By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
The moment you sit down to watch the new, Marvel Comics adventure, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,”
you’ll realize you’re in for something special.
Screenwriters Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the guys who brought us “The Lego Movie” and “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” have spun a web of fun and intrigue with this lively, re-imagined story.
The visuals alone in “Into the Spider-Verse” will take your breath away as the film is captured in CGI, but also uses hand-drawn animation throughout each frame. The look of this Spider-Man is so striking, at times it doesn’t even seem like it’s animated.
Plus, this is one of the boldest and diverse versions of the Webslinger to hit the big screen.
“Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” is based on the Marvel Comics character Miles Morales. Here he’s played by Shameik Moore, who had a break out role in Rick Famuyiwa and Forest Whitaker’s 2015 movie, “Dope.”
Miles (Moore) is pretty much like any other 13-year-old teen. He likes music, enjoys drawing and has an abundance of energy.
He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his Puerto Rican mother Rio (Luna Lauren Velez, “The First Purge”). She’s a nurse. His African-American father Jefferson Davis is a cop. He’s voiced by the very talented Brian Tyree Henry. And what a year Henry is having. In addition to starring on the hit TV show “Atlanta,” he’s been in the movies, “White Boy Rick,” “Hotel Artemis” and can currently be seen in the Critics’ Choice Awards nominated movie, “If Beale Street Could Talk.”
But, back to Miles. The only problem this kid is having, is trying to please his parents by adjusting to the new, upscale boarding school they sent him to.
Miles is good-looking and smart. He develops a crush on one of his classmates named Wanda, but he’s too shy to really talk to her so he seeks advice from his uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”) who swears he has plenty of game and can still pull the ladies.
Miles and Aaron bond over how to win Wanda over and Aaron takes him to a spot underground in the subway where he can indulge his graffiti passion. It’s here that Miles is bitten by a radioactive spider and his life as he knew it is forever changed.
Miles is soon running up against a mobster named Wilson Fisk (Live Schreiber, TV’s “Ray Donovan”) who seeks world domination and destruction. Miles also teams with Peter B. Parker (a funny Jake Johnson, TV’s “New Girl”) and uses his newfound superhero abilities to right all wrongs.
He manages to get big assists from Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld, “Bumblebee”); Spider-Ham, who is such a pig (John Mulaney), Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage, “Looking Glass”); and even Peter Parker’s Aunt May (Lily Tomlin, TV’s “Grace and Frankie”) among others.
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a cinematic triumph. It pays homage to the previous “Spider-Man” movies and the Stan Lee cameo is a treat as well.
Don't forget to sit through the end credits. You’ll be glad you did.
Take A Look At This Trailer For "SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The Alliance Of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.