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Film review: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a wonderful visual treat

19 December, 2018 - 11:43
Shameik Moore in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Picture: SONY PICTURES ANIMATION/CTMG INC/SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC

Shameik Moore in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Picture: SONY PICTURES ANIMATION/CTMG INC/SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC

SONY PICTURES ANIMATION/CTMG INC/SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC

Have you seen Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse yet? See our review of the new animated superhero adventure.

Shameik Moore in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Picture: SONY PICTURES ANIMATION/CTMG INC/SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC  Shameik Moore in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Picture: SONY PICTURES ANIMATION/CTMG INC/SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC

Given the number of Spider-Men (three) we have seen grace our screens in almost two decades, one could be forgiven for rather sceptically wondering what a fourth iteration could possibly bring to the character without an element of repetition.

The answer is Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothmam’s wildly inventive and deeply funny superhero animation.

After being bitten by a radioactive spider, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) develops powers that transform him into the new Spider-Man, but soon finds that he is not the only masked web-slinger, after crime-boss Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) tears open a portal to numerous alternate dimensions.

Rather than ground the action in reality as previous adaptations have, the directors refreshingly embrace the more outlandish elements of the comic-books as Miles’ world collides with those of the different Spider-Men and Women.

Watching the stark, black and white style of the Marlowesque Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage) meld with the vibrant colour palate of Miles’ universe and the muted tones of the schlubby Peter B. Parker’s (Jake Johnson) is a delight.

This comic-book aesthetic is astonishing and the gags hilarious. There are some lovely digs at superhero clichés and the less successful spider-outings.

But what truly makes the film shine is Miles’ touching relationships with reluctant mentor Peter, his no-nonsense police-officer father Jefferson (Brian Tyree Henry) and his roguish uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali). It is a credit to all four that they provide the heart of this wonderful, visual treat of a film.

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