Ladies and gentlemen, they pulled it off. There have been months of speculation, with fans wondering whether Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse would live up to its hype and deliver a film worthy of following its predecessor. Not only do Phil Lord and Christopher Miller craft an outstanding sequel, but a pure and eloquent work of art deserving of a Best Picture nod at next year’s Oscars.
It’s only natural to go into this film with towering expectations, given that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is hailed as one of the best Spider-Man and animated movies of all time. After overwhelmingly positive first reactions began pouring in, our deepest desires became reality.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a monumental cinematic achievement worthy of succeeding the 2018 classic. This film shatters any preconceived boundaries with confidence and delivers the best animated movie of all time.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse review: A cinematic achievement worth celebrating
We’ve overcome a lot to get to this point. Following multiple delays and a nearly five-year absence after the original film, you can tell from the opening seconds it’s worth the wait. It’s evident the creators did not spend this time going through script rewrites or last-second reshoots, but instead putting every ounce of their heart into creating a product they’re proud of. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse boasts many impressive qualities, but headlining them all is the awe-inspiring animation.
The animation department does a phenomenal job differentiating between worlds. Not just with grass growing on the buildings or opposite color stoplights, but with unique stylistic choices that make each universe stand out with flare. At times, it feels like if it wasn’t handled as delicately as it is, you’d be experiencing sensory overload with all the colors and distinct designs popping off the screen; but this isn’t the case. You just leave feeling like you need multiple sets of eyes to truly appreciate its beauty.
I cannot speak highly enough about the music in this movie, both the soundtrack and the score. It comes as no surprise that the soundtrack is a smash hit given the original immortalized several songs in pop culture; you can expect Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse to do the same.
The film’s original score, composed by Daniel Pemberton, compliments the action set-pieces and heartfelt moments with unrivaled passion. Some of the same familiar notes from the original score can be heard, but are utilized in different ways to fit a new story for Miles Morales.
One of the biggest questions heading into this film was always going to be the story. We had no right to doubt the creators in the first place, but it seemed unfathomable to craft a story as well-executed as the original.
To no one’s surprise, writers Lord and Miller have developed a narrative that feels not only personal for Miles, but for the many other characters as well. This is no longer just about Miles, and while he is still unmistakably at the center of this story, every character is fleshed out to perfection.
Iconic voice performances in ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’
Oscar Isaac is this movie’s biggest standout. His performance deserves all the recognition and praise it’s bound to receive over the coming months. Miguel O’Hara is Spider-Man like we’ve never seen him. He is an overwhelmingly confident man on a mission—determined and driven, but lacking the quippy sense of humor found in his counterparts Peter and Miles. Whether it’s his capability, fear, or aggression, Isaac’s raw emotion bleeds through every line and commands the audience’s attention.
Hailee Steinfeld and Shameik Moore have unrivaled chemistry by way of Miles and Gwen. This is part of what makes the first film so charming, the aspect of finding friendship in unlikely places, but at this point it’s second nature to them. When you structure much of your story around a relationship between two characters, you need a rock-solid foundation. Steinfeld and Moore’s chemistry not only holds under pressure, it elevates the film to unparalleled highs.
After Insomniac’s Spider-Man made an appearance in the trailer, it was no secret that Sony was pulling out all the stops. They spare no expense in the cameo department and deliver a Spider-crew that will have multiple generations of Spider-Man fans jumping for joy.
Although not everyone is given something useful to do, this in no way feels like cheap fan service. You’d need a 10-hour movie to give every Spider-person something useful to do. Just enjoy the ride and revel in the fact that this movie exists, as it is a true filmmaking achievement.
My only (very minor) complaint about Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is the ending. While I’m aware this is only the first part in a two-part story, the movie essentially ends right at the start of the climax. It feels very much like a five-hour story of which we’ve seen the first two and a half hours, as opposed to a two-and-a-half-hour story that fits into a larger narrative. It’s an effective cliffhanger tactic that I’m sure some people will love, but it threw me off a bit.
‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ is the new best ‘Spider-Man’ movie
This is the kind of movie that needs multiple viewings to fully appreciate. Fans will undoubtedly find new things to enjoy on repeat watches, as this film is likely loaded with easter eggs that are easy to miss when you’re caught in the awe of experiencing it for the first time.
It’s not hyperbole to say that what Sony has accomplished with the first two Spider-Verse projects is historic. Every single frame is infused with such intricate detail that you just can’t help but admire what you’re watching. Expect Across the Spider-Verse to enjoy even more success and praise than its predecessor. Run, do not walk, to a theater to see this movie, and make no mistake, you’re watching the best Spider-Man movie ever made.
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'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' Review'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' Review
- Breathtaking animation
- Personal and heartfelt story
- Unbelievable score and soundtrack
- Ending feels very sudden