Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023) Review
A SPECTACULAR “CANNON” SEQUEL EVENT
In 2018, Sony Pictures Animation jumped into the superhero blockbuster realm with the release of the animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, the movie, which starred the voices of Shameik Moore, Jake Johnston, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Nicolas Cage, and Liev Schreiber, follows young high school teen Miles Morales, who becomes the new Spider-Man in his world and becomes entangled in a large multiverse threat by teaming up with other Spider-people from parallel universes. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was theatrically released on December 14th, 2018 and receive widespread critical acclaim from both critics and moviegoers, who praise the feature for its animation, characters, humor, story, and voice acting. The movie also went on to gross over $384 million at the box office against its $90 million production budget. In addition, the film also gained momentum at the awards season by winning the Best Animated Feature at the 91st Academy Awards (being the first non-Disney / Pixar release to win the award since 2011’s Rango) as well as winning awards at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, the 46th Annie Awards, and the 72nd British Academy Film Awards respectfully. Given the amount of success and praise that this movie received (even before its theatrical release), a sequel was immediately greenlit by Sony. Now, after five years since its release, Sony Pictures Animation and directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson prepare to jump back into the “Spider-Verse” with the release of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Does this highly anticipated next chapter deliver on the high standards set by its predecessor or has the inherit hype for this spider-man project overshadows a middling second installment?
Since become the newest web slinging hero, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is dealing with his days as Spider-Man, trying to keep his secret identity hidden from his mother, Rio (Luna Lauren Velez), who’s worried about him, while his father, Jefferson (Brian Tyree Henry) is getting promoted as captain of the police force. Adding more complexity to his new life, Miles is soon visited by Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) as Spider-Woman is dealing with her own burdens, including forced to abandon her father, George (Shea Whigham), a cop unknowingly on the hunt for his own daughter. Fresh on the scene is The Spot (Jason Schwartzman), a scientist turned into a super villain when Miles destroyed a collider, with the confused man looking to mast his portal-opening powers and cause mayhem for Spider-Man. Concerned for the coming of chaos to all realities, Gwen reveals her partnership with the Spider-Society, with a great host of Spider-Man types across the multiverse and who are led by Miguel O’Hara (Oscar Isaac). As Miles is introduced to this collection of Spider-People and trying to help his own agenda against The Spot, Miguel is suspicious by Miles and his tinkering with the tinkering of different realities….one that could spell doom for all.
THE GOOD / THE BAD
It’s been awhile since 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was released and, after watching a few days ago, is still great as a I remember watching the first time all those years ago. I remember when this movie was first announced and the marketing campaign (trailers, TV spots, promos, etc.) began to appear both online and in theaters. However, I was, initially, not that quite impressed with it. How so? Well, it was because it was going to be yet another iteration of Spider-Man and, with the latest iteration of the character (played by actor Tom Holland) swinging into the live-action MCU realm and making a lot of impressive waves with Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War prior to this release. So, with this movie brings another iteration of the iconic web-slinging superhero, I was definitely leery about Into the Spider-Verse, with Sony trying to play “catch up” with their turn at the superhero table. It turns out that Sony Pictures Animation was definitely up to the task and proved themselves worthy for an animated Spider-Man tale, especially one that plays up the common tropes of webslinger, yet also finally bringing to cinematic light the protagonist character of Miles Morales. The story was quite fun and unique, which offer a different angle to tackle, yet was also familiar to not scare off longtime fans. In truth, it became a spectacular event that brought forth a multi-verse style adventure (before multiverses shenanigans were a bit more commonplace in mainstream superhero blockbusters) and paid homage to the Spider-Man brand. In addition, the film’s animation was spectacular and it was so refreshing to see come out of an animated feature film, especially within its own dazzling animation style and comic book influence aesthetics. This naturally paved the way for other animated studios to follow suit and break away from the more traditional styles of 3D / computer generated animation and embrace a unique style of their cartoon motion pictures, with some notable features like Mitchells vs. the Machines, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Bad Guys, and Klaus being prime examples. In the end, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was definitely a surprise for me and to a lot of people, with this animated tale of a new hero that drums of both familiarity and excitement within its crossover multiverse Spider-People for an intriguing (and wonderfully realized) origin story for Miles Morales.
This brings me back to talking about Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, a 2023 animated film and the follow-up sequel to the 2018 movie. As I said, Into the Spider-Verse was indeed a very exciting piece of the animated variety, especially with the potential it had for sequel endeavors. Thus, given the “word of mouth” that the film had received, it was literally almost a forgone conclusion that second Spider-Man movie would materialize and that answer was given immediately a greenlit shortly after the feature’s release. However, despite that quick announcement, the road for a proper sequel fully materializing took quite a while, with the movie being never coming to fruition for many years. Perhaps due to the “right people” in place to helm this particular project or securing all the voice talents again? It’s hard to say, but the idea of a second installment for this iteration of Spider-Man was always left on the horizon (there, but out of reach), yet drew a lot of excitement and anticipation. Within time, the general “buzz” for the movie began to elevate once again, with the announcement being made that the upcoming sequel would be coming out in 2022 as a two-part endeavor. However, the first two-part film was delayed (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), with a new theatrical release date set for summer of 2023. So, naturally, times passes and my anticipation for this upcoming film was definitely continued to be quite interested, especially since the film’s trailers began to appear online and in the theaters during the “coming attractions” previews many times (most notable in large blockbuster and / or animated films). From the trailer previews alone, the movie looked incredible with plenty of eye-popping style of animation that the first one was known for as well as expanded cinematic universe of various different Spider-People across a multiverse spectrum for Miles Morales to interact and combat with. With such hype and ultra-high expectations for this particular project, especially how much Into the Spider-Verse was universally praised, this particular sequel had a lot to live up to. So, I did finally get to check out Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse during its opening weekend, but had to wait a few weeks before getting my review out, which was mostly due to my work schedule. So, with some free time, I’m ready to share my personal thoughts for this animated sequel. And what did I think of it? Well, I do have to say that this latest installment was amazing. Despite some minor quibbles that I had with it, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was a fantastic movie that deliver on presenting an electrifying sequel that expands upon the previous installment as well as the animated dynamics of its own Spider-verse concept. Though it’s only half of the larger narrative being told, the film stands out with some breathtaking animation, humorous bits, and deeper characterization from its principle players and within the context of its universe cannon.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is directed by a new trio of directors, with Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson. Combined, this threesome of directors have worked on numerous projects throughout their career, spanning several different roles, which includes storyboard artist, producer, writer, production designer, and layout artist. Thus, the knowledge of the intricacies of filmmaking and the roles that they have participated in makes this collaboration, the directors certainly know how to handle such an ambitious project. In fact, the end result of it all speaks for itself, with three directors respecting the source materials of the first film and then expanded upon it with Across the Spider-Verse. In truth, the same ambitious “leap of faith” that was taken with the 2018 film is just as equal to this project, with the three directors bringing forth a very enticing and engaging animated cartoon motion picture that definitely keeps up the pace of excitement and entertainment to its predecessor. Perhaps its interesting to see that the movie has a certain type of “game plan” for the movie, with the three director shaping Across the Spider-Verse to be an “experience” that rise above the conventional. What do I mean? Well, the main premise of the movie deals with the multiverse, which is kind of big thing in mainstream popularity and is quite evident in the multitude of projects and endeavors that have utilized such storytelling arcs for their narrative. While this may be a little bit “played out” in some platforms and mediums, Across the Spider-Verse definitely felt like refresh of the multiverse aspect, especially examining all the lore and continuity “cannon” nuances that are customary for the Spider-Man universe. The script, which was penned by Phil Lord, Chrstopher Miller, and Dave Callaham, does a good job in navigating everything for this first half of a bigger story, which delves into several important character motivations (a spilt time between Miles and Gwen in the film) as well as creating a well-rounded exploration of multiple alternative realties that exist. Because of this, there are plenty of dramatic scenes that the script explores and showcases, which are beautifully done and give proper meaning context to this cartoon sequel.
The action in Across the Spider-Verse is quite amazing and fantastically bold throughout the feature’s runtime. It’s utterly electrifying, intense, and a lot of times quite creatively done, especially since this is an animated feature endeavor. There is a big chase sequences in the latter half of the movie, which helps demonstrate this level of action, which is just breath-taking and awe-inspiring from start to finish. Overall, the action is frenetic, dazzling, and just pure fun….plain and simple.
Despite the feature having a lot of poignant moments and action set pieces, Across the Spider-Verse does have a lot of comedic levity to help the feature find humor within this epic tale of multiverse hopping. There’s plenty of diverse comedy that has a plethora of sarcasm wit, slapstick sight gags, and humorous jokes to keep the feature light on its toes. In addition, I felt that the comedy in the movie was well-timed and didn’t feel out of place. What I mean to say is…..there’s three director know of when to lay it on thick (with the comedy) and when to hold back for more dramatic moments. I did actually laugh more times than I was expecting, so the comedy in Across the Spider-Verse definitely hits more of its target than misses them, which (again) is a great thing to enjoy.
With such big story to tell and open up this “Spider multiverse” wide open in the sequel, Across the Spider-Verse has plenty of Easter Eggs and nostalgia feeling throughout the entire feature. I figured that this was going to be the case and I quite enjoyed them in the movie. There’s a lot of comic book references and old tv shows / movies callbacks from the many Spider-Man iterations, which blends them and interjects naturally without feeling out of place. Again, the film’s script allows this to play a part of the film’s story, which makes this inconclusion rather palpable and vital to the film’s tale of multiverse understanding.
Interestingly, with a runtime of 140 minutes (two hours and twenty minutes), Across the Spider-Verse is to be considered one of the longest animated feature films every produced by an American-based studio. To be honest, that’s quite long….even for a cartoon film, but I do have to say that it didn’t bother me as much. In fact, besides maybe the final fifteen minutes, which was dragged out a bit much (more on that below), a great majority of the feature’s runtime sort of breezed by….and that’s kind of good thing. There’s definitely a lot to unpack in this movie and, while the script does a good job in presenting it all, it’s the trio of directors who actually should be praised in navigating this superhero journey, with Across the Spider-Verse never feeling that long and having a relatively good pace. There’s always something to see on screen or for a character learn something, or some type of big revelations. Thus, the movie does a good in keeping us (the viewers) invested in this movie and does a great job in keeping this Spider-Man sequel engaging and entertaining from start to finish.
For its moral themes and concepts, Across the Spider-Verse does exceptionally well in interweaving those commentary messages into the main narrative without feeling forceful or just merely shoe-horned into the story. In truth, the themes in the movie are “beating heart” of the feature’s narrative, with the script showcasing the “cause and effect” of dealing with situations and how something are pre-ordained and / or predetermined and can not be altered. The flip side to that, however, is some things can be change, especially shown in the movie with Miles’s journey, and acceptance of differences can be the defining savior. There are plenty of other ones to discuss and to talk about, but the one that I really like was the one that was shown in the film’s teaser trailer (as well as in the movie) where Miles’ mother is talking to him about growing up and never forgetting who he is on the inside and where he comes from. In life, we all tend to forget that and this movie certainly keeps the reminder of never losing who you really are, despite the outside forces (people, places, or circumstances). In the end, Across the Spider-Verse is an animated sequel that delivers on its premise; bringing forth a multiverse epic (the first half of it) that speaks true to the characters and lore of the previous film, while also capsulating events forward into a sprawling adventure that I personally can’t wait to see how it concludes.
For its presentation, Across the Spider-Verse is an amazing and visually stunning animated film that takes what was previously done in predecessor and improves upon it. Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing wrong about the animation found in Into the Spider-Verse as it was way above the standard CGI endeavors from some of the major cartoon studios, but also had its own unique style and approach towards comic book source material. For this sequel, the movie’s animation continues that trend, but also gives way to new dynamics towards that particular style, which translates into an improved and celebratory animated feature that’s quite compelling by just sheer for it’s animated style. Taking what was previously learned, the animators give each scene and sequence in Across the Spider-Verse have wonderful and visual style that closes resembles a comic book portrayal, yet also imbues and interjects new usage of colors backgrounds and a slightly better understanding of fluid body movement, which makes for the action much more vibrant and exciting. Of course, with such a large narrative to cover within the discovery of the multiverse, Across the Spider-Verse’s visual style expands by showcasing new setting and places to display, especially the India-inspired city for New York City appropriately named “Mumbahattan” and the vast landscape of the where the Spider Society calls home from Miguel O’Hara’s universe. Thus, I do have to mention the film’s “behind the scenes” players, including Patrick O’Keefe (production designs), Dean Gordon and Araiz Khalid (art direction), Brooklyn El-Omar (costume designs), and the entire animator department team, for their valiant and spectacular efforts made on this project, which helps elevate the feature’s animation to new cinematic cartoon heights. In addition, the direction for the movie also gives way to some incredible and awe-inspiring cinematic shots that continue to build upon some great dynamics for Across the Spider-Verse. Lastly, the score, which was composed by Daniel Pemberton, is fantastic throughout the entire feature and definitely brings the superhero aesthetics within this composition of bombastic action and quieter dialogue driven moments.
Much like the previous film, Across the Spider-Verse didn’t have much in the way of negative for me. That being said, there were one or two minor points of criticisms that I felt needed to be addressed in the movie. What were they? Well, one particular aspect to me was the film’s pacing. Granted, the movie is quite long (as mentioned above) and there is quite a lot to unpack, especially when the movie is trying to expand the scope of the narrative’s universe. However, there were several times where the film sort of dipped every now and again with some pacing issues. The first act of the movie is a prime example, which sees a lot of characters going off on monologue sequences that, while mostly meaningful, end up taking away from the action. I do somewhat get it, especially since these moments are a lot of the character development / plot for the most of the feature’s thematic means, yet it still takes away from some of the elements in making the feel longer than it needed to be. Coinciding with that, Across the Spider-Verse’s ending is quite elongated for a bit too much dramatic poise. Of course, I do understand the intent for a grandiose cliffhanger (with some good shocking revelations happening), but it certainly drags on longer than it needed to be and could’ve easily been edited down for a more slimer (and tighter) presentation and still achieve the same type of dramatic impact.
As another minor complaint, I did feel that the story was a little bit incomplete. Yes, I knew (and I think everyone knew) that the Across the Spider-Verse was going to be a part one of two endeavor and that the first part (per usual) would end on some type of cliffhanger. Yet, while there was a lot of excitement and fast-paced humor / action throughout the feature, it is still only half of the story, which (of course) will leave viewers wanting more. However, the same thing can be quite frustrated, especially since the movie doesn’t really have a conclusion and merely ending around the halfway point to this larger narrative being told. Again, this has been a lot of problems with two-part feature films, so it’s not quite the big “deal-breaker” negative talking point as some might make it out to be. Yet, it is still there and I kind of would’ve liked to see a more proper conclusion while (at the same time) leaving several storyline threads left open ended. Overall, just a minor quibble, but nothing too distracting.
What definitely helps elevate the movie looking beyond those minor points of criticism can be found in Across the Spider-Verse’s incredible voice cast, which are solid across the board. This includes many of the returning vocal talents as well as some new addition that definitely bring new energy throughout the feature. Some characters are elevated, some reduced, which can be a little bit problematic in a few areas, but, overall, the collective grouping of actors and actresses that the movie enlist to voice these animated characters are stellar from onset to conclusion. Leading the charge in the movie is actor Shameik Moore, who returns to play the story’s main protagonist character of Miles Morales. Known for his roles in Dope, Cut Throat City, and Samaritan, clearly made quite a big splash in voice the character back in 2018 in Into the Spider-Verse and brought to life Miles Morales (vocally anyway) with such a likeable and relatable performance. He definitely was the “beating heart” of the movie and certainly makes for a fantastic representation of the character big-screen debut. Thankfully, Moore returned for this latest adventure and (much as before) delivers a very fun and charismatic performance in his reprisal of Miles. There’s a sense of maturity in his superhero heroics and displays a more comfortable understanding of his role in that regard. However, a larger set-pieces for the film gives way for a Miles to explore and grow in the film’s narrative by ways and means of being introduced to the multiverse (its rules and cannons laws) as well as coming to terms with his place in the Spider-Society. This “cause and effect” becomes the main crux of Across the Spider-Verse’s story, with Miles at its center. For this, Moore continues to give off a certain youthful fun within his voice for the character and makes for another round of a compelling character.
Behind Moore, actress Hailee Steinfeld gets a larger part in this sequel, who returns to reprise her character role of Gwen Stacy. Known for her roles in Pitch Perfect 2, Bumblebee, and The Edge of Seventeen, Steinfeld has become quite the recognizable acting talent throughout her career and her plethora of memorable roles stand as proof that the actress is capable of handling some both quirky and dramatic roles. Her involvement in Into the Spider-Verse was indeed a welcomed one and gives a certain type of new spin on the classic adaptation of a Spider-Man. Thus, her involvement in Across the Spider-Verse gets elevated than in the first film, with Gwen having not just a more prominent role, but almost acts like a co-lead character in the movie alongside Moore’s Miles. Acting as both guide and narrator for the film, Gwen is giving more layers to peel away at than Into the Spider-Verse showed, showcasing her backstory with much more depth and understanding and gives off a more well-rounded character than we were privy to the first installment. Steinfeld is up to the task of getting more substance in the movie and throws herself into Gwen’s voice with such honesty and sincerity that one can easily feel in every scene. As a sidenote, actor Shea Whigham (Boardwalk Empire and Silver Linings Playbook) does a good job in the role of Gwen’s dad, George Stacy, which mixes the correct amount of authoritative figure and fatherly warmth and gives a more complexity towards Gwen’s personal dilemma.
Other characters from Into the Spider-Verse return to reprise their character roles, including Miles’s parents (Rio and Jefferson “Jeff” Morales), with actress Luna Lauren Velz (Dexter and Oz) and actor Brian Tyree Henry (Eternals and Bullet Train) return to their posts. Of the two, Velz gets the most screen-time and has one or two monologue moments in the feature of which gives Miles’s mother and much indeed interjecting of dramatic heart combination of mother instinct for the character. Velz is up to the task and doesn’t miss a beat in the character and gives Rio some great moments throughout the movie. With a bit more attention giving to Rio, the character of Jefferson gets pushed back slightly on the spotlight, but he still plays a part in Across the Spider-Verse’s story. In addition, Henry is still solid in the role of Mile’s dad and brings the right amount of goofy yet strong fatherly figure. Perhaps the one character that sort of gets pushed back the most (in comparison between the two movies) is the character of Peter B. Parker (from Earth-616), who is once again played by actor Jake Johnson (The New Girl and Tag). Johnson is still great as the character and brings the right amount of humorous based lines and mentor-esque advice for Miles in the feature. However, the character has been reduced in Across the Spider-Verse, which is kind of strange, especially since the character of Peter B. Parker played a vital importance in the narrative of Into the Spider-Verse. Still, this movie is only half of larger story being told, so one can assume that Johnson’s Peter will have a part in the next installment….much bigger than in this film.
For the new characters that appear in the film, none shines brighter (and better) than the character of Miguel O’Hara, a Spider-Man from 2099 and the leader of the Spider-Society, and who is voiced by actor Oscar Isaac. Known for his roles in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakenings, Moon Knight, and Dune, Isaac has quickly become a very well-known actor and has masses a catalogue of lead roles (or larger supporting characters) in recent years. Thus, to have the actor involved on this particular animated project is indeed a welcome one that proves to be quite effective as a somewhat opposition towards Miles’s journey. How so? Well, Miguel is indeed a good guy and the self-proclaimed leader of the Spider-Society of all the multiverse Spider-Man’s out there, but he sees Miles as a threatful paradox that could do more harm than good. Thus, the opposition aspect, which does provide some genuine conflict within Mile’s tale and uneasy ambiguity in Miguel’s intentions. Isaac’s acting easily slides in this particular aspect within his character and gives a certain type of duality within Miguel’s position in Across the Spider-Verse. Plus, while mostly serious with gravitas (of which Isaac is quite masterful indeed) is offered a few glimpse of comedic levity, which is amusing. Overall, I felt that the character of Miguel O’Hara is indeed a great character in the movie, with Isaac a perfect match in voicing such a complex character in this animated tale.
Along side Isaac, there are several other new Spider-Society characters that make an impactful part in Across the Spider-Verse, including actress Issa Rae (Insecure and The Lovebirds) as Gwen’s mentor into this multiverse society Jess Drew / Spider-Woman, actor Daniel Kaluuya (Nope and Judas and the Black Messiah), as British and punk rock version of Spider-Man from alternate universe that is ruled by a iron-grip regime and uses his guitar as a main weapon named Hobie Brown/ Spider Punk, and Karan Soni (Deadpool and Office Christmas Party) as an Indian version of Spider-Man from Mumbattan Pavitr Prabhakar, whose power is obtained through magic instead of a spider-bite. Of the three, Rae’s Spider-Woman gets the most screen time and gives an interest character that stands by Miguel’s side (for the most part) in the grand scheme of things, yet also finds truth in Gwen’s plight throughout the movie. Plus, Rae is quite solid in the role. Kaluuya’s Hobie is indeed an interesting character in the movie, especially since his visual appearance / design is quite unique and different from most of the other players. Although, while Kaluuya’s acting and persona for the character is humorous, the audio / sound editing for Hobie is a bit hard to discern in a few scenes. Lastly, Soni, whose energetic and animated voice, gets a lot of film’s humorous laughs within his portrayal of Pavitr Prabhakar and, while he doesn’t have a lot of screen time in comparison to Spider-Woman and Spider-Punk, he still makes for a memorable supporting players in the movie.
Is brings me to talking about the film’s main antagonist character of Dr. Johnathan Ohnn / The Spot, a former scientist-turned-supervillain after an accident (that Miles caused), whose body is now covered by interdimensional portals, and who is voiced by actor Jason Schwartzman. Known for his roles in Rushmore, The Darjeeling Limited, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Schwartzman has always played such customary comedic / quirk character roles in his acting career and that certainly fits in his vocal performance as the Spot. As stated, the character’s introduction is much more of low-level criminal threat and is where Schwartzman shines the best, with his nervous and inane sounding voice perfectly matching the bumbling efforts that the character tries to make. Perhaps the one downside that I felt with the character is that the Spot becomes more of a force of nature during the latter half, abandoning him his human charactsteric….as least for the movie’s script. Perhaps this was “by design” for the character as he becomes a much more sizeable threat to all the characters and the greater villain in this multiverse conflict, but, during this part, he lacks that human side that made him interesting in the first half. Of course, with the movie only been half of the larger story, I’m sure more will be revealed in the next film. Still, I thought that the Spot was indeed a very visual and interesting main bad guy in Across the Spider-Verse as well as Schwartzman’s performance in the character.
The rest of the cast, including actress Greta Lee (Sisters and Money Monster) as Miguel’s A.I. assistant Lyla, actress Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give and The Hunger Games) as a Margo Kess / Spider-Byte, actor Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live and Brooklyn Nine Nine) as Ben Reilly / Scarlet Spider, actor Jorma Taccone (Saturday Night Live and Hot Rod) as an Italian “Vulture “themed supervillain from a Renaissance-inspired universe Adriano Toomes, and actress Rachel Dratch (Wine Country and Click) as Ms. Weber, are delegated to minor supporting characters in the film. While limited screen time (by design), the acting talent involved in this grouping are still very good and help fill out character rosters throughout the movie. Lastly, as mentioned above, there are several other cameo-like surprises that appear in Across the Spider-Verse and, while I won’t spoil them, they are a treat to behold.
While still trying to balance his personal life with his superhero duties, Miles Morales gets entangled in a new web of confusion and revelations as he confronts a multiverse host of Spider-People from alternative realities and tries to thwart the efforts from a new enemy in the movie Spider-Man: Across the Universe. Directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson’s latest film takes what was previously established in the popular 2018 animated feature and expands upon that narrative, exploring new universes, realities, and a compelling story of a young hero challenging the status quo of cannon sequences of events. While there are a few minor nitpicks that I have with the feature’s pacing and some elongated moments, the movie itself is visually stunning animated masterpieces, with special thanks to the feature’s trio of directors, an impressive style of presentation, meaningful and thematic morals, a terrific score, humorous bits, an intriguing story, interesting dynamics amongst characters (old and new), and talented voice cast across the board. Personally, I really liked this movie. It was an amazing sequel endeavor that both honored its first entry by expanding upon its narrative and character that was previously established, yet also used that particular platform to sprung off of for a bombastic and engaging story of multiverse mayhem and revelations. The animation was breathtaking (reaching new heights of visual flair) and the story, while only half of the story, was very interesting and engrossing towards its cliffhanger ending. Plus, the voice talents involved were great and provided a lot of humor and heart in their respective roles. I still think that the first one is slightly better (just a little bit more focused), but Across the Spider-Verse still has a lot of positives that Into the Spider-Verse did not have, which makes this sequel on the same level as its predecessor. Thus, my recommendation for this movie is quite an impressive “highly recommended”, especially if you were a fan of the first installment or just fan of Spider-Man character. It was definitely worth the wait and hype. It’s just that good. With this particular film completed, now the long wait begins for the release of Spider-Man; Beyond the Spider-Verse, which would be the second half of larger narrative that began in this film as well as also concluding this Spider-Verse trilogy. How will it end and tie everything together in a grand way? Only time will tell. For now, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a fantastical follow-up to its 2018 animated adventure and delivers an incredible first half tale that truly is a visually stunning and spectacular “sequel” cannon event.
4.6 Out of 5 (Highly Recommended)
Released On: June 2nd, 2023
Reviewed On: August 8th, 2023
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is 140 minutes long and is rated for PG for sequences of animated action violence, some language, and thematic elements