Going into this one, I wondered how they could possibly top 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. And honestly, I didn’t expect them to.
However, that’s precisely what they did. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is even more visually stunning than its predecessor. And the storyline is even more compelling and brilliantly crafted. This isn’t a film you can see just once. You’ll need multiple viewings to take it all in!
So what’s the story here? Approximately one year following the events of Into the Spider-Verse, this film brings back together Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) and Gwen Stacey (Hailee Steinfeld), who find themselves grappling with the challenges of leading double lives in their separate realities. It’s not long before Miles Morales is catapulting across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. When the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles must redefine what it means to be a hero.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Movie Trailer
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Movie Review: What I Did and Didn’t Like
There’s very little about this film that I didn’t absolutely love. The visuals were breathtaking, and the narrative kept me fully engaged. The animation was incredibly fluid, creating an immersive experience reminiscent of a dynamic living comic book.
The humor was delightful, effortlessly woven into the story without ever feeling contrived or cheesy. Furthermore, the voice cast delivered an outstanding performance, breathing life into these characters with remarkable skill.
But let’s dive in a bit deeper on the animation.
The animation in Into the Spider-Verse was already remarkable in 2018. However, Across the Spider-Verse surpasses its predecessor by pushing the boundaries even further. It showcases an expressive, immersive, and constantly evolving fusion of animation styles that elevates every scene to new heights. Whether it’s the inventive use of comic book aesthetics or the breathtakingly vibrant color palettes, the film consistently captivates with its visually stunning presentation.
Not to mention, there’s so much happening visually in every scene, that a number of easter eggs might not jump out at fans until a second or third viewing of the film. And although the animation serves as the standout feature of the movie, it is the genuine human connection at the core of the narrative that brings everything together seamlessly. At a certain moment, the meticulously designed characters become so authentic that you become immersed in their world, and their emotions transcend the screen, intertwining with reality.
The movie embraces the secret sauce from the first film while still expanding its scope and admirably retaining its heartfelt essence. At its core, it remains a compelling coming-of-age story, exploring the challenges of grappling with immense power.
It does a brilliant job of delving into themes of identity, responsibility, love, and growing up. And while it does incorporate certain familiar elements seen in superhero movies, such as the villain’s grandiose scheme, it maintains a remarkably fresh and inventive approach from start to finish.
My only gripe isn’t even a real gripe. I just wasn’t a fan of being left on a cliffhanger and knowing I’ll have to wait till next March to see how this story wraps up. Thankfully, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse will hit theaters in less than a year on March 29, 2024. We’ll just have to cross our fingers that the current writers’ strike won’t have an impact or cause a delay on the movie.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a testament to the genuine passion and creative brilliance behind its making. Simply put, it’s a smart and radiant work of art. Its mesmerizing visuals, breathtaking action sequences, countless easter eggs, and deeply touching storyline make it a film that warrants multiple viewings.
And while it’s still early in the year, I can confidently say that it will be a massive challenge for any other animated movie releasing this year to surpass the excellence of this movie come award season. It not only claims the title of the best animated film thus far in 2023. But, in my book, it also solidifies its place among the very best animated films of all time. The overwhelming hype and critical praise it has garnered are wholly deserved. This Spider-Man is a must-see in theaters.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Movie Review:
Note: FanBolt’s Featured Image is fan art created by FanBolt purely for the love of design and fan culture. (We’re movie and design nerds). The property and fandom inspire the artwork, and no infringement is/was intended. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is the property of Sony.