By Michael Scapp (Somerset, NJ)
Miles Morales is a middle-school student from Brooklyn NY. His father is a cop and his mother is a nurse. We happen upon the 13-year old as he is changing from his old public school to a boarding school where he will dorm. He is the new kid, and finds it difficult to adjust. On the first night, he sneaks out and visits his Uncle Aaron. Uncle Aaron takes him to an abandoned subway where he encourages Miles to spray-paint some art on a wall. While down here, a radio-active spider bites Miles and he wakes up with Spider-Man powers. He wakes up a foot taller, his thoughts are louder, and he is very sticky. After a very rough day at school, he decided to go back to the abandoned subway and verify what he thinks has happened.
While there, he discovers a large machine called the Super-Collider, built by one of Spider-Man’s worst foes, The Kingpin. Suddenly, Miles finds himself witnessing a battle between a giant Green Goblin and Spider-Man. Spider-Man senses Miles at the same time that Miles senses Spidey, knowing that they both share the gift of being Spider-Man. Unfortunately, Spider-Man finds himself unmatched, but not before he is able to give Miles a USB drive and instructions on how to destroy the Super-Collider. Spider-Man is forced into the accelerator ray by Goblin, which is designed to open alternate universes. Kingpin designed this to find alternate versions of his family who were killed in his reality, now this opened up the Spiderverse, where five alternate Spider-Men are now in Miles’ reality. Peter B Parker, Peni Parker, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Woman.
It will take the six of them to strategize on how to take down Kingpin and his gang and destroy the Super-Collider before it destroys the city, as well as these out-of-place Spider-heroes.
When I first saw the commercial for this, I thought very little of it. I dismissed it as it just looked like some PC attempt to diversify the story. In fact it just may be, however, that didn’t take anything away from this crazy tale. In fact, I believe I just may like this Spider-Man movie more than all of the others. The story, given the circumstances within the plot, was allowed to go places no other Spider-Man movie could. Some references to the live action Spidey movies were made to my great delight, including the cringe worthy street dance scene from Spider-Man 3.
The cast was amazing. Shameik Moore voiced the lead Miles. I am not familiar with this artist/actor, but I find it strange that a 23 year old man was chosen to portray a 13 year old boy. What is Shameik’s voice like? He did a fantastic job, he brought a lot of emotion into it. Jake Johnson from New Girl fame was Peter B Parker, and his comedic background allowed a lot of laughs for his character. The over-the-top Nick Cage plays Spider-Man Noir, a character who appeared only a couple of years before this urbanized Spidey. Nick Cage was basically a caricature of himself, which was delightful. Perfect. The very attractive Hailee Steinfeld played Gwen Stacey, aka Spider-Woman. Kathryn Hahn played the villainess Doc Ock. Other stars like Lily Tomlin and Zoe Kravitz had very small roles, but I’m guessing are just happy to be in the movie.
I am drawn to alternate universes and time travel within movie plot lines, and this one did not disappoint. I did love all of the characters here in this movie, it’s a great origin story for Miles. I’m not sure how much I would like a sequel without the different Spider-Men making an appearance, but as it stands on its own right now, I loved it. Also, the soundtrack was spot on.
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