‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ (Film)

 

‘SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

The ‘Spider-Verse’ Spider-Men with the Kingpin and More

Alright! Let’s do this one more time!

I’m not sure why this ‘Spider-Man’ movie was released at the cinemas. It could’ve easily been released direct to DVD and it would be considered a forgotten relic merely for ‘Spider-Man’ fans. It could have also been an underrated and not very successful movie when it was released at cinemas.

Nevertheless, this computer-animated ‘Spider-Man’ movie that was shown before Christmas time in 2018 received high acclaim upon release. It quickly became one of the most popular films ever made featuring the webslinger…or webslingers. Me personally, I found this an entertaining superhero flick!

‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ is from the creative minds of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who did ‘The LEGO Movie’. It features the voice talents of Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage, Liev Schreiber and more. The film was directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman who provide a lot of creative talent in this. 🙂

Spider-Man is one of my favourite superheroes from the Marvel Comics genre, if not my most favourite out of all the superheroes I’ve seen. I missed seeing the first ‘Spider-Man’ movie at the cinema, but I’ve caught up with the other ‘Spider-Man’ films released at the cinemas over the years.

I could’ve easily missed this computer-animated ‘Spider-Man’ movie by a mile. Thankfully I did see it one weekend in December 2018. I found the film entertaining and compelling. It fulfilled the inner ‘Spider-Man’ fan in me with some zany humour, a unique comic book style and impressive action. 😀

With that said, I don’t feel this is my kind of ‘Spider-Man’ film. This is not just for the fact it’s computer-generated. The film does feel quite noisy in places and with so much going on, it doesn’t strike that emotional core of ‘Spider-Man’ which I’ve been used to in, say, the Tobey Maguire movies.

I wasn’t sure if this ‘Spider-Man’ movie would be for everybody when I saw it at the cinemas in December 2018. But in a strange way, I recommend this film for any ‘Spider-Man’ fan. It was certainly a Christmas treat I’m glad I didn’t miss as it was cool to see it on the big screen at a cinema.

Around May 2019, I purchased the film on Blu-ray rather than on DVD. I still enjoyed the film when I saw it on Blu-ray, but I don’t think it was that impressive seeing it on the small screen instead of the big screen. This is definitely a ‘Spider-Man’ animated movie that needs to be seen on the big screen.

The film’s story focuses on the character of not Peter Parker…but on Shameik Moore as Miles Morales. In his universe, Miles is a Brooklyn teenager. He is a fan of Spider-Man, who happens to be Peter Parker but with blond hair. Weird?! Anyway, Peter Parker as Spider-Man gets killed in the film.

Yeah! Blond-haired Peter Parker dies after he fights bad guys in Miles Morales’ universe, led by Liev Schreiber as the villainous Kingpin. Incidentally, Chris Pine (of rebooted ‘Star Trek’ fame) voiced the blond-haired Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Miles Morales’ universe. I did not realise that it was him. 😀

This made me curious! Why didn’t Chris Pine voice the Peter B. Parker Spider-Man who meets Miles after the blond-haired Spidey died? I know it’s an older Spidey with Peter B., but Chris Pine can do an older voice, can’t he? Come to think of it, why didn’t William Shatner voice Peter B. Spidey. It’d be cool!

But yeah, as I said, Miles Morales meets up with another Spider-Man who happens to be an older Peter Parker. He also meets up with various versions of Spider-Man/Spider-Women from parallel universes. These Spider-People been brought together by some particle accelerator machine in this.

The machine was devised by the Kingpin’s scientist assistant, Kathryn Hahn as Olivia Octavius who happens to be Doc Ock. This is where things become intriguing! It makes this ‘Spider-Man’ movie more than an origins story for Miles Morales with it having so many varying versions of Spider-Man.

Here are the versions of Spider-Man/Spider-Woman that Miles meets in the film. There’s Jake Johnson as Peter B. Parker/Spider-Man. Again, why wasn’t it Chris Pine or William Shatner? He becomes Miles’ reluctant mentor and is a dishevelled version of the hero, being older and eating a lot.

Intriguing side note here! When my parents saw this movie with me recently, my Dad remarked that Peter B. Parker looked a lot like David Tennant. As I think of it, why wasn’t David Tennant cast to play Peter B. Parker/Spider-Man in this movie. That would’ve been awesome! I wish we could’ve seen that.

There’s Hailee Stienfield (who I would later see in the ‘Transformers’ movie ‘Bumblebee’) as Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman or Spider-Gwen, however you want to call her. Gwen meets Miles at his school when going undercover. How the school didn’t register Gwen not being of their school, I don’t know.

There’s Nicolas Cage (this was the first time I heard his voice in a movie, I believe) as Peter Parker/Spider-Man Noir. He’s like a 1930s version of Spidey based on Humphrey Bogart. I enjoyed this version of Spider-Man, who was from black-and-white films and wearing a hat and a trench-coat. 😀

John Mulaney voices Peter Porker/Spider-Ham or Spider-Pig, if you get ‘The Simpsons Movie’ reference. Making no joke about it, Spider-Ham is the cartooniest character ever in the entire bunch of Spider-Men in this movie. This is where things get rather silly and unrealistic for my liking in this film.

And there’s Kimiko Glenn as Peni Parker/SP//dr, who is a young Japanese anime-like girl that co-pilots a bio-mechanical suit with a spider in it. Impressive they combined 2-D animation for Spider-Ham and anime animation for Peni Parker with 3-D CGI animation for this unusual ‘Spider-Man’ film!

And I just realised that Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham and Peni Parker do exist in the comics as comic characters. I’m surprised this movie didn’t also include Spider-Man with his own ‘Power Rangers’ Megazord from the 1970s Japanese TV show. (Pause) Oh, I’m not making that up! That show existed!

But yeah! You can see clearly that this is a movie featuring many versions of Spider-Men/Spider-Women that Miles Morales meets in his universe. This is actually a pretty neat idea and reminds me of a similar concept in the ‘Spider Wars’ two-parter from the 1990s ‘Spider-Man’ animated TV series.

I feel that this film missed an opportunity here where they could’ve had the Tobey Maguire; Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland versions of ‘Spider-Man’ from the movies meeting up together in this film. Perhaps this is something that’s being saved for future sequels with this animated ‘Spider-Man’ film.

Hey, why not go further? We could have had a Spider Skywalker from ‘Star Wars’; a Starfleet starship captained by Captain Spider of the USS Spider-Prise from ‘Star Trek’ and a Doctor Spider travelling in his/her TARDIS from ‘Doctor Who’ in this ‘Spider-Man’ film. But I digress here and it’s probably silly. 😀

Anyway the story has Miles Morales grow into becoming the hero he wants to be by being Spider-Man. He gets his own Spider-Man outfit that is so unique in design and totally different to Peter Parker’s Spidey outfit. Incidentally, Miles Morales’ Spider-Man does exist in the Marvel Comics from 2011.

Shameik Moore as Miles Morales makes an intriguing debut in the ‘Spider-Man’ movies with this animated ‘Spider-Man’ film. It’s intriguing how he’s introduced with his family background and how he becomes Spidey. I don’t think though that Miles as a character is that well-fleshed out in the film.

After watching the ‘Spider-Man’ PS4 video game on YouTube, I find the Miles character better in that than this movie. With things being so noisy and rush-rush with the zany artistic comic book style going on in this film, I don’t feel that same empathy for Miles in this movie as I had in the PS4 game.

There were lots of characters and references to ‘Spider-Man’ in the movies and the comics that I recognised whilst watching this film. There’s even a Spidey-styled Bat-cave featured in the movie where we see the Spider-suits and…did I see the PS4 ‘Spider-Man’ outfit?! Oh goodness, I did see it! 😀

The Prowler makes an appearance in this movie. There was a shocking twist that I didn’t expect. Mahershala Ali voices Aaron Davis a.k.a. the Prowler in this movie. Strange. I thought Hobie Brown was the Prowler. It’s very gripping and heartbreaking for Miles once he sees his uncle as the Prowler.

The movie also features Spider-Man villains like the Green Goblin; Tombstone and the Scorpion. The Green Goblin looks more like the one I’ve seen in the ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ comics. The Scorpion also looks different as he doesn’t have the quite familiar green-masked outfit that I recall him having.

Liev Schrieber (who was in ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’) as the Kingpin…isn’t as good as the one in the ‘Spider-Man’ PS4 universe, both the game and the ‘Hostile Takeover’ book. He doesn’t do much crime bossing and causes havoc with the particle accelerator since he wants his dead wife and son back.

Kathryn Hahn as Olivia Octavius was fun to watch in this movie, especially when she turned out to be a female Doc Ock working for the Kingpin. Honestly, I think she should’ve been the main villain of this ‘Spider-Man’ movie. Like Kingpin, she doesn’t have much screen-time with committing crimes.

There’s also Brian Tyree Henry as Jefferson Davis, Miles’ father as well as Luna Lauren Velez as Rio Morales, Miles’ mother. I prefer the Jefferson Davis in the ‘Spider-Man’ PS4 game really, but it’s interesting how he’s someone who doesn’t like Spider-Man and how his relationship with Miles plays out.

The film also features Lily Tomlin as Aunt May and Zoë Kravitz as Mary Jane Watson. I was delighted to see Aunt May and MJ in this film. I’m not sure I’m all too comfortable about Aunt May kicking a door down like she’s an action-woman of some kind. Somehow that did not ring true with Aunt May.

I was satisfied with how a certain romantic plot thread between Peter B. Parker and Mary Jane got resolved in the film. It was subtle, especially when in Peter B. Parker’s universe they got split up because MJ wanted kids and he did not. I hope their relationship will keep firm in the sequel for this.

There was also a lovely guest cameo of the late Stan Lee, Spider-Man’s creator, in the film. I was glad to see this. And this was just two months after Stan Lee had sadly passed away in October 2018. I think his cameo in the ‘Spider-Man’ PS4 game is better, but it’s good that this movie acknowledged him.

The Blu-ray extra are as follows. There’s an alternate universe movie where you can discover alternate scenes; plotlines; characters and more with the filmmakers as your guide. There’s an audio commentary with co-writer/producer Phil Lord; producer Chris Miller; directors Bob Persichetti and Peter Ramsey and co-director/co-writer Rodney Rothman. There’s the ‘Spider-Man: Caught in a Ham’ all-new mini-movie; ‘We Are Spider-Man’; ‘Spider-Verse: A New Dimension’; ‘The Ultimate Comics Cast’; ‘Designing Cinematic Comic Book Characters: Heroes & Hams’; ‘Designing Cinematic Comic Book Characters: Scoundrels & Scorpions’; ‘A Tribute To Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’ and ‘The Spider-Verse Super Fan Easter Egg Challenge’. There are lyric music videos including ‘Sunflower’ by Post Malone and Swae Lee as well as ‘Familia’ by Nicki Minaj, Anuel AA and Bantu. There’s also a preview trailer for ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’.

‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ is a good action-packed, computer-animated superhero film with zany humour and a comic book style that’s unique. I wouldn’t say this is my type of ‘Spider-Man’ movie, but I highly recommend it and do suggest you check it out – even if it’s not on the big screen.

I wouldn’t say this film tops up on the quality of ‘Spider-Man’ movies I’ve seen, especially in the Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi field. But this is quite an amazing superhero flick that will make ‘Spider-Man’ fans happy, whether you’re into the comics, movies, video games and TV shows or just a casual fan.

The film has a post-credits sequence where Oscar Isaac as Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099 travels back in time to 1967 New York to meet up with the Spider-Man from the 1967 TV series, voiced by Jorma Taconne. The scene between 2099 Spider-Man and 1967 Spider-Man was very funny to watch here.

‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ rating – 7/10


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2 thoughts on “‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ (Film)

  1. Great review Billy Walker/Spider-Man lol, my issue with this film was tonally it was all over the place, it goes from being dramatic to ott silliness like Spider-Pig, action scenes were excellent but it felt to me that the producers were trying to cram too much into this movie it lost it’s way a little.

    The Ps4 story is what i want see as a live action movie, that captures the tone of the character perfectly.

    P.S rumours Daredevil from Netflix series going appear in next Spider-Man film, i don’t think that would work as that series is R rated & quite dark.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on the ‘Spider-Verse’ film.

      Yeah, it was quite tonally all over the place with being dramatic and over-the-top silly at the same time. I do agree that it felt like too much was being crammed into the movie. People are raving about it though, claiming it to the best ‘Spider-Man’ movie ever. I just found it entertaining. Not the greatest ‘Spider-Man’ movie as everyone claims it to be. I admit it was amazing to see it on the big screen, but having seen it on the small screen via Blu-ray lately, I don’t find it so impressive nowadays.

      I agree. The PS4 ‘Spider-Man’ story is far better and much more compelling and believable in terms of telling the story and the characters succinctly. I wish we saw the ‘Spider-Man’ PS4 game as a movie rather than the ‘Spider-Verse’ film that Christmas in 2018.

      Hmm. That’s intriguing. Daredevil appearing in the next ‘Spider-Man’ film. I look forward to seeing that. I’ll have to check out the ‘Daredevil’ Netflix series soon. It will be intriguing to see on how they’ll have the two meet since Daredevil is tonally different compared to Spider-Man. They’ll probably adapt the ‘The Trial of Peter Parker/Spider-Man’ stuff as in the two-part 1990s animated ‘Spider-Man’ story ‘Framed’/’The Man Without Fear’. Thanks for letting me know about that, Simon.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim. 🙂

      Like

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