December 19, 2018 – This highly energetic animated feature film about superheroes from various alternate universes who band together to fight against a super villain who is intent on using a particle accelerator which can cause massive destruction and loss of life.
Wilson Fisk (the Kingpin) wants to use the accelerator to gain access to parallel universes where he might find living versions of his dead wife and son. In opening a portal to parallel universes, however, he also ends up bringing other versions of Spider-Man, and other superheroes, into his world. Spider-Man attempts to stop Kingpin, but is killed. However, a new Spider-Man arises to take his place, young Miles Morales.
Miles is unhappy at school because his father, Jefferson Davis, a policeman, has put him in a more academically advanced school, where he has no friends. Miles is deliberately trying to flunk out of school so he can go back to his old school, and his friends. He skips out of school to visit his uncle, Aaron Davis, because he can talk more freely to Aaron.
While spray painting graffiti in an underground chamber, Miles is bitten by a radioactive spider, and in a flash, his world changes. He discovers he has super powers, speed, strength, agility, invisibility, spider-sense, and a powerful venom blast, but he doesn't want to be a hero. He meets Spider-Man (Peter Parker) who agrees to train him, but soon after that, Spider-Man is killed by Kingpin, an event witnessed by Miles.
Kingpin sends out his henchman, the Prowler, to kill Miles since Miles was a witness to the murder of Spider-Man. On the run, Miles is befriended by superheroes from other parallel universes, another Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen (Gwen “Gwanda” Stacy) Spider-Ham (a comical pig-like version of Spider-Man) Spider-Man Noir (dark, monochromatic Spider-Man) and Peni Parker, a anime computer genius operating a kind of large mechanical spider.
Of course, all these superheroes aren't up against just one guy, there is also the Prowler, Olivia Octavius (a female Doc Ock) the monstrous Green Goblin, Scorpion and Tombstone. The good guys have to fight all these bad guys in order to stop the particle accelerator from destroying the city. At the same time, the superheroes also need the accelerator to get back to their own dimensions or they will die in this universe. No pressure.
The basic plot has Miles learning life lessons from superheroes and members of his own family. His mission is not just to save the city, but to find the hero in himself. This highly energized animated feature has a lot of very jarring flashing scenes (there is a warning against those with light-triggered epilepsy) and jazzy scenes of inter-dimensional rifts.
The animation style is a blend of comic book-style (with visible lines on faces) and computer animation, which is generally smoother-looking. Comic book-style text panels are also seen here and there in the movie. There are other comic book references in this very self-aware movie, such as several restarts and re-introductions of characters and storylines, such as one might see in a comic book. There is also a nice Stan Lee cameo.
This is very fast-paced, smart and high energy story telling. It has some drama, and a lot of comedy. The characters are interesting, and it all looks great. Its fast, its funny, and it is stylish. This film rates a B+.
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