Everything Action

Action news, reviews, opinions and podcast

Review: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Five years ago, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse delivered not only one of the best Spider-Man movies ever made but a medium-shattering new style of animation that pushed the envelope and show how much more was possible in that art form.  Now with Across the Spider-Verse, the team behind the movie has somehow pushed things even further, creating one of the most gorgeous and visually spectacular animated movies ever made and another incredibly fun love letter to all things Spider-Man.

A little over a year since Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) teamed up with his fellow Spiders to take down Kingpin and save the multiverse, he’s settled into the typical Spider-Man double life, which means his school and home life are suffering as he tries to balance them against fighting various villains.  After facing off against The Spot (Jason Schwartzman), Miles is reunited with Gwen Stacy aka Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), who has joined the multiversal force known as the Spider Society, led by Spider-Man 2099 aka Miguel O’Hara (Oscar Isaac).  The Spot has figured out a way to travel across the multiverse and is becoming a threat to all of existence.  Across the Spider-Verse does a great job of raising the stakes and exploring more of the Spider-Verse and it gives both Miles and Gwen equally juicy plots to build up their characters from the previous movie, like Miles evolving relationship with his parents and Gwen’s own family issues.  The movie also leans into the fact that all Spider-Man stories mostly have the same beats, incorporating things like an Uncle Ben dying into “Canon Events” that, according to Miguel, must be allowed to proceed or else that universe risks annihilation.  It’s a brilliant way to acknowledge the story beats of a Spider-Man story in a fresh and clever way that adds to the stakes and overall mythology.  The movie does end on a cliffhanger but it’s a cliffhanger that leaves you eagerly anticipating the next chapter and not disappointed or making you feel like you wasted your time and I cannot wait to see what Beyond the Spider-Verse has in store.

Just like the first movie, the voice cast is incredible across the board, with Shameik Moore continuing to imbue Miles with so much personality, charm and empathy and the same goes for Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen.  Daniel Kaluuya is a fantastic new addition as Hobie Brown aka Spider-Punk, fully leaning into the anti-authority attitude of the 70s UK punk rock scene in hilarious ways.  Jason Schwartzman is also great as The Spot and does a brilliant job of evolving his voice over the movie from being a joke character into a legitimate and terrifying threat by the end.  Oscar Isaac brings the intensity as Miguel O’Hara and also becomes a terrifying threat as he goes after Miles, believing Miles will destroy everything he’s built to maintain the Multiverse.  There are also just so many cameos and fun surprises, from previous incarnations of Spider-Man, like Josh Keaton’s Spectacular Spider-Man, to Andy Samberg as Ben Reilly, who looks ripped out of a 90s comic book and is a brooding dim-wit in a hilarious spin on the character.  The one character that feels like they could have been fleshed out more is Issa Rae’s Jessica Drew, who looks cool and has some awesome action moments as she fights almost exclusively with her motorcycle but there’s some stuff, like her being a mentor to Gwen, that seem like they should be more important but seem more like afterthoughts.  Maybe in Beyond the Spider-Verse, she’ll have more to do.

Into the Spider-Verse pushed animation into bold new directions and Across the Spider-Verse ramps that up to spectacular new levels.  Everything about this movie is stunning and every new dimension feels unique and visually vibrant.  Gwen’s home dimension, for instance, is all soft watercolors and her look changes when she’s there compared to her being in other dimensions.  The movie is also not afraid to mix styles, so you’ll have CG Spider-Men mixed with different animation styles and even stuff like LEGO and live-action.  There are so many Easter Eggs and references for Spider-Man fans that this will definitely need to be watched again at home so you can pause and see everything going on in the background.  Just like Into the Spider-Verse, there is so much love for literally everything Spider-Man in this movie and I would be hard-pressed to see any Spider-Man go and see this and not leave with a massive grin on their face.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a masterpiece and one of the most visually stunning, gorgeously animated movies ever made along with being one of the most fun and exciting Spider-Man movies ever.  The voice cast is excellent, the action is incredible and creative and there is love for Spider-Man oozing out of the frame in every shot.  Beyond the Spider-Verse cannot get here soon enough.

Where to watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *