A web of appeal: a “Spider-Man” review


Stockton Grunewald, Staff Writer

An on-screen comic book that doesn’t require any page-turning, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse” has a plot that effortlessly carries itself.

The story follows Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), a brilliant kid trying to find himself – a teenager to whom our adolescent-selves can relate. Miles is starting his first year at an elite prep school where he claims to not want to fit in, even though he does.

He confides his wants to his street-smart relative, Uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali), who encourages Miles to continue with his passion for art.

One night, Miles and Aaron venture into the New York City subway, to begin on a project when – suddenly – a wild, radioactive spider appears. You know the story from here: Miles starts discovering his powers, learning that “with great power comes great responsibility.”

But the thing is, there is already a Spider-Man in New York City.

The power, though, still rests in the hands, and webs, of protagonist Miles when Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) creates a supercollider that brings Spider-Men and Spider-Women from different dimensions into his universe. Miles is the only one capable of sending them all back.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse” is the comic book fan’s ultimate dream – several incarnations of their favorite superhero all sharing the screen. From Nicholas Cage’s Spider-Man Noir to the Looney Tunes-esque Spider-Ham (Jon Mulaney), the banter between this Brooklyn bunch should not be overlooked.

The film’s cast is diverse, with other characters voiced by recognizable figures like popstar Hailee Steinfeld, thespian Brian Tyree Henry, Hollywood veteran Lily Tomlin and comedian Kathryn Hahn. Their vocalized charisma creates an atmosphere of pure entertainment.

The film nods to existing Spider-Man lore, including the recent passing of Stan Lee, a contemporary superhero co-writer, and a post-credits scene worth the wait.

I thought this edition of “Spider-Man” would be undeniably good – mostly because I am a superhero flick enthusiast. Overall, though, I went into this film with virtually no expectations. I was pleasantly surprised, however, by how enjoyable I found the movie to be.

A blend of different animation styles that flows from sequence-to-sequence with ease, Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse is a fun entry into the superhero canon that will surely leave everyone feeling satisfied, even those only mildly familiar with some version of Peter Parker.


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