A few years ago, after the big Sony hack, Sony and Marvel resumed the failed talks about Spider-Man films. It resulted in the very fun Spider-Man: Homecoming, pretty much run by Marvel. But Sony still holds the rights to do with the Spider-Man characters what they want. And so…that gives us this animated feature.
Miles Morales lives with his mom and dad, but is starting life at a new school. After a frustrating week, he goes to see his uncle Aaron, who takes him to a hidden place where he can do some street art. Miles gets bit by a Spider-Man. When he witnesses a tragedy and finds himself having to make a promise to Spider-Man moments before he is killed…with no idea how to do it. Until he stumbles across Peter Parker…Spider-Man???
They discover that whatever the Spider-Man of Mile’s Morales’ world was trying to thwart has actually brought several Spider People into Miles’ world. But the world may end and so they have to team up to send everyone home and stop the destruction of the Spider-Verse.
And you know what? This only sounds confusing. Because the movie manages to make everything pretty darn simple. Our focus is on Miles, and even the Spider-Man we meet in the beginning is a celebrity. We don’t get to know him. We just get glimpses, enough to know he was a real hero.
The film also gives us intros to each character that are a whole lot of fun. Each Spider-Man has a unique look and artistic style. And it even impacts how they interact with the world they are in. Spider-Man Noir speaks in dark pulpy fashion and is always in black and white. And he is perplexed by color.
Jake Johnson’s Spider-Man is one whose life went a bit off track compared to the Spider-Man of Mile’s world. Spider-Gwen is keeping the world at bay, avoiding really connecting to people. And Spider-Ham is just hilarious.
This movie has a lot of heart, there are genuinely touching moments. Moments between Miles and his father, Peter and the life he has left in his universe (wondering if it is even worth going back to). Miles and Gwen, Miles and Peter….
But the film is also ridiculously funny. I mean, seriously funny. And part of that is in how the movie makes use of its medium. I cannot recall another animated film that took such grand opportunity to put it’s possibilities on full display.
In my book? This has been the best of all the Spider-Man movies. I want more with these characters. I want more movies with this version of Miles and his family and all the other Spider-People. This was a genuinely fun movie and I recommend checking it out. Sony raised the bar here…And I did not expect that. But Marvel better pay attention.