I’ll admit the thought of more Spider Man on the back of Tom Hollander’s great new version of the webbed wunderkind made me nervous.
Turns out, I had no reason to be. Spider Man: Into the Spider Verse isn’t just good, it’s the best animated movie of the year.
This is the first time Peter Parker and the gang have gone completely animated and it pays off in a huge way. Working with a retro four-colour process on 3-D animated characters make the film look like an actual comic book came to life. And the stunning visuals are just the beginning.
The plot is one we’re all familiar with – boy meet spider, spider bites boy, boy becomes web-slinging superhero. This time around the lucky guy is Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) a Puerto Rican, African- American teenager with a nurse mom and a cop dad living his life in Brooklyn.
Much to his dismay and his parent’s delight he’s just started attending a fancy private school. When his favourite after school hobby of graffiti tagging leads him into an abandoned subway tunnel, the juiced up arachnid necessary for this tale makes his move.
Just as Miles begins down a familiar road of trying to figure out what to do with the responsibility that comes with great power a hole is ripped in the space-time continuum by a bad guy and multiple universes converge in Brooklyn!
All of a sudden Spideys from five different universes are all in Brooklyn. I won’t list them in order to preserve the surprises but suffice to say each is a delight in a unique and sometimes bizarre way.
From there our heroes must work together to get everyone home and put to rest bad guy Kingpin’s (Liev Schreiber) grand plan.
The movie is a super-meta, pop-culture-reference drenched, inclusive and fresh take on an old story. It’s surprisingly funny yet retains enough heart to make you wonder whether you’re going to cry in a Spider Man movie (no judgment).
The Spidey iterations are not only different they’re all richly drawn, fully formed characters benefiting from top notch vocal performances from a slew of actors, including Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, John Mulaney, Lily Tomlin and Mahershala Ali.
Comic book lovers will rejoice at how true to the art form the film remains, and film aficionados will love the new visual effects.
Old or young, familiar with the Spider Man origin story or not, there is no one who won’t be charmed by this animated adventure.
Vicky Sparks is a Bright’s Grove native and movie critic for Global TV’s The Morning Show, which airs nationally on Fridays. Her Journal Reviews cover movies playing at Galaxy Cinemas Sarnia