So there’s this guy Kingpin (voice of Liev Schreiber) who really wants to be reunited with his family so he creates a supercollider that causes the multiverse to fracture and overlap: If he can do it just right, he can jump into an alternative reality where they’re still alive. Consequences? He’s a gangster and collateral damage to the rest of Brooklyn and the world are irrelevant when compared to his quest.
Meanwhile, a likeable teen who’s half-Puerto Rican, half-African American called Miles Morales (voice of Shameik Moore) heads into a secret area of the Brooklyn subway system with his beloved Uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali) so he can paint his graffiti masterpiece. Unfortunately, he gets bit by, you guessed it, a radioactive spider and gains all sorts of strange and exciting abilities. Meanwhile, Kingpin has started to test the supercollider and it’s causing overlap in the multi-verse, enough that other Spider-men show up.
You read that correctly. Other Spider-men. And women. And a pig! Welcome to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
The full cast of Spider-folk are Peter Parker (voice of Chris Pine), Peter B. Parker (voice of Jake Johnson), the rather depressed slacker Spider-Man who reluctantly becomes Mile’s Spider-tutor, Gwen Stacy (voice of Hailee Steinfeld) who is Spider-Gwen and serves as Mile’s love interest, Peter Porker (voice of John Mulaney) who moonlights as Spider-Ham, the anime Peni Parker (voice of Kimiko Glenn) and the other Peter Parker (voice of Nicolas Cage) who shows up in black & white as Spider-Man Noir. Yes, it’s spider-chaos and it’s really great fun.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the oft-told origin story of Spider-Man, but with an ingenious multi-verse twist. Miles has to learn how to harness and control his new powers while trying to figure out what’s happening with his beloved Brooklyn neighborhood. Oh yeah, and dealing with the strange experience of four other Spiders entities from alternative dimensions, his clumsy but earnest cop dad Jefferson Davis-Morales (voice of Brian Tyree Henry), and adolescent life.
My expectations were pretty low going into the theater for this movie. An animated Spider-Man origin story? How good could it be? I was not only pleasantly surprised, I was blown away by just how fun and entertaining this movie was. From great voice performances to an engaging storyline to some gorgeous and amazing animation, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a strong recommend and fun for everyone.
My only caveat: The film is also a bit psychedelic and a few sequences might overwhelm very young viewers. If you have young ones who are easily overwhelmed, it might be smart for you to check the film prior to bring them into the theater to ensure it won’t cause any upset or discomfort.