TMINE’s holiday break last week not only affected my TV viewing, it also had an effect on my movie watching, too. As a result, despite this being Orange Wednesday, I only had the time to watch one movie.
Excitingly, it was a recommendation from the TMINE-reading public, too: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, in which various, famously voiced versions of the even more famous wall-crawler come together from different dimensions to fight the notorious Kingpin, tell an origin story and reveal what it takes to be a hero.
That’s after the jump…
Spider-Man – Into the Spider-Verse (2018)Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is a regular Brooklyn kid, trying to lead a normal life while adjusting to a new High School, when he’s bitten by a radioactive spider and soon acquires its powers.
Except he’s not Spider-man – Peter Parker (Chris Pine) is. And he’s not the only one. Notorious criminal Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) is working to open portals to other dimensions and soon, a whole bunch of other Spider-Men – including Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), the Loony Tunes-esque Spider-Ham (John Mulraney), a slightly depressed and overweight Peter B Parker (Jake Johnson), a film noir Spider-man (Nicolas Cage) and an animé girl with a spider robot (Kimiko Glenn) – are on the scene.
Can they stop Kingpin? And can Morales learn what it takes to be Spider-man along the way?
Chapter and verseFor the most part, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is an origin story for Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales, who’ll probably never make it into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, no matter how hard Donald Glover fans lobby for it.
And for the first 15 minutes, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is surprisingly dull – enough that Lovely Wife gave up on it. Even when the Chris Pine Spider-man shows up, the movie doesn’t get much better.
It’s only when the other Spider-Men – and women… and pigs – show up, each complete with different animation styles, that the movie really hits its stride. Particularly pleasing are Cage’s hardboiled 1930s lingo and the spot-on ‘Peni Parker’ pastiche of animé, but the Loony Tunes ‘physics’ also elevates proceedings.
As well as the obligatory Stan Lee appearance, the movie soon acquires other in-gags, and the post-credit sequence is a marvellous pastiche of both the 1960s TV series and a famous internet meme. I’m not sure how well people who aren’t comics fans will take to all these knowing jokes, but they’ll probably work on several levels.
I didn’t love Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, which is surprising, as I thought I would, given the writing pedigree (The Lego Movie‘s Christopher Miller). But I did enjoy parts of it, at least. It’s quite joyful and the animation is often stunning. I’d also happily watch a Spider-Gwen or a Nic Cage film noir sequel, too.
Worth it if you’re a spider-fan, probably skippable if you’re not.