by Ian Morton

From its trendy new art design through to its impeccable voice cast, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a superhero flick that takes one of the franchises common criticisms – the rebooted origin story – and uses it as a building block to launch an entirely new universe.

Stepping away from the traditional origin of Peter Parker, the plot follows a freshly bitten Miles Morales – by a similar radioactive spider no less – and his transformation into the titular webslinger. Upon seeing the death of Parker and the aftereffects of Kingpins multiverse plan, Miles unexpectedly finds himself coming face to face with a multitude of ‘Spider-Men’ in a bid to save the fractured timelines of all those involved.

Opting to take things in a different direction, directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman have used animation rather than the all too common live action presentation. Blending together a series of traditional artwork techniques with the latest tech, the result is an immediately engrossing film that makes you feel like you’re jumping between the pages of a comic book. Not only does this allow the film to truly delve into what it’s like to be Spider-Man, it also allows Sony to establish a world outside the Marvel studios canon and  be free to choose where it wants to go.

This can be felt none more so than in the the central plot and character arcs. Written by one half of the Lord and Miller combo (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie), Phil Lord cleverly takes the focus away from the all too familiar character arc of Peter Parker to great effect. This freedom immediately allows Lord to explore the multiverse and all that dwell within without being tied down, crafting an easily digestible plot among an origin that never feels like its retreading old ground.

This change of pace also works given Lords use of comedy. Put simply, Into the Spider-Verse is hilarious! From the almost countless character introductions through to its end credit scene, its a film that is very aware of its place in the long line of never ending spider-movies – a fact that it is more than willing to make fun of. This acknowledgement not only feels genuine, it lends further credence that there is more to mine from this world than once thought.

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