Spidey is dusting off his cobwebs.
Since Tobey Maguire first donned the red and blue spandex suit in 2002, there’s been a steady stream of Spider-Man films starring him, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland. Some are great (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”), some have weird emo dance sequences (“Spider-Man 3”), but they’ve all told the same repetitive story: Spider bites man; man bites crime.
However, it’s the latest one, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” that unleashes the acrobatic arachnid’s full emotional and creative potential. The movie proves a New York teen superhero can do more than just excitedly swing around. He can move us, too.
It’s the best stand-alone film to feature the iconic character so far. And it’s animated.
In “Spider-Verse,” we meet Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), a Brooklyn kid who feels out-of-place at his new private academy. He’s more interested in designing eye-popping graffiti than yawning through physics class.
While Miles is spraying his art in a subway tunnel, he’s bitten by a pesky radioactive spider, and he comes face-to-face with the other, more famous Spider-Man in town: Peter Parker (Jake Johnson). That same night, Peter is killed by a villain called Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), and Miles, now with superpowers, takes the reins.
That weighty premise is enough to fill two hours, but “Spider-Verse” goes five steps further. After the villain’s dastardly device opens up a rift in the universe, a quintet of other alternate-reality spider-men arrive in Miles’ world, hellbent on defeating Kingpin and returning home. The plot sounds more confusing than it is.