A Visual Spectacle: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Takes Animation to New Heights
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse swung into theaters this week and it has exceeded the expectations of critics and audiences. Creating a sequel is always challenging as it not only raises the question of surpassing the 2021 film but will it contain the same ethos, dynamic storytelling, and development of its characters while thickening the plot.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin K. Thompson, and Kemp Powers, elevated the innovative animation seen in Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse. Released on June 2, this film awakens one’s imagination and absorbs audiences into its multiple dimensions while being more visually stunning than the first. It shows viewers to think about the world we live in and that heroism, morality, and selfishness can have consequences that ripple through many societies.
Shameik Moore reprises his voice role as Miles Morales, where we see the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man further develop his relationship with Gwen Stacey (Hailee Steinfeld). Miles is catapulted across the multiverse discovering a team of Spider-People policing the multiverse from the dangers that lie within it. The comic masterpiece shows Miles fighting with the other Spiders on how to handle a new threat that could destroy the multiverse and their loved ones within it. Audiences witness the pressures Miles faces being Spider-Man while grappling with the turmoil of clashing with the other Spiders and redefining what a hero looks like.
Besides Steinfeld and Moore reprising their voice roles, returning cast members in this animated masterpiece include Jake Johson (Peter B. Parker), Brian Tyree Henry (Jefferson Davis), Oscar Isaac (Spider-Man 2099), and Luna Lauren Velez (Rio Morales). The Spider-Verse also welcomes newcomers Issa Rae (pregnant Spider-Woman) and Daniel Kaluuya (British punk rocker Spider-Man). The cast delivers notable performances containing a range of emotions, comedic one-liners, and superhero trials and tribulations. Throughout the movie, we get the chance to see Miles and Gwen have a register that clearly expresses their youth, heroism, and personhood.
The soundtrack for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse produced by Metro Boomin will once again be in the zeitgeist of pop culture. Bringing on a roster of 20 dynamic artists, Metro Boomin once again tapped Swae Lee, Lil Wayne, and Coi Leray to be a part of the Spider-Verse.
Newcomers to the Spider-Verse, such as James Blakes and Wizkid, created tracks that complimented the animation as seen in the first film. This soundtrack added an extra level of depth to the movie that heightened the emotion and actions in scenes. Blake’s track, ‘Hummingbird,’ is one instance where audience members could feel the ethos of the Spider-Verse musically. The soundtrack and visuals complimented each other so well that they created a holistic experience where audiences could transport themselves into the film and feel what the Spider-Verse trilogy is about heroism, morality, and challenging the ideas of power.
As complimentary as the animation and soundtrack were, this film was hard to follow at times because of all the characters it contained. It felt sometimes the plot was diverged because it had to show all of the cooks in the kitchen. Miles fighting and trying to unite the multiverse has become complex and the creators must now walk on this tightrope where one wrong move could lose audiences in the shuffle of the thickened plot.
However, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse deserves every ounce of applause because, after five years of patiently waiting for a sequel, the audience’s expectations have truly been delivered. My biggest “flaw” with the film, selfishly, is that audiences will have to wait 10 more months until the final Spider-Verse movie, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse comes out.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a testament to the creative mind of the filmmakers behind this production. With a budget of $100 million and a runtime of 140 minutes, the film is the longest animated film produced in the United States, this movie has surpassed expectations and will leave a lasting impact on the film industry.
Be sure to catch the all new Sony Pictures Animation film Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse in theaters only. Check out “Link Up (Spider-Verse Remix)” by Metro Boomin, Don Toliver, Wizkid, BEAM and Toian via Republic Records below!
This independent review and related artwork for “SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE” are unofficial and not affiliated with Sony Pictures Animation or Marvel Entertainment. They do not represent an official endorsement and are intended for personal, non-commercial use. Any trademarks referenced are property of their respective owners, with no copyright infringement intended or implied.