“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” delivered a visually stunning, musically intriguing film that left audiences begging for more screentime with beloved characters, both old and new.
While “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” followed Miles Morales and his early journey into taking on the role of a superhero, the heavily anticipated sequel looks deeper into the personal relationships he has developed during the time between the two movies. From conflicts with his parents to a special visit from Gwen Stacy, the movie allows the audience have more of an insight into who Miles truly is. The dive into Miles’ personal life coupled with his adventures throughout the multiverse with Gwen make for an adventure-packed film with surprises and hidden gems at every twist and turn.
The movie begins with a glimpse into Gwen’s life after the loss of her best friend. She struggles to come to terms with the past while keeping her Spider-Woman identity hidden from her police captain father who is out to solve the murder of Peter Parker. As she takes on another villain, Gwen encounters Miguel O’Hara and Jess Drew, who invite her to join a secret society of interdimensional Spider-people who work together to keep their respective homes safe from evil.
When the audience last saw Miles, he was embracing the responsibilities of his newfound superhero status and returning to his dimension after his time with Gwen. When we meet him again during “Across the Spider-Verse,” he is in his junior year of high school and attempting to balance grades and saving his city. Miles’ newfound comfort in his role as Spider-Man is fun to watch as a viewer because you see the evolution and growth from his unfamiliarity in the first film.
Miles and Gwen reunite, only to realize a new villain called the Spot is out wreaking havoc again. As a result, the duo is thrust into a high-stakes chase of the Spot throughout different Earths where they encounter new Spider-
Men such as Pavitr Prabhakar, Spider-Man India; and Hobie Brown, Spider-Punk; and the film begins to pick up the pace. . The interactions between all the characters made for a comedic, well-rounded group that had the audience audibly reacting to various scenes. Additionally, seeing a diverse cast of Spider characters that mesh well into the storyline was a wonderful highlight throughout the movie. Each character had a unique, original personality that came together with the rest of the group to create some of the most memorable scenes in the film.
As the gang tries to uncover what’s going on with the Spot, the movie brings more depth to Mile’s character and his specific circumstances as Spider-Man, allowing for the audience to slowly put together the pieces of his puzzle. One of the things I admire most about Marvel films is their ability to foreshadow and reference previous films. This movie delivered on that front, making it an extra engaging watch for big fans like myself as we searched for the details throughout the film.
The first Spider-Verse movie was applauded for its beautiful animation and the sequel did not disappoint. The attention to detail and dedication to high-quality art that the animators created came through in the final product. Each Earth was unique and artistically distinct in style. Highlights included Gwen’s Earth, Earth-65, which had a color scheme reflective of her emotions, and Pavitr’s Earth, Earth-50101, which had an India-America combined aesthetic with the city of Mumbattan. My personal favorite universe was the Lego Earth which was animated by a 14-year old YouTuber. However, the best part of the animation was Hobie Brown’s character design. His eye-catching punk -rock aesthetic used experimental animation technology to create a breathtaking visual that stood out amongst the already gorgeous film. Combined with his humor and carefree attitude, Hobie was a stand-out in every scene he was in.
Another spectacular aspect of the film was the soundtrack. Produced by Metro Boomin, the album featured some of the most popular artists of our time such as Future and 21 Savage. Swae Lee made a reappearance in the Spider-Verse after his popular 2018 track “Sunflower” with Post Malone. This time, he returned with Lil Wayne and Offset for the opening track titled “Annihilate.” The best part about the music of the film was how well it kept up with the high-energy vibes of the movie. Every song on the album fits into the scene it is assigned to like a custom glove, enrapturing the audience into the overall experience of the movie. The soundtrack alone makes the film a must watch for how well-incorporated it was. My favorite track on the album was “Am I Dreaming” by Metro Boomin, A$AP Rocky, and Roisee because it felt like being transported into the brightly colored, dreamlike worlds that were shown throughout the movie.
Despite being over two hours long, “Spiderman: Across the Spiderverse” makes you feel as if no time has passed while watching it. In fact, it leaves the audience desperate to continue with the story line that they established throughout those two hours. The movie was the satisfying sequel that fans had been waiting for, and I look forward to seeing what comes next for Miles and his story.