HomeFilm‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ review

‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ review

After the Oscar winning success of ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’, it seemed near on impossible for the filmmakers to recreate this ‘lightning in a bottle’ moment, not only for superhero movies or animation in general, but for absorbing, character-based storytelling of the highest order. ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ has now arrived in cinemas and they’ve managed to do it again – but this time on a much broader canvas – and one that requires a third film to convey its entire narrative. ‘Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse’ is incoming in 2024, but before that, ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ delivers one of the best films of the year, and a visual experience you’ve honestly never witnessed before. This is ground-breaking animation that utterly absorbs the senses.

The story picks up with Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) getting comfortable with being his universe’s only Spider-Man. He’s getting by at school too, but his crime-fighting distractions have not gone unnoticed by his worried parents Rio (Luna Lauren Velez) and Jefferson (Brian Tyree Henry). They suspect it’s just normal teenage angst to work through, but Miles is struggling. Missing Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Miles feels like he’s alone, not being able to tell anyone that he’s Spider-Man. Then one day, Gwen appears to visit him. He’s delighted, but soon realises that her appearance after such a long time must have an underlying reason… one that will shake the very foundations of the entire spider-verse and force Miles to make an impossible choice.

I won’t go into the plot in any more detail because this is a film that should be experienced without any spoilers. Its narrative is so expertly and intricately woven across multiple characters and scenarios, that the cinematic experience of going in cold really does elevate the whole adventure. ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ is a simply stunning endeavour on every front – a movie that easily stands as one of the best films of the year and one that offers its audience a spectacular abundance of riches. This story is vast and expansive in its scope. But its also one of the tightest narratives I’ve ever seen onscreen. Literally every character is explored perfectly and given the necessary time to really convey what they need to. The dialogue is emotionally charged and completely gripping, and the action is second to none. This film has stakes that matter, and you feel it in every frame.

And speaking of frames, every single second of this film is a work of art. It’s staggering just how beautiful ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ looks onscreen. The visual style of the first film was a huge part of its Academy Award winning success, but somehow, they have topped this feat yet again. Gorgeously rendered and adopting styles and artistic flourishes that not only differentiate character paths and locations, but themes and emotion too, ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ delivers truly outstanding creativity by visual artists at the very top of their game. Innovative and evocative, fully expect this film to win an Oscar again next year.

The cast are wonderful across the board – and it’s a huge ensemble too. Shameik Moore leads the film brilliantly and is the beating heart and soul of this story. Hailee Steinfeld’s Spider-Gwen has a lot more to do in this movie, and her own character path is a massive factor in the film’s success. Luna Lauren Velez and Brian Tyree Henry are integral to the narrative’s brilliance. Oscar Isaac is imposing as Spider-Man 2099 and Jason Schwartzman is perfectly cast as The Spot. Elsewhere there are very memorable turns from Jake Johnson, Issa Rae, Daniel Kaluuya, Karan Soni and Andy Samberg.

‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ is simply unmissable. Compelling and engrossing, with a superb vocal cast of talent and visuals that will leave your jaw firmly rooted to the ground. With some genuine magic thrown in for good measure too, this is one of the finest superhero movies of all time. It’s also a film that you’ll need to see multiple times, if just to spot all of the easter eggs and cool additions woven in. Plus the score and soundtrack are amazing, lending the film even more emotional weight and purpose. Make sure you see this on as big a screen as possible (and in IMAX if you can) because the viewing experience is something that you won’t forget. ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ is a stunning and remarkable film that hits every high. Outstanding.

Cast: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Luna Lauren Velez, Brian Tyree Henry, Oscar Isaac, Jason Schwartzman, Jake Johnson, Issa Rae, Daniel Kaluuya, Karan Soni, Andy Samberg Director: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson Writer: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Dave Callaham Certificate: PG Duration: 140 mins Released by: Sony Release date: 2nd June 2023

Jason Palmer
Jason Palmerhttp://www.entertainment-focus.com
Jason is a film contributor for Entertainment Focus (EF) bringing you the latest news and reviews from the movie world.

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After the Oscar winning success of ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’, it seemed near on impossible for the filmmakers to recreate this 'lightning in a bottle' moment, not only for superhero movies or animation in general, but for absorbing, character-based storytelling of the highest order....‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ review