Reviews | Written by JAMES "MAGIC" PERKINS 22/04/2019

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

The origins of Spider-Man seems to be a tale as old as time and one that we have seen on multiple occasions. Peter Parker lives with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, loses said Uncle, gets bit by a radioactive spider and becomes your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. So, after all these years, what makes this instalment different and fresh? It's simple: meet Miles Morales.

Miles is a bright teenager from Brooklyn who struggles to meet his Police Officer father's high standards. Whilst out tagging an underground tunnel with his Uncle Aaron, Miles is bitten by a strange robotic-looking spider which gifts him the powers of Spider-Man. Unbeknownst to him, Miles is quickly thrust into the limelight after his dimension's Peter Parker meets a tragic end and he must become Spider-Man. Whilst coming to terms with his new powers, Miles meets another Spider-Man from another dimension and swiftly realises that the evil Fisk is not just about to destroy his reality, but in fact multiple realities. With the help of his fellow Spider-people, Miles must become the hero that he was always meant to be.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse marks the first time that Miles has been seen on the big screen and offers a brand new and multicultural take on the classic Spider-Man story. After being first seen in Ultimate Fallout #4 issue of Marvel comics, Miles' popularity skyrocketed and has since become a fan favourite. What is plain to see, especially from this film, is that his message and story is universal - it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from; we can all be Spider-Man.

As is clear to see from the trailer and screenshots alone, Into the Spider-Verse possess some of the most unique and striking visuals to have ever been used in animation. Each frame is perfectly crafted to envoke reactions and emotions to the very last detail - just as you would get if you were reading the comic book that a lot of these characters are from. It is literally a comic come to life in the most wonderful way imaginable. After our first viewing alone, it was easy to see why the Academy selected Persichetti, Ramsey and Rothman's love letter to the world famous web-slinger to be the first non-Disney or Pixar film to take home the gold.

Morales is brought to life by the phenomenally talented Shameik Moore (The Pretenders) whose performance embodies a layered and realistic teenager which is exactly what Miles is. Moore is joined by an outstanding ensemble cast containing the likes of Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson, Mahershala Ali, Lily Tomlin, Nicolas Cage and Liev Schreiber whose collaborative efforts breathe pure life into this world allowing it to become accessible for new and old fans alike.

Whether you are a diehard Spidey fan or are only familiar with his antics in the MCU, there is plenty for every single audience member to enjoy - brilliantly realised verbal and physical humour, incredibly well fleshed out characters and an epic soundtrack to wrap this adventure up in a neat web-tight package.

As for the Special Features contained on the Blu-Ray edition of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, there is a wonderful selection of behind-the-scenes and bonus content to explore. From music videos to the catchiest songs featured in the film to a wonderfully beautiful tribute to the legendary Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, there's a wealth of awesome add-ons for old and new fans of the world's favourite web-slinger which falls perfectly in line to the tone of the film as previously mentioned creating the perfect package.

Special Features:

  • FILMMAKERS COMMENTARY (Directors Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman)
  • "CAUGHT IN A HAM" Short Film [4:01] - A very Looney Tunes-esque short cartoon about Spider-Ham vs Dr CrawDaddy and how he ended up in Miles Dimension.
  • WE ARE SPIDER-MAN [7:51] - Interviews with cast and crew about the unique story and the message of the film.
  • PREVIEWS (Hotel Transylvania)
  • LYRIC VIDEOS ("Sunflower" (Post Malone, Swae Lee) "Familia" (Nicki Minaj, Amiel AA, Bantu))
  • THE SPIDER-VERSE EASTER EGG FAN CHALLENGE [5:02] - Some of the filmmakers run down the meaning behind some of the Easter Eggs hidden in the movie.
  • A TRIBUTE TO STAN LEE & STEVE DITKO [8:34] - A beautiful series of interviews with the filmmakers showing their appreciation of Stan Lee & Steve Ditko's work and inspiration.
  • SPIDER-VERSE: A NEW DIMENSION [5:09] - Behind-the-scenes about the animation and all of the challenges it presented and how they wanted it to look like a comic book come to life.
  • THE ULTIMATE COMICS CAST [15:02] - Behind-the-scenes look at the talented voice actors who brought the characters to life.
  • DESIGNING CINEMATIC COMIC BOOK CHARACTERS ("Heroes & Hams" [7:45] "Scoundrels & Scorpions [5:11]) - Filmmakers discuss the challenges of bringing multiple supervillains into the story and giving them all a good representation.
 

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE / CERT: PG / DIRECTOR: PETER RAMSEY, BOB PERSICHETTI, RODNEY ROTHMAN / SCREENPLAY: PHIL LORD, RODNEY ROTHMAN / STARRING: SHAMEIK MOORE, HAILEE STEINFELD, JAKE JOHNSON, MAHERSHALA ALI, LIEV SCHREIBER / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW