Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Review

Boundless Imagination Meets Masterful Execution: A Masterclass in Animation

Mason Moeller

6/8/20232 min read

"Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" takes the multiverse baton from its groundbreaking predecessor and sprints with it. Building upon the themes of destiny and the weight of the Spider-Man mantle introduced in "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," this sequel delivers a more experienced Miles Morales navigating a more expansive and challenging multiverse narrative. The questions of destiny and what defines Spider-Man are not only revisited but elevated, providing a deeper exploration into the essence of these characters.

This movie's animation is nothing short of spectacular. The first film set a new standard, breaking away from the typical Disney/Pixar mold, and "Across the Spider-Verse" takes this innovation to a whole new level. It's as if the artists were unleashed in a creative playground, experimenting with a plethora of art styles tailored to each universe's unique aesthetic. This audacious approach to animation is a visual feast, making it clear that every idea, no matter how wild, was welcome in the creation process.

Family continues to be a crucial part of Miles' journey. Over the course of two films, we've formed a connection to his familial relationships, particularly with his parents. It's a refreshing departure from the familiar Aunt May narrative, grounding the film in a relatable and heartfelt context.

The villainous Spot serves as the catalyst for Miles' journey in this film. Although his screen time is limited, his presence is always impactful and enjoyable. His motivations have wide-reaching implications, adding layers of complexity to the narrative.

A surprising second antagonist emerges in the form of Spider-Man 2099, Miguel O'Hara. After a universe-switching escapade akin to "Rick and Morty," he takes on the role of a guardian for the spider verse, reminiscent of He Who Remains from the Loki TV series. His character arc unveils fascinating insights about Miles, rewarding viewers with a satisfying payoff to numerous ideas and dialogues introduced earlier in the film and its predecessor.

While the film does indulge in a bit of fan service, it does so tastefully and without distraction. The score by Daniel Pemberton is as excellent as in the first film. The character leitmotifs and their integration in various scenes contribute to the immersive experience, especially Spider-Man 2099's phenomenal theme song. Metro Boomin's songs are also a perfect fit for the scenes they feature in.

However, the film isn't without minor flaws. The story concludes on a cliffhanger, leaving some plot threads unresolved and audiences eager for the next installment. Furthermore, some of the voice lines were somewhat difficult to comprehend at the film's beginning, potentially due to issues with the sound mixing or theater audio settings.

In conclusion, "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" is a triumphant achievement in animation, storytelling, scoring, and character development. It offers a masterclass on how to execute a multiverse narrative effectively, leaving audiences eagerly anticipating more. Each minute is a delight, with the film consistently delivering surprises and marvels that will leave you in awe.