Ever since the release of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (all the way back in 2002), we’ve been given various iterations of the wall-crawling superhero.
Following the hit-and-miss original trilogy, the Andrew Garfield-led Amazing Spider-Man movies almost destroyed the character’s reputation.
Tom Holland and Spider-Man: Homecoming then gave audiences a reason to care again.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the seventh Spider-Man movie in 16 years, might just be the best of the bunch.
This time around, Sony has ditched live-action New York in favour of a psychedelic, animated version of Manhattan.
The story begins with teen Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) begrudgingly attending a boarding school in Brooklyn.
Morales wants to live life on his own terms, just like his hero – Spider-Man (Chris Pine).
In the wrong place at the wrong time, Morales is bitten by a radioactive spider and becomes a brand new web-slinger.
Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) and his snivelling henchmen then open a portal to other universes.
Alternate dimensions collide, before Morales runs into several different versions of the titular superhero.
Thanks to Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street), Into the Spider-Verse pays homage to and pokes fun at the Spider-Man movies of the past.
However, despite its many Easter eggs/references, it still manages to form its own identity.
Credit belongs to the animators and visual effects artists for creating an eye-popping, captivating world.
Featuring one or more Spider-people leaping across the screen, the movie’s set-pieces are thrilling.
The characters are equal parts outlandish and sincere.
Like the movie itself, Morales acknowledges the past whilst forging his own path in the present.
Themes of depression and adolescence are deftly handled, woven seamlessly into the story.
Bryan Tyree Henry (Atlanta, Widows) is perfectly cast as Jefferson, a stern New York police officer and Morales’s father.
Meanwhile, Oscar winner Mahershala Ali delights as Morales’s uncle, Aaron.
The vocal performances of Jake Johnson, Nicholas Cage, Hailee Steinfeld, Lily Tomlin, and John Mulaney are also top-notch.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse doesn’t care about building a universe or setting up sequels.
Rather, it makes sure to succeed on its own.
This effervescent superhero-comedy is perfect for the school holidays.