Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse shows many different faces, or rather masks, of the friendly neighborhood superhero. Released in theaters on December 14, the animated film appeals to new and old fans of Marvel comics and films.
In this multiverse story, many comic book characters meet up when the main villain, Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), using a dimensional transporter. Viewers immediately get to know Peter Parker, better known as Spider-man (Chris Pine), and see him defeat and get defeated by extravagant villains.
The movie’s storyline is based around one teenage boy who will eventually save the day, much to his disliking, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore). After the defeat of Spider-man, Morales tries to pick up the persona of the fallen hero and keep a promise Spider-man made to him.
From here on out, things get a little confusing and out of hand. Morales meets a man who eerily resembles Parker, which is impossible, or is it? Kingpin accidentally brought heroes from other dimensions to Morales and the man resembling Spider-man is in fact standing in front of him as Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson).
In the process of trying to take down the villain, the men meet even more people just like them. That includes Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), and Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage).
Most of these other spider-people are used as basic plot devices and comic relief who barely connect with the other characters and emotions.
However, Johnson’s character brings humor, emotion, and interest to adults. His version of Parker is unlike ever seen before, an adult in mid-life crisis, who has given up on being Spider-Man. Moore’s character on the other hand appeals to the youth. Morales is artistic, disobedient, and awkward; he resembles the strong stereotypes that have defined teenagers in film.
Morales also brings diversity to the screen. He is a city kid, who is half African-American and half Puerto Rican.
The animations really bring the comic books to the screen, using not only dotted art techniques, but panels, word display and actual comic book covers. Bright colors and small details grab the viewer’s attention making them see everything from the city skyline to the intricate web designs.
The film makes many allusions to other Spider-man films and comics. This is mostly shown through the original Peter Parker’s backstory. Some of these scenes include Tobey McGuire’s iconic train stopping scene and spider-dance.
Tears fell when an animated version of Stan Lee appeared on the screen and his voice rang throughout the entire theater. During the credits, there was a special thanks to Lee and the other co-creator of Spider-Man, Steve Ditko.
The film is already a nominee for the “Best Motion Picture – Animated” at the Golden Globes. The movie has had hype for around six months and many people have asked, “Is it too much Spider-man?” The answer is no, it is just the perfect amount.