SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (2018)

Even non-fans will be aware that since Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created Spider-Man in 1962, there have been many iterations of the wisecracking superhero, including Miles Morales, an Afro-Latino teenager, first created in 2011 by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli — but there are many more besides. There has developed, over the past few decades, a Spider-Verse. If a supervillain was able to tap into that Spider-Verse…

What has always set Spider-Man apart from the other superheroes (and parodied in Deadpool) is his casual, teenage humour. With executive producers including Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie; 21 Jump Street), and a story by Phil Lord, audiences may expect more humour than this film delivers.

What this film does deliver in spades is breathtaking visuals. Although animated in CGI, the look and feel is exactly like a comic book, with messy dots and colours, as well as moments of comic-style captions and framing. The epic, inter-dimensional battle at the finale could easily become repetitive and cliché, but amazing visual creativity gives the whole sequence a jaw-dropping look and action-packed heft.

It’s worth noting that this film is pretty woke, too, but not remotely heavy-handed. Yes, the classic, all-American, white Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) does feature, but Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is the undeniable hero. It’s an understatement to say this film features many female characters who are all complex and fascinating in their own way; and there’s more than a scene or two dedicated to unpacking toxic masculinity as well. This is Spider-Man as you’ve never seen him before.

Watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in IMAX 3D.

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