June 1, 2023

CINEMA | A Spectacular 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse'

"He's barely a villain of the week!"
Shameik Moore Phil Lord Christopher Miller | Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Sony Pictures Animation / Lord Miller Productions
Acclaimed Oscar-winning co-writers/producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller return to the animated Spider-Verse world for the spectacular multiversal superhero sequel Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. This is a visually wondrous and maximalist adventure jam-packed with heart and tons of emotional resonance.

Directed by a new trio of filmmakers, animator Joaquim Dos Santos, playwright Kemp Powers, and designer Justin K. Thompson, Across the Spider-Verse is hardly a retread or more of the same. Lord, Miller, and their team of insanely talented artists unleash a torrent of dazzling experimental visual animation with another epic story focused on fate and the ramifications of every Spider-Man's origins.

Things start with Hailee Steinfeld's Spider-Gwen and her own tragic backstory before revisiting Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) roughly a year after the events of Into the Spider-Verse. It's truly impressive how quickly the filmmakers have surrounded Miles with so many important and significant supporting characters outside the usual Peter Parker cannon.

Shameik Moore Phil Lord Christopher Miller | Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

There are so many new characters and cameos with Issa Rae, Daniel Kaluuya, and Oscar Isaac voicing the main new Spider-Man variants from other universes who must team up with Miles and Gwen to defeat the hilariously interdimensional D-list villain, The Spot (Jason Schwartzman).

Lord, Miller, and David Callaham's script packs so much (almost too much) into the 140-minute film with so many bold ideas, new universes, and various Spider-Men in the first part of an expanded story that ends on a cliffhanger to be continued in Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse to be released in 2024.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse impressively manages to both live up to and extend the joyous sense of fun and delight of the original film while expanding its own animated world of infintite possibilites. The stylish sequel shows so much love and reverance to every version of the friendly neighbourhood superhero beyond the usual comic book fare.

More | YVArcade / Inverse / ScreenCrush / Vox

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