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An unusual animated adventure: Rashid Irani reviews ...Into the Spider-Verse

Arguably the freshest reboot to come out of Marvel in recent years, Spider-Man is back and he’s got his groove on.

movie reviews Updated: Dec 13, 2018 17:45 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
There are six Spider-people in this retelling, including a protagonist who is part African-American, part Puerto Rican and is now training under Peter Parker.
  • Direction: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman
  • Voices: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Nicholas Cage
  • Rating: 3 / 5

Ever since Sam Raimi revitalised this web-slinging superhero saga back in 2002, there has been live-action film after live-action film featuring Spider-Man. So you can be forgiven for wondering if we really need another Spidey adventure.

This, though, is the first animated version of the long-running franchise. And it features not one, not two, but six Spider-people working together against a common enemy? Does it work? The answer to that is a somewhat guarded, yes.

The premise is a little gimmicky. The protagonist, a student (dubbed by Shameik Moore) who possesses the same powers as Spider-Man, conveniently turns out to be half African-American and half Puerto-Rican. An older, more cynical Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man (Jake Johnson), must work with him, a Spider-Woman (Hailee Steinfeld) and a Japanese-American mechanical wizard named Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn). As well as the two most inspired additions — Spider-Man Noir (voiced by the ever-eclectic Nicholas Cage) and Spider-Ham aka Peter Porker (John Mulaney).

The visuals are spectacular, a blend of old-school hand-drawn illustrations and innovative CGI styling.

Denizens of other dimensions, the sextet must unite to foil the plans of Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), the primary villain. The film’s strength derives from its colourful visuals, a deft blend of old-school hand-drawn illustrations and innovative computer-generated animation stylings.

A visit to …Spider-Verse is recommended.

First Published: Dec 13, 2018 17:45 IST