Spider-Man Into The Spider Verse - This Movie Rocks In An Overwrought Way
Dir: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Starring Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Stenfeld, NIc Cage, Mahershala Ali, Lily Tomlin, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber, Chris Pratt, Brian Tyree Henry, Zoe Kravitz
The latest on screen incarnation of Spider-Man is not just an animated movie, it’s a very animated movie. Phil Lord and Chris Miller opt not just for a wide array of inter-dimensional Spider-People (and a Pig) but for a vast array of animation styles, mixing anime with hand drawn, low-fi ‘60s TV with ultra advanced digital techniques, all leading to a final reel that clearly wants to be the 2001 stargate sequence of animated movies.
And a good deal of it works, even if it is at times almost overpowering and could certainly use a break every now and then from its wall to wall musical soundtrack. Less sometimes really is more – but Lord and Miller clearly skipped class the day that was being taught.
The main focus here is on the Miles Morales version of Spidey, convinced he is the one and only Spider-Man, who quickly finds himself interacting with his inter-dimensional counterparts, including Peter B. Parker (like the Peter Parker you know - but he’s put on a little weight), Gwen Stacey’s take on the female side of the multi-functional character, the somewhat darker Spider-Man Noir (voiced by an instantly recognisable Nic Cage – great casting) and even a Spider-Hog (Homer Simpson would be pleased.)
Once they find themselves they must find a way back to their own universes, despite problems from an all-star cast of villains, including Hahn’s Doc Ock and Schreiber’s Kingpin, Wilson Fisk.
It is, to say the least, kaleidoscopic, and there to dazzle you as much as it is to maintain a coherent storyline. It’s impressive on a technical level – to a huge degree. Even if its lacks much in the way of emotional involvement. Still, it saves its best gag for the mid-credits sting – and even throws some Banksy into the art milieu.
Do too many Spideys spoil the broth? No, but they make it a very densely packed soup.
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