It would be near impossible to ever top 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse animated film – it was that good. It was an amazing story told with spectacular, cutting-edge animation techniques that were so cool they could blow your mind.
We’d never seen anything like that original Spider-Verse movie before, and while the new sequel, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, is ultra-ambitious and a great follow-up, it doesn’t quite meet its predecessor’s high standard.
Writer Phil Lord is the only carryover from the original writing and directing team, with this being the feature directing debut for Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson. They do a fine job, but their storytelling lost me in a few places.
Maybe I’m just too slow to keep up with the pace of all the multi-verse craziness, but I certainly have no problem with sitting through this wonderful movie again to (try to) get caught up. I’m not a huge fan of alternate dimension movies and multiple people inhabiting the same character, but, nevertheless, I have still enjoyed these films.
This movie introduces The Spot (voiced by Jason Schwartzman), a sympathetic villain who discovers that his wacky abilities just might be powerful enough to destroy multiple Spidey-dimensions. Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) and Gwen Stacy (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld) must once again travel into the Spider-Verse where they are confronted by Miguel O’Hara (voiced by Oscar Isaac) from the Spider-Man 2099 comics.
There are loads of surprises to be had in this film, but one unfortunate shocker was its lack of any catchy tunes to carry with you after its viewing. There are no “What’s Up Danger” or “Sunflower” hit songs to enjoy (at least not any that caught my attention). After the first film, I immediately went out and bought the soundtrack. This time, while the score was good, the music is mostly forgettable.
I’ve never really thought about animated acting before, but the performances by Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy are award-worthy in my book. (But, now that I think about it, Rocket has them both beat from the most recent Guardians of the Galaxy movie.) This film allegedly has the largest crew of animators from any film ever, so bravo to them for bringing these characters to such incredible life.
You may not be aware (I wasn’t), but it should be no surprise, that this film ends in a comic-book style cliffhanger. There will be a part three, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, currently set to be released on March 29, 2024.
While these Spider-Verse films have been fun (so far), I’d love to see one of these movies that simply stayed in its own universe. I fear that Marvel is in danger of alienating a good portion of its audience by jamming too much confusing multi-verse stuff down our throats. (Although, I’m sure there is a me somewhere who is loving this stuff.)