anime-inspired Peni Parker (Kimiko Glen) complete with Spidey robot companion, and even an obviously ‘Porky Pig’ inspired Spider-Ham (John Mulaney) – as multiple web-slingers from Spider-Man comic-book lore come together.
But even though it sounds completely nuts, it really isn’t. Because these characters fit into the concept so well – it conspires sensationally to provide a completely inspirational piece of filmmaking.
Whether it’s Morales’ interactions with his colleagues – as he tries to deal with the burden of sending his Spidey pals back to their dimensions before destroying this God-like machine – his uncle, his cop father (Brian Tyree Henry) or simply dealing with teenage angst, it’s simply a breathtaking piece of contemporary art from start to finish.
It’s not just a movie for superhero or animation fans, but for any ‘movie buff’ in general – because it pulls you into its web and holds you there from start to finish.
Go get your ‘Spidey Senses’ tingled…
Voice Cast: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, Zoe Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glen, Chris Pine, Liev Schreiber, Kathryn Hahn, Oscar Isaac, Nicolas Cage & Stan Lee
Running Time: 1 Hr 57 Mins
Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman
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