Spider-Man is back and better than ever in a new virtuosic Oscar-nominated, animated feature directed by Bob Perschetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman. The film is “Spider-Man : Into the Spider-verse” and it is a literal comic book on screen with a life all its own.
Peter Parker is our guide straightaway, explaining in a self-deprecating manner the infinite versions of Spider-Man.
Here we are in Brooklyn at the home of teen Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) who struggles with his strict police officer father Jefferson Davis (Brian Tyree Henry). Davis does the best he can with Miles, yet is often distracted. Miles takes refuge in comics and graffiti, having a bond with his uncle Aaron (Marhershala Ali).
On a subway painting run, Miles is bitten by a spider of course, and the next day happens to see Spider-Man (Chris Pine) fighting with Green Goblin. He also notices a huge businessman with a tiny head named Kingpin (Liev Schrieber) who has a particle accelerator out to destroy Spider-Man and New York City.
The primary element of this film is its sense of wondrous vibrational color and its absolute fluidity. The film feels like an actual book in its hyper-intensive charge, its layering and its masterful color sense. It is destined to be required viewing for all color theorists and graphic designers. From the first instant to the last, it is as if Kenny Scharf, James Rosenquist and Hayao Miyazaki all put their vision into the film. In its pulse of color and sound, combined with its infinite saturation, it is operatic. This is a near psychedelic experience.
One is put into the quantum realm. Here is noir Spider-Man in black and white (Nicolas Cage), Peni Parker (an anime version of Spidey played by Kimiko Glenn) and Peter Porker (John Mulaney), who all lend a hand to Miles.
Stan Lee, the creator, satisfyingly and comfortingly appears as a comic book store owner in one of his last roles.
The spark and thrust of the film is its visual power which is frisson-inducing through color and hitting at times in a percussive dance. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse” is a singular tour de force animated experience. All of its saturation of sound and color merge together to make a rhythmic study, not only of Pop Art by itself, but also of what it means to be a hero in our current pluralistic and diverse world. We are left with a lasting answer: a multi-ethnic boy in a Spidey-suit and a hoodie, who is out to save New York City and ourselves.
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