Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Review

Across the Spider-Verse poster
Across the Spider-Verse poster uploaded to theposterdb.com by Praytha97

Here we go, one more time. That phrase alone gives me goosebumps. After the smash hit that was Into the Spider-Verse, it was only a matter of time until fans were clamoring for more. To be honest, I think plenty of people were clamoring for more right away. The original changed the trajectory of comic book movies forever and they’ve been chasing the same success ever since. 

Ever since Toby Maguire’s initial run, Spider-Man has been a staple across popular culture. Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield have had intermediate success with the character, but Miles Morales played by Shameik Moore has truly broken the mold. It could be anybody under the mask and Miles lives that through Moore’s incredible performances. And to do that in an animated movie, especially one that is so visually diverse, is amazing. That’s a testament to incredible direction and faith in the writers to tell a good story. 

Jake Johnson and Hailee Steinfeld round out the core trio of Spider-People and they do so in spectacular fashion. Every line of dialogue is delivered with a heartfelt passion that few modern movies are able to tease out of single cast members, let alone three of them. Everyone has their own unique, witty, and intelligent dialogue. Every scene feels real and important but with that patented Spider humor interlaced through the middle. 

The original changed the trajectory of comic book movies forever and they’ve been chasing the same success ever since. 

Every Spider world had such a distinct look and feel that matched that specific Spider person’s flair. Spider-Gwen’s world was a beautiful watercolor painting. Pavitr Prabhakar’s world was richly colored and layered. And the Spider-Society! Oh my goodness, the sight gags, characters, and structure of it all was a visual feast for the ages. 

There isn’t a single wasted frame in the entire 2-hour 20-minute run time. I could have watched a three-hour version of this movie, that’s how gorgeous it was. Across the Spider-Verse has one of the most compelling comic book stories I’ve ever seen. I’m not one to compare comic book movies to other great ones, but this story is so good it has earned the #1 spot across ALL genres on Letterboxd

The best thing about Across the Spider-Verse is that nothing is dumbed down. Sure, it’s pretty and it’s funny, but it treats the audience with genuine respect. Everything makes sense, there is no hand-waiving to get out of poor writing, and there is no Maguffin thrown together at the last second. Every action has intentional reactions that ripple throughout this movie and future ones. These consequences have weight and hidden repercussions that will no doubt be revealed later on down the line in stunning fashion. 

Score: 98/100

Directed by: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson

Released: 2023

Studio: Sony Pictures Animation

Starring: Robert De Niro, Cybil Shepherd, Jodie Foster

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