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MOVIES: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - Review

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one of the best superhero movies ever made. It's audacious, exciting and incredibly unique, stunningly brought to life with some excellent animation that makes it look straight out of a comic book. Its free-flowing visuals make every scene come to life in lavish detail, with a style that is unparalleled by most other animated pictures. Put it simply, if Into the Spider-Verse doesn't win the best animated film at the Oscars this year, it will arguably be one of the biggest snubs in a while.

Into the Spider-Verse is a love-letter to the comics and perfect for anybody who has been reading Spider-Man books. It's full of Easter eggs, stylistic choices that match past, fan-favourite runs, and borrows a huge source of material from not only Miles Morales' character but also the various Into the Spider-Verse events that have always proved to be fun. Yet at the same time it can be watched and enjoyed if one has never encountered anything related to Spider-Man before, in a welcome experience with nothing that feels forced or out of place. It's another addition to the excellent year that Spider-Man is having, with both his PS4 game and his appearance in Infinity War establishing him at the forefront of the Marvel Universe once again.

This film does something different from your usual Spider-Man movies however, as Peter Parker is not the main character. Miles Morales takes the spotlight, a talented kid from Brooklyn who balances high school life whilst struggling to understand his newfound responsibilities as Spider-Man, in a world that has lost its Peter Parker. However, Miles soon finds out that his first challenge could very well be his last as The Kingpin has used a super-collider that could risk the destruction of the Earth. Luckily, Miles has help - in the form of multiple Spider-People from across different dimensions.

The cast is fantastic here, with an all-star group of voice actors bringing their A-Game to the table. Shameik Moore nails it as Miles, making him a relatable every-man character with believable struggles. Despite including multiple Spider-People the film never forgets that Miles is the Into the Spider-Verse's main character, and the film shines because of this. It has heart and soul to spare, and feels ten times more authentic than most other blockbusters that have come out this year.

Joining Moore in the voice cast are the likes of Hailee Steinfeld (It's also worth checking out Bumblebee, also out in cinemas), from a universe where Gwen Stacy was bitten by a Spider and she failed to save her friend Peter. Spider-Gwen's arc plays a significant part of the storyline, with her costume being one of the coolest. Joining Steinfeld are Nicolas Cage and John Mulaney, who provide the comic relief as Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Ham, aka Peter Porker. Spider-Man Noir is from a universe where he is a Private Eye who hunts Nazis and everything is coloured in black and white, whilst Spider-Ham is from a universe where he is a talking Pig. Both Cage and Mulaney are fantastic in the line-delivery, and the film even manages to include a small but touching arc for Spider-Man Noir on top of everything. The use of these 3 fan-favourite characters, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Ham and Spider-Man Noir is something that is a welcome treat to fans who have longed to see more of them on screen. It proves that the potential of multiple Spider-People in different universes is often too good to ignore.

There's also Mahershala Ali, Chris Pine, Jake Johnson, Bryan Tyler Henry, Zoƫ Kravitz, Kimiko Glenn and Liev Schreiber among many others that lend their voices to the series and do so in style. It's an iconic ensemble that makes this a group effort and proves that you can have the perfect balance between villain and hero characters, showing just how intimidating Kingpin can be in a film, thanks in part due to Schrieber's voice efforts. It's also fascinating to see how Into the Spider-Verse tackles the presence of Uncle Ben, and although his death is not shown again on screen we are reminded just how important his presence is to the respective Peter Parkers that we meet and their life as Spider-Man. One thing that they all have in common is that no matter what happens they always get up and keep fighting regardless of what happens to them, and the film delivers its important, powerful message incredibly well.

It feels so typically Sony that they would give us not only one of the best superhero movies ever in the same year that they gave us one of the worst ever (Venom), but Into the Spider-Verse is the most welcome breath of fresh air that the superhero medium has had in what feels like an age. It's wildly inventive, and it's hard not to walk away from this movie not wanting to see it again, or for that matter to spend more time in the universe(s) that have been created before our eyes. Directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman, under the supervision of producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21/22 Jump Street), have crafted something magical, glorious and spectacular. It's something that's accessible for all ages and needs to be seen on the big screen for the best experience possible.

On a final note, a review of this film can also not be complete without mentioning both its spectacular score from Daniel Pemberton and its incredible soundtrack, with perhaps the most notable songs included being Vince Staples and Richie Kohan's Home and Blackway and Black Caviar's What's Up Danger. It further creates an excellent experience that helps make this film truly immersive.

And yes, there is also a post-credits scene at the very end of the film. And this can't be missed.

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