American films

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse film review – exhilarating superhero adventure

  • Pixar watch out. One of the most original cartoons in years, new Spider-Man film is a treat for comic nerds
  • Exuberant adventure puts Miles Morales front and centre, but accompanied by five other Spider-Men, and has a bang-up-to-date hip-hop soundtrack
PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 December, 2018, 4:02pm
UPDATED : Monday, 10 December, 2018, 4:04pm

4.5/5 stars

Not since the first Sam Raimi-directed live-action Spider-Man has there been a movie about Marvel’s web-slinging superhero that’s been so darn fun.

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This exuberant animated adventure puts Miles Morales front and centre. Voiced by Shameik Moore, the character that first appeared in the comics in 2011 is – like Spidey’s alter ego Peter Parker – an average New York high school kid who gets bitten by a radioactive spider and suddenly finds he can clamber up and down walls.

Yet that’s just the start for a crazed adventure produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who brought the same inventive mania to The LEGO Movie and 21/22 Jump Street.

Lord co-writes with Rodney Rothman, one of three directors alongside Peter Ramsey and Bob Persichetti. Together, this group crafts a deft story that sees Miles forced to take on the mantle of Spider-Man just as the evil Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) opens up an alternate dimension underneath Brooklyn.

Featuring twists on famous Spider-Man villains Doctor Octopus and Green Goblin, the parallel universe allows for an even greater rebirth, as Miles is joined by five rival ‘Spideys’. Derived from the comics, these include the hardbitten black-and-white detective Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage, going full Edward G. Robinson) and the Looney Tunes-inspired Spider-Ham/Peter Porker.

Using an exhilarating blend of CG and 2D hand-drawn animation – and with nods to everything from Sixties Spider-Man cartoons to Japanese anime – the film is also rocket-fuelled with a bang-up-to-date hip-hop soundtrack. A real treat for comic nerds, it’s one of the most original cartoons in years. Pixar watch out.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse opens on December 13

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