Your spoiler-sense should be tingling.
Honestly, I’m going to keep this light on spoilers. What you need to know is that this movie deserves to be seen with an audience on the big screen and perhaps even with the 3D glasses thingamajig. The more I love a movie as a whole, the more I feel you really deserve the full immersion of just letting it take you for a ride, and this is the exact concept made digital. This is a roller coaster ride of a movie that will thrill Spider-Man classic fans, new fans and people who don’t think of themselves as fans. Before watching this film, I counted myself among those moviegoers that thought that Spider-Man has had too many movies already. Now I’m one of those fans that think this is the only Spider-Man movie you really need to watch.
Directors Peter Ramsey, Robert Persichetti Jr. and Rodney Rothman have created animation that pays tribute to both past and present Spider-man comics. This time around, the story centers on Miles Morales, a smart but insecure young student who feels alienated from his father and idolizes his uncle. By completely different circumstances, he gets bitten by a radioactive spider and eventually runs into a dangerous collider experiment that will bring forth Spider-people from other dimensions.
Managing a cast is always a challenge in movies. That being said, the movie never loses focus on the big three leads: Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) and an “older” Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) that is just an adult instead of a teenager. Added to the Spider-roster we have Spider-Man Noir (Nicholas Cage), Penny Parker (Kimiko Glenn) and Spider-Ham (John Mulaney). Also casted as Lily Tomlin as Aunt May and Liev Shreiber as Wilson Fisk (the Kingpin).
Miles Morales is extremely relatable as a young kid that is dealing with growing up that feels completely like a fish out of water. When the spider-powers kick in, he seems to have way too much to deal with already. He’s completely out of his depth. This is where the distance established with his father is critical. He’s not as alienated as he feels but his father does not seem to listen unless Miles says and does what he wants. Miles does have incredible potential but his artistic side is only encouraged by his uncle Aaron, something that his dad fails to get.
Spider-Gwen is amazing in her own right, and although she first shows up as a possible love interest she’s shown to have her own agenda. She gets a backstory just as everyone else, but I like that she is already shown to be more experienced with her powers than Miles and she does not become the damsel in distress at any point in time. Now, I know that in a sequel she’s bound to become Miles’ love interest but I hope against hope she does not end up being kidnapped.
My personal favourite is the washed-up version of adult Peter Parker who is thrown into the mentor role reluctantly but eventually makes it his own. He’s got his own problems, which he has run away from and ignore in puerile juvenile fashion. He basically has lost everyone he loves and has refused to become an adult. Now he’s called on to guide Miles into becoming a true hero. That’s not an easy task when he’s made a mess of his own life.
Extremely recommended for fans of Spider-Man, specially those that have become jaded with the previous films. This is how you make a superhero genre movie right. You will have to see the superhero themes dealt with again, but this time it does feel both necessary and empowering. The storytelling is fluid, dialog is razor-sharp and it’s thoroughly entertaining for the entirety of its runtime. It’s another superhero movie so if you don’t like those, this might be a hard sell. However, if you’ve ever had the faintest hope of a Spider-Man film that does the character justice, this would be it. Go see it with an audience, it will be a treat.
That will do for now.