Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie, which we previously showed in our family slot, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask. An Afro Latino teenager who finds himself blessed with spider-powers. Miles is a refreshing take on the hero that clicked with comic-book readers; his film counterpart is sure to do the same.
In Into the Spider-Verse, Miles finds himself in the middle of a pitched battle between the classic Peter Parker Spider-Man (Chris Pine) and his longtime enemy the Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), who is animated as a gigantic 10-foot cinderblock of a person. Many other comic book characters are involved in the plot.
As Miles, Peter, and the gang work to take on the Kingpin and restore all of the characters to their rightful dimension, Peter relearns how to have fun, helped along by a script that’s overflowing with mad energy. Into the Spider-Verse should feel like a brand exercise gone wrong, a corporate mandate to sell different kinds of Spider-toys to willing kids. Instead, it’s a film that every other comic-book movie needs to take notes from, one that’s exuberant, inventive, and thrilled by heroism in a way that many of these films forget to be. No doubt it will suffer the same fate as its brethren and spawn sequel after sequel. But for now its ingenuity is something to be championed.
The voice ensemble—which includes Brian Tyree Henry as Miles’s straitlaced policeman dad and Mahershala Ali as his sketchy but charismatic uncle—imbues every character with a specific personality. All the characters are also given a distinct visual style: Spider-Ham is straight out of Looney Tunes, conjuring giant wooden mallets seemingly from nowhere, while Peni Parker has stepped out of an anime world and Spider-Man Noir is constantly followed by howling winds and rain.
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Venue: William Loveless Hall