‘Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse’ state-of-the-art adventure
It’s hard to imagine getting excited for yet another movie about Spider-Man. Spider-Man Across The Spider-Verse is the 10th feature-length film starring the amazing acrobat, and like its predecessor Into The Spider-Verse, it not only features one Spider-Man, but several Spider-People. You would think that with the many iterations of Spider-Man on film that the answer would be to cut back.
Across The Spider-Verse goes full throttle into the other direction, making not just one of the greatest superhero films, or one of the greatest animated films, but simply put one of the greatest films of all time.
This sequel’s story largely gets told from two perspectives, one of which is from Miles Morales, who is a year and a half into his career as the web slinger. Too busy saving people to focus on his grades, Miles is at a crossroads and his loving parents are at a loss. Punishment only goes so far with a child who can turn invisible and jump out of his window unscathed. Feeling misunderstood, Miles longs to talk with the people who get what it’s like to live two lives. The other perspective is from one such person. Gwen Stacy faces a similar predicament, living with a father whose mission in life is to hunt her down.
Seeing these stories of these two characters is not only incredibly moving, but a visual spectacle. Their worlds are vastly different, with one in the art of a comic book, and the other a water-coloured wonderland. Within the film’s first few frames, you’re swept up into a surreal and mesmerising sightscape, with each scene filled with details impossible to take in.
The sheer artistry in Across The Spider-Verse is overwhelming, and it only gets more impressive in the second half with new and interesting worlds. Such as the sprawling and dense city of Mumbattan, protected by Pavitr Prabhakar, the Indian Spider-Man. Along the way, Miles meets several others, like Spider-Punk, who is more anarhcist than arachnid, and an Afro-donning Spider-Woman who rides around on a motorcycle with a bun in the oven.
That’s just the characters with dialogue. The sequel delivers a truly immeasurable number of Spider-heroes, each with their own distinct styles. As if it weren’t impressive enough, ‘Across The Spider-Verse’ also ties together its themes of destiny and belonging with a gripping and thrilling story. Miles has the weight of a multiverse on his shoulders and has to face that responsibility. He’s at times afraid, but he moves with confidence, and is far from the amateur seen in the previous film.
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse is a state-of-the-art animated adventure. It takes the boundless potential of the format and runs with it, creating a film that’s immersive and epic, and feels truly infinite. It’s got strong characters, with investing stories, and has you on the edge of your seat right up to the end. It’s the kind of film that the cinema was made for.
Damian Levy is a film critic and podcaster for Damian Michael Movies.