We are living in a pretty interesting time for the web-slinger. Spidey has always been one of the staple superheroes out there, but he's certainly been through his ups and downs. However, it seems that today, things seem to consistently be going well for the character since Disney made their deal and Tom Holland put on the mask.
But while Marvel is able to have their cool teen Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Sony still gets to play around with things too. Earlier this year we had 'Venom', which you pretty much either liked or hated (I thought it was kinda bad, but still fun for what it was), and now we have this, which I admittedly kinda hope becomes, at least a small series of some sort.
We finally get to see the likes of Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) - the 'Spider-Man' who takes up the torch after Peter Parker, gaining his powers with a very similar spider bite. He lives in Brooklyn with his mother, Rio (Luna Lauren Velez) and cop father, Jefferson (Brian Tyree Henry). Miles gets himself into a bit of trouble here and there with graffiti artistry, but he's an all-around good kid, and a well-liked kid at his school.
Miles also has a raport with his uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali) - your typical bad ass uncle who's a bit of a bad influence on Miles in some regards, but still loves him and wants to keep him out of harm's way. The big bond they seem to have is within graffiti artistry. They end up in an abandoned subway tunnel so that Miles can throw up a mural, and this is where "the bite" occurs.
In the meantime, Wilson Fisk (Liev Schreiber), with the help of a female Doc Ock (Kathryn Hahn) attempts to use a particle accelerator in order to open up other dimensions, and reunite with another version of his wife and son. This ultimately goes haywire, and several different versions of Spidey come out of it as a result, including an aged Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Spidey Noir (Nicolas Cage), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) and her machine, SPDR, and of course, Spider-Ham (John Mulaney). Together, they have to work to stop Fisk from causing any more damage, and evetually get back to their respective homes. All the while Parker helps train Morales up as a new Spidey for his dimension.
What's crazy unexpected about this one, however, is just how conveniently it fell with its release. Shortly following the passing of the legendary Stan Lee, his animated cameo here will make you think, or perhaps even manage to bring a tear to your eye with the way he shows up. Stan Lee's passing didn't entirely effect me so deeply until this cameo. I know how weird that might sound, but anyone who's seen it has got to agree to some degree that this particular cameo hits you in the feels.
The film is loaded with good stuff though. It's one of the most stylized adaptations for any kind of comic book I've seen since 'Scott Pilgrim', making things seem like a comic book come to life. Every now and then you see the art style change, comic panels float by, and the mixture of graphic art and music really make things feel authentically Brooklyn. Its also one of these animated films that's loaded with neat little visual pop-ups that beg for it to be seen more than once, if only to catch anything you might have missed, previously.
My only real criticism here is mostly just a nitpick, and that's that between Noir, Ham and Peni, there's not a whole lot of development going on with them. They kinda show up to be interesting additions to the cast that some viewers may not know of, including yours truly (I had no idea Peni or Ham were a thing). But otherwise, this carries a solid story, style and execution, throwing a lot of familiarity at us with a lot of different. Hell, I haven't even mentioned what a badass Aunt May (Lily Tomlin) is in this.
Easily being listed as one of my top picks of 2018 once I get that Top 10 list up, I can fully seeing this being a sort of new 'Scott Pilgrim' for me in that it will be a solid go-to movie I can watch again and again, and be completely inspired by its overall execution. But don't take my word for it on how good it is. Just go over to IMDb and see how its listed on the Top 250 as #29, or Rotten Tomatoes, balancing the critic and audience meter between 97% and 94% respectively. It's worth seeing in 3D if you have the means, too. But I will forewarn everyone reading this of one very important detail - it's busy and bright with stylized colour, and there's even a theatrical warning that various sequences could potentially cause seizures for those who suffer from such a debilitation. So not EVERYONE is gonna enjoy it. But, such is film. I loved the hell out of it, and see ownership in the near future.