Here was a big surprise for us. A superhero film we found creatively inspiring, charming, and an absolute joy to watch. Huzzah!
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Not that we’ve got anything against superhero franchises (Marvel, DC etc.), but we zoned out of superhero films about a decade ago.
We’re happy so many people love these films and become so invested in them. They’re just not for us.
The last superhero film we watched, prior to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), was Kick-Ass (2010). Which is sort of a spoof on the genre.
But after we saw the great reviews or this Spider-Man romp, we went in anticipating a lot.
And yes, it’s excellent. Alongside its charming story and strong script, and genuine sense of fun, there’s a very beautiful visual style to go with it.
The story is about Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), a teenager living in New York.
He’s struggling to live up to the expectations of his father, Jefferson Davis—a police officer, who takes many opportunities to embarrass him at dodgy moments.
This is in a world of Spider-Man, of course, who’s a superhero who saves the day in New York and all that.
But Miles’ father views Spider-Man as a bit of a local thug doing more harm than good.
Miles starts at boarding school and while there is bitten by a radioactive spider. This turns him into another Spider-Man, except Miles struggles to control his new skills.
He is, simply put, a bit crap at doing the whole Spider-Man malarkey.
Meanwhile, there’s a villain about called Kingpin (Liev Schrieber) who resembles the screen blocking baddies from Sylvain Chomet’s The Triplets of Belleville (2003).
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse then goes on to merge a straightforward goodies/baddies plot, whilst mixing elements of different dimensions.
An ageing Spider-Man from another time and place turns up, with a gut and penchant for fast food.
Although he’s well equipped as a superhero, he’s also missing his wife. But he tries to help Miles sort their realities out and give the teenager a helping hand in the world.
Even when up against evil geniuses such as Doctor Octopus (Kathyrn Hahn).
Joining Miles is a wild assortment of other Spider-Mans, including a strange Spider-Ham cartoon character.
Peni Parker aso turns up to help the fight against evil. Although we can’t say we know who any of that lot are, but apparently they are characters from Marvel comics.
Although the final segment of the film plays out in generic hoo-hah big fight fashion, in the hour leading up to the finale we were bloody delighted with the film.
The production had three directors in the form of Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman.
And as a slice of fun entertainment, it’s a joy.
It wasn’t a super smash hit like it deserved to be. The $90 million budget resulted in $375.5 million worldwide. And we feel it got a bit buried under the usual, blander superhero experiences.
But as an artistic delight, alongside its playful sense of fun, it’s a perfect example of how to turn a superhero film into a wonderfully entertaining extravaganza.