SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE

★★★★★

A CONTINUATION OF ANIMATION'S CROWING ACHIEVEMENT

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Chris Dos Santos
1st June 2023

'Into the Spider-Verse' is simply one of the greatest achievements of the 21st century. Not just for animation or superhero films, but truly for cinema as a whole. From its jaw-dropping style, emotional narrative and love letter to the web slinger, it still leaves me gobsmacked no matter how many times I watch it just how successfully they pulled off this incredible feat. It is one of the most decorated films in recent years, and it was clear we were only scratching the surface of just what the Spider-Verse could entail. After pandemic-related delays, we are finally returning to the world of Miles and Co with 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse'.

A year after the events of 'Into the Spider-Verse', Miles (Shameik Moore, 'Dope', 'Let it Snow') is continuing to save Brooklyn while trying to be a high school student. He unexpectedly is visited by Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld, 'Bumblebee', 'Pitch Perfect 3'), returning to his universe to stop The Spot (Jason Schwartzman, 'The French Dispatch', 'Isle of Dogs'), a new threat to Spider-People and possibly linked to Miles past. The two are sent on a chase around the multiverse where they run into new Spiders like Spider-Woman (Issa Rae, 'Little', 'The Lovebirds'), Spider-Man India (Karan Soni, 'Deadpool', 'Strange World') and Spider-Punk (Daniel Kaluuya, 'Nope', 'Judas and the Black Messiah'). They also meet Miguel O'Hara (Oscar Isaac, 'Dune', 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens') who is the head of the Spider Society, a hub for all of the universes' Spideys. But when he meets Miles, the two have very different ways to use their Spider powers.

SWITCH: 'SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE' TRAILER 2

Just like its predecessor, 'Across the Spider-Verse' pushes the boundaries of animation in ways that I couldn't even imagine. Each Spider-Person has such a unique art style and the way each one blends so perfectly into all the different worlds we visit is truly jaw-dropping as to how well they pull off each style. What the 'Spider-Verse' films succeed so well at is not just groundbreaking animation but the way they use it to tell an emotionally captivating story while honouring the legacy of the red and blue suit.

The first 'Spider-Verse' was one of the biggest surprises of the last couple years, while the creative team behind the film and of course 'Spider-Man' brought some attention to it, it wasn't until those first screenings that everyone went, "Oh damm, this is incredible and something to be excited about." I fell in love with the world they created, and it makes me so happy to say that the sequel not only met my expectations but went so far beyond what I could even have hoped for.

What the 'Spider-Verse' films succeed so well at is not just groundbreaking animation but the way they use it to tell an emotionally captivating story while honouring the legacy of the red and blue suit.

Now this is a middle film, in the same vein as 'Empire Strikes Back' or the 'The Two Towers', and it more than lives up to those titans. We only have to wait until March 2024 to see the epic conclusion, and I feel this film is only going to get better when we pair it with its finale. The film does of course deal with the multiverse and is yet another film explaining that concept to us, but again it's easily the clearest and most thought-out when compared to the MCU or even the upcoming 'The Flash' from DC. I bring this up because more than the 'Across the Spider-Verse', this might be more difficult to grasp for younger viewers and does appeal to an older audience. Just something to keep in mind for very young Spidey fans.

'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' is yet another crowning achievement in the realm of animation. It's one thing for the filmmakers to give us all this gorgeous animation, but to top that off with an engrossing story and perfect fan service to one of the most iconic comic characters - it's just revolutionary. They knock literally everything out of the park, and I can't wait to see what's next for Miles and co. when we journey 'Beyond the Spider-Verse'!

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