RELEASED: 12th December 2018
DIRECTORS: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman
CAST: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Liev Schreiber, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Hailee Steinfeld, Luna Lauren Vélez, Lily Tomlin, Zoe Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage and Kathryn Hahn
BOX OFFICE WORLDWIDE: $375.5m
AWARDS: 1 Academy Award (Best Animated Film), 1 Golden Globe (Best Animated Film) and 1 BAFTA (Best Animated Film)
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse has us follow a young Miles Morales, from Brooklyn, New York, as he’s struggling to adjust to life at boarding school, whilst also trying to live up to the expectations of his father. One evening, he takes a trip with his uncle Aaron Davis down an abandoned subway station to paint graffiti when he is bitten by a radioactive spider and gains abilities similar to his hero Spider-Man. When tracing his steps to locate the spider that bit him, Miles watches as Spider-Man attempts to disable a Super-Collider built by Kingpin, which explodes and causes a ripple in time, leading to other Spider-People from other dimensions appearing in their reality, leading to Miles needing to carry the mantel of Spider-Man in order to stop Kingpin and get the other counterparts back home.
Written by Phil and Rodney Rothman, with the latter directing alongside Bob Persichetti and Peter Ramsey, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is an animated film that introduced Miles Morales to a global audience that grew accustomed to the position of Spider-Man being filled by Peter Parker on the big screen, that outside of the casual comic-book fan, not that many know that there is more than one spider-man/spider-person character in existence. On paper, the concept of throwing in plenty of characters and villains into a film doesn’t bode well in execution when it comes to superhero films, especially in the history of the Spider-Man live-action films, with the examples being Spider-Man 3 and, in particular, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. With the largest crew of animators used by Sony Pictures Animation on a feature film (one-hundred-and-eighty according to IMDB), producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller looking for the animated film to combine computer animation with traditional hand-drawn comic book techniques, and of course the direction by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman, results in Into The Spider-Verse being the perfect love letter to the history of Spider-Man following the origins of Miles Morales. The animation throughout the film is fantastic. It’s colourful, energetic and creative, especially when it comes to the little details to make it stand out more, particularly when the film is running at 24fps (common frame rate for animated films), Miles is operating at 12fps, showcasing his inexperience with his new abilities. With a film that consists of seven Spider-Men/Women and having half a dozen villains from the history of Spider-Man put into a intricate storyline, whilst also following the development of one character eventually rising to become the hero he can be, all within a two-hour runtime, it still amazes me that it works tremendously well and every moment in the film, particularly in the final act, feels earned. The film balances the comedic (any meta Spider-Man related gag) to the dramatic (the relationship of Miles and his father Jefferson and his uncle Aaron) very well, with the voice cast providing terrific performances, from Shameik Moore as Miles Morales, to seasoned Peter Parker/Peter B. Parker being voiced by Chris Pine and Jake Johnson, with the latter being great with his performance, Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy aka Spider-Woman, Nic Cage is hilarious as Spider-Man Noir, as is John Mulaney as Spider-Ham, Brian Tyree Henry as Jefferson Davis, Mahershala Ali as Aaron Davis, Lily Tomlin as Aunt May and Liev Schreiber as Kingpin, who has an interesting motivation in looking to turn on the Super-Collider that’s not the usual ‘rule the world’ type angle that comes with most villains. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is filled with stakes, heart and emotion, and serves as a beautiful love letter to what Spider-Man stands for and also gives Miles Morales his long overdue time to shine on the big screen.
FAVOURITE SCENE: The films builds up to the moment in which Miles Morales takes ‘a leap of faith’ and becomes Spider-Man. This scene is absolutely fantastic in every detail, fusing the Daniel Pamberton score with Blackway and Black Caviar’s ‘What’s up danger’, to how the glass comes apart from the building Miles leaps from due to him still being nervous, putting his own spin of how to web-sling and manoeuvre through the city and then have the final comic book drop to solidify Miles’ Spider-Man…perfect.
FAVOURITE QUOTE: “When will I know I’m ready?
You won’t. It’s a leap of faith. That’s all it is, Miles. A leap of faith.” – Miles Morales and Peter B. Parker
DID YOU KNOW: Completing the animation for the film required up to 180 animators, the largest crew ever used by Sony Pictures Animation for a film.