SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE Review; "A Jaw-Dropping Spectacle And An Instant Marvel Classic"

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE Review; "A Jaw-Dropping Spectacle And An Instant Marvel Classic"

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is now playing, and you'd better prepare yourselves for not only one of the best superhero movies ever made, but the most groundbreaking animated feature ever put on film.

Review Opinion
By JoshWilding - Jun 01, 2023 05:06 PM EST
Filed Under: Into The Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has been a very long time coming. When Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was released way back in 2018 (that’s right, it’s been nearly half a decade…), it’s fair to say most of us didn’t expect it to be quite that groundbreaking. To say expectations for this sequel are high would be an understatement, but the movie exceeds them. And then some. Believe the hype because Miles Morales’ big screen return is an absolute triumph, a dazzling sight to behold, and one of the greatest superhero movies ever made. It's also a masterpiece in terms of animated filmmaking. 

Picking up just over a year after the events of Into the Spider-Verse, this follow-up sees Miles having grown comfortable with his role as Brooklyn’s Spider-Man, only to encounter an unexpected new foe in The Spot. Things quickly escalate from there as the teenager finds himself dragged into another Multiversal adventure, albeit one that looks set to have consequences for every single Spider-Man in existence. Along the way, we watch as he clashes with the strangely sinister Spider-Man 2099, learn more about Spider-Gwen’s backstory, and get hit with some major twists and revelations which turn everything we thought we knew about this character on its head. 

Across the Spider-Verse is, in many respects, half a movie. With "To Be Continued…" quite literally slapped on the end, it may be appreciated most when watched alongside next March’s Beyond the Spider-Verse. However, this is still a phenomenal outing in its own right and a love letter to all things Spider-Man. There are cameos galore and a new spin on the mythology which deepens Spidey’s place in the wider Multiverse; ambitious, bold, and often breathtaking, it’s impossible to think of another animated movie this captivating and unique. 

Seeing as this is the first part of what will eventually likely be a four or five-hour story, directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson are given the chance to delve deeper into these characters. That means we’re allowed the opportunity to explore new worlds and get to know these heroes rather than just having a random bunch of characters from the comics thrown onto the screen. As entertaining as the likes of Spider-Ham and Spider-Man Noir were last time around, it’s not unfair to say they were largely forgettable, especially as we never really got to see too far beyond their respective punchlines and unique animated stylings. Even with much smaller roles than Miles and Gwen, the likes of Pavitr Prabhakar and Spider-Punk have a whole lot more depth and leave a lasting impact, as a result.

While its predecessor’s visuals were on another level, Across the Spider-Verse somehow manages to push the boundaries even further, delivering dizzying sequences which are groundbreaking not only for animation but the genre as a whole. This is Spider-Man as you’ve never seen him (or them) before and the Academy might as well go ahead and give the movie that "Best Animated Feature" Oscar now. Each viewing is likely to herald new discoveries and not even Pixar is quite this ballsy and, dare we say it, revolutionary, these days.

Shameik Moore is the MVP as Miles thanks to a soulful and stirring performance, while Hailee Steinfeld makes the most of a spectacular co-starring role for Gwen Stacy. Jason Schwartzman impresses with a suitably deranged take on The Spot, while Oscar Isaac really sinks his teeth into Miguel O’Hara. We don’t get as much of the latter as expected, but the Moon Knight star lends a suitable amount of gravitas to the role and adds some much-needed layers to a character who then becomes a complicated, compelling antagonist. The massive supporting cast is too vast to mention, but rest assured that everyone brings their all to this movie, and the surprises are definitely best enjoyed in theaters rather than read online beforehand. 

It would be all too easy to endlessly compare Across the Spider-Verse to Into the Spider-Verse; which movie has the better soundtrack? The better roster of Spider-Heroes? The more powerful story? Ultimately, they’re simply too different to put side-by-side in that way, but no matter which becomes your favourite, everything you loved about that 2018 effort is here, albeit with the addition of new ideas that take this franchise into the stratosphere. Most astonishing is that, even with the stakes so high, Across the Spider-Verse is still a deeply personal story. The conflict which drives Miles is both a universe-ending threat and 100% Spider-Man, making it clear the hero's roots have by no means been forgotten or overshadowed. After the cliffhanger, only time will tell whether the story wraps up in a way that leaves us with a series of movies that go down as the best superhero trilogy ever made, but right now, the signs are definitely pointing in that direction. 

A contender for the best Spider-Man film yet and easily the greatest animated movie ever made, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a jaw-dropping spectacle, a feast for the senses, and an instant Marvel classic. [⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐]

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ModHaterSLADE - 6/1/2023, 6:01 PM
The first is a classic if you're into animated comic based media IMO, and this looks even better with the expanded cast. Good year to be a Spider-Man fan.
Deklipz - 6/1/2023, 6:08 PM
@ModHaterSLADE - I’ve heard good things about the first but I can’t watch that style of animation where they skip every other frame. It gives me severe migraines. This sounds fun but I couldn’t even watch the trailers for this.
Kadara - 6/1/2023, 9:57 PM
@Deklipz - Oh then this will definitely give you migraines, animation style keeps changing (because of story) but I loved it.
Deklipz - 6/2/2023, 6:43 AM
@Kadara - Thank you for the heads up! Love Spidey so I was disappointed in the choice for the style across the first movie I grew I was hoping that with the different style be better but if it’s chaotic on top of the skippy-style as well I’ll have to give it a hard pass. 😕
Deklipz - 6/2/2023, 6:44 AM
@Deklipz - *autocorrect derped me through that reply apologies for the idiot speak…
Kadara - 6/2/2023, 1:34 PM
@Deklipz - Haha no worries, I was able to understand everything 😊
StSteven - 6/1/2023, 6:09 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it sounds like Josh REALLY liked this movie. I could be wrong. I've been wrong before. But I don't think so here. Hold on, let me go back and reread his review...

Nope, I'm pretty sure that he REALLY liked the movie. At least 11% sure...
Hoot3 - 6/1/2023, 6:45 PM
When you over-use "jaw-dropping" so much like this the adjective just loses all meaning...
AllsGood - 6/1/2023, 6:50 PM
I will be checking out Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse tomorrow afternoon by myself. Just the first movie I have no family or friends this movie.
Kadara - 6/1/2023, 9:58 PM
@AllsGood - I went by myself too. Long live the solo people!
NGFB - 6/1/2023, 8:27 PM
Yawn. Too. Much. Spider-Man. And a really annoying "animation" style.
OriginalGusto1 - 6/1/2023, 9:46 PM
@NGFB - duh. spider verse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OriginalGusto1 - 6/1/2023, 9:47 PM
I'm kidding. I hate when they hold back a character
GhostDog - 6/1/2023, 9:33 PM
This movie was amazing and very well might be my favorite Spider-Man film ever
Toonstrack - 6/1/2023, 9:46 PM
I just got out.

If you have any love for comics at all... any love for superheroes you owe it to yourself to watch this movie...

This is literally a comic book moving before your very eyes. There is nothing like it.

Stay off social media regarding this movie, the ending is shocking and will be everywhere. Go in blind.

One of the best cbms ever made.
OriginalGusto1 - 6/1/2023, 9:49 PM
@Toonstrack - That's how you lured me to Green Lantern! Perv!!!!!!!!
Toonstrack - 6/1/2023, 9:51 PM
@OriginalGusto1 - You WERE BEGGING FOR IT
OriginalGusto1 - 6/1/2023, 9:51 PM
A performance for the ages...here, sip this nyquil. shhhhh...ryan reynozzzzzzz
OriginalGusto1 - 6/1/2023, 9:52 PM
@Toonstrack - lol...seriouslyh, the block button is too close to the like button....nate!!!!!!!!!
OriginalGusto1 - 6/1/2023, 9:53 PM
@Toonstrack - for the record....I also paid for it.
OriginalGusto1 - 6/1/2023, 9:54 PM
jokes...scroll up.
Kadara - 6/1/2023, 10:21 PM
@Toonstrack - 100% agree. I've never had the urge to watch movie twice while they are in theatre still but this is making me change my mind!
Kadara - 6/1/2023, 9:56 PM
Please don't insult this movie by branding it with Marvel. The jokes were actually hilarious, my whole theatre kept laughing out loud! And the soundtrack omg, last Sony picture that had this kind of amazing soundtrack was Street Fighter the animated movie!
Humperdoo - 6/2/2023, 12:56 AM
“An instant Sony Classic” Fixed it for you.
Urubrodi - 6/2/2023, 4:17 AM
@Humperdoo - There was nothing to fix, it's a Sony movie based on Marvel characters, it did not mean that was made by Marvel Studios, anyone with half a brain cell, especially in a site full of nerds, can make that distinction.
gonzor - 6/2/2023, 8:12 AM
This is easily the best comic book movie since The Dark Knight. Possibly even the best ever.

I've seen better animated films, but this is up there.

If they hit the homerun next year, this trilogy will kill it.
gonzor - 6/2/2023, 8:14 AM
@gonzor - Honestly - this movie is going to kill it at the box office. I just watched it and already want to go back in for a second round.
Shivermetimbers - 6/2/2023, 11:13 AM
I feel strange. I enjoyed the movie, but did not find it quite worthy of the praise everyone is heaping on it. It felt too long, was disjointed, overly busy, and its an incomplete story. I HATED the ending. That said, it was still enjoyable and had some great heart and action with less humor than the last time. YMMV.
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