Doing the right thing isn’t always as easy as we think. It sounds good on paper, it’s what you tell your kids but it takes a strong individual to say no when yes is the easier option. It’s difficult to stand firm in your convictions when everyone around you follows the crowd. We all to fit in and feel like we’re part of the group to a degree, so in certain instances, saying no and doing what’s right doesn’t make you abrasive, it makes you a hero.
“Being Spider-Man is a sacrifice. That’s the job.”
Want to see a multiverse film done exceptionally well? Swing this way as the saga continues. It’s got action, love, disappointment, sabotage, joy, sadness, fury, rebellion, good guys, bad guys, bad good guys, and more versions of Spider-Man than you can handle. Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson and brought to you by the illustrious Sony Pictures Animation, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is spectacular, sensational, and ultimately amazing. I know we were all thinking, how can they top the first film, well, I think Stan Lee would be proud because dammit, they did. From the multi-layered parallel storytelling and remarkable animation, a villain that is a legitimate threat, to traveling the multiverse and being able to explore more than one Earth, including Spider Society, this is hands down the best Spider-Man movie, period.
“The power of the multiverse in the palm of my hands.”
The film begins with Gwen in her universe and Miles in his, both struggling to balance being a hero and having a successful personal life. Not only do they miss each other, but Miles could possibly study multiversal travel in college if he shows up for class. As anomalies begin to happen and a seemingly easy villain of the week turns out to be incredibly more formidable than anyone could’ve imagined, universes team up and Broolyn’s one and only Spider-Man is on a collision course with an unforeseen and life-altering truth.
The film is fun and emotional, even the colors change depending on the mood. There are gasp and cheer-worthy surprises, a slappin’ soundtrack produced by Metro Boomin, and visuals that are usually only seen while under the influence of psilocybin. The performances are fantastic, the journey is incredible, and I can guarantee that you won’t see anything else like this for the rest of the year. A new bar for visual storytelling has been set. I hope you can experience the film in IMAX because it will completely knock your socks off. This is not only the best animated film of the year, but one of the best films in general. The hype is real. There’s no post-credit scene but the credits are entertaining. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a must-see. Its rewatchability is high.
Pacing & Pop
So, this may be a sequel, however, it almost feels like part 1 of a deep dive into the multiverse. The film delves into great detail, making sure that we understand motivations, how the multiverse works, and how high the stakes are. That said, the pace can feel a bit sluggish when compared to its predecessor, however, it is by no means necessarily a bad thing in this story’s context. The less confusion the better. Nevertheless, the second half of the film is completely mind-blowing and you don’t want it to end. What popped for me had to be the animation. It’s the blending of different styles and the almost sentient nature of the color, its beauty and complexity are almost ineffable.
Characters & Chemistry
Starring: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Velez, Jake Johnson, Jason Schwartzman, Issa Rae, Karan Soni, with Daniel Kaluuya and Oscar Isaac
The casting and voice acting are perfect. Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld, reprising their roles masterfully convey the growth, internal conflict, and spideyness of Miles and Gwen. I didn’t see Johnathan Ohnn aka The Spot coming, but he is such a great villain. What makes him so dangerous is that he doesn’t want what you average big bad wants, he has a personal vendetta against Miles. Played by Jason Schwartzman, The Spot is simultaneously extremely goofy and profoundly dangerous. Only Schwartzman could’ve pulled it off. Miguel O’Hara, or as most of us know him, Spider-Man 2099, voiced by Oscar Isaac, is also very intense and potentially very dangerous. He may don a hero costume but it’s unclear if his motives are pure. I have to say, with all the endless Spider-people that we get to see, Spider-Punk has to be my favorite. Voiced by Daniel Kaluuya, he’s cool, rebellious, and he looks super dope. Again, the entire cast is amazing. There’s literally a Spider-person for us all.
Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse releases in theaters on June 2, 2023. Remain safe and to be continued.
Runtime: 2h 20m
Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson
Writers: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller & David Callaham
Producers: Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Christina Steinberg
Executive Producers: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Aditya Sood, Brian Michael Bendis
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is spectacular, sensational, and ultimately amazing.
Senior Critic. Observing the human race since 1988.