Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was a game changer. The 2018 movie introduced a dynamic and exhilarating animation style that matched the energy of its characters and the depth of its storytelling. A breathtaking game changer, the film challenged the status quo of what an animated film could be. Into the Spider-Verse took full advantage of everything that animation technology could offer and told one of the most compelling, heartfelt superhero stories ever.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse builds and expands on that solid foundation. The exciting animation remains as alive as when Sony introduced it five years ago. It seamlessly weaves traditional hand-drawn animation and complex digital techniques. Each frame is rife with color and movement. Animators carefully craft sceneries to be aesthetically pleasing and alive. They warmly react to the characters they hold.

This is not just a master class in world-building and animation, it is the holy grail that all aspiring filmmakers should desperately seek. Each of the characters has a distinct animation style defining what universe they are from. Different settings, whether Brooklyn, Nueva York, or Mumbattan, are exploding with so much detail that one viewing is insufficient to soak it all in. The sources for imagery inspiration are interminable. Da Vinci’s sketches, Impressionist watercolor imagery, pop art, and of course comic book art all imbue the canvas with their particularities.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

The animation may be the body of Across the Spider-Verse, but the heart and soul are Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) and Miles Morales (Shameik Moore). The film, directed by the trio of Kemp Powers, Joaquim Dos Santos, and Justin K. Thompson, explores the everyday challenges regular teenager face. Poignant scenes etched with anxiety and anguish both experience when deciding whether to share their truth with loved ones will resonate with viewers in more ways than one.

The greatest challenges they face, their greatest fears, and their most ambitious aspirations are not unique to superheroes. They are shared by all, regardless of whether they wear Spidey’s mask. Special care is taken in animating the characters. Subtle changes to their appearance make viewers feel they are witnessing their friends grow up. It is a small detail that allows audiences to connect with these characters.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Throughout the multi-versal travels, Across the Spider-Verse introduces new characters, each with their nuances. There’s Hobart “Hobie” Brown aka Spider-Punk (Daniel Kaluuya), an anti-establishment rocker. Jessica Drew (Issa Rae) is a very pregnant, motorcycle-riding Spider-Woman. Pavitr Prabhakar (Karan Soni) is the charismatic smooth-talking Spider-Man India with hair to die for. Miguel O’Hara (Oscar Isaac) is a no-nonsense Spider-Man 2099 with no time for the humor typically associated with the character. Each of them is part of the Spider Society. They protect the events of canon that carefully hold the Multiverse in place. Along with Gwen and Miles, they demonstrate the path to being a hero is not paved in stone.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

For every hero, there must also be a villain. Across the Spider-Verse introduces a lesser-known foe from the Spider-Man canon who is more formidable than they initially seem. The unique traits Spot (Jason Schwartzman) possesses catch the attention of the Spider-Society. Animators also used these abilities to create one of the most imaginative and hilarious fight scenes in recent movie memory.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse achieves something amazing. It is The Empire Strikes Back to A New Hope; The Dark Knight to Batman Begins. The movie takes the action, humor, heart, style, and storytelling from its predecessor and cranks it up to an eleven. It is an exhilarating ride from start to finish, swinging its audiences along on a unique, imaginative sensory dream through the Multiverse. It dares to tear down the canon its characters ironically swear to protect, only to piece it back together in new and exciting ways. As the movie progresses, the stakes increase and urgency permeates from one scene to the next. And even though a last-second twist threatens to overflow a cup already filled to the brim, it leaves audiences in absolute awe of the extra sensorial spectacle they just witnessed and excited for what lies Beyond the Spider-Verse.

Borja’s Rating: 10/10

What do you think of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse? Let us know in the comments below! Watch it in theaters on June 2, 2023.

Please check out other Sunshine State Cineplex reviews here!

Leave a Reply