The live action versions of Spider-Man have been mixed to say the least. From studio interference, to reboots, to finally establishing good terms with Marvel which has seen the character folded into the MCU, it’s been a rocky road for one of the most popular comic book heroes of all time. With that in mind, Sony have decided to change their approach and have enlisted the help of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the creative minds behind “The Lego Movie” and “Lego Batman” to bring us a new interpretation of what an animated “Spider-Man” can bring to the table during a time when we’re up to our eyes in superhero films.
While we get the classic incarnation of Spider-Man in the form of Peter Parker (two versions, but I’ll explain that later), the story focuses on Miles Morales, a relatively new character in the world of comics, who finds himself bitten by a radioactive spider, and develops the powers of Spider-Man. As it turns out, this coincides with the opening of a rift in space and time which draws a number of other Spider-Men, and women, from alternate dimensions to Miles’ New York, where they all have to work together to get them all home. Miles also gets some help from Peter B. Parker, a version of the character who is in the midst of a mid-life crisis, having spent twenty odd years being the masked hero.
When I saw the initial trailers for this film, I can honestly say I wasn’t especially drawn in to it (no pun intended). However when the film got going and I settled into it, within minutes I found myself loving the animation style, and like the aforementioned “Lego Movie”, it’s the unique animation style that sets it apart from the Disney/Dreamworks pack. As with their Lego movies, Lord and Miller have packed the film with a lot of in-jokes, references to previous movies in the character’s history, and most importantly a ton of heart and humour. The story may seem convoluted, but it’s refreshing to see an animated movie for kids where the story isn’t spelled out for them. Be prepared to answer some questions, but don’t worry, they’re the good kind.
The voice acting is top notch and all the cast give it their best. The soundtrack and score are both excellent and only help to make this one of the standout comic book films of the last five years, and probably one of the best animated comic book adaptations ever. It’s that good.
Plus, the existence of this film means that in the past year we’ve gotten Nicolas Cage voicing both Spider-Man in this film, and Superman in “Teen Titans Go! To The Movies”. That is definitely a cause for celebration!
These are the intelligent and considered words of our man Kevin Dillon, @kevinwritestuff.
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