Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Verdict: This animated sequel is a groundbreaking visual achievement filled with jokes, emotional depth and a fun voice cast

  • Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Issa Rae, Oscar Isaac, Jake Johnson
  • June 1st 2023
  • Joaquim Dos Santos

Miles Morales explores the multiverse even further after the new villain, the Spot, shows up in his dimension.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has a lot to live up to considering its predecessor, Into the Spider-Verse, won the Oscar (and more) – but it somehow manages to do it.

Sixteen months after the events of the first film, Miles Morales/Spider-Man (voiced by Shameik Moore) and Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman (Hailee Steinfeld) are back in their own dimensions.

However, they are forced to reunite and team up with other Spider-People following the arrival of the Spot (Jason Schwartzman), a scientist with interdimensional portals on his body.

The original movie was an inventive, groundbreaking visual achievement and this manages to go one better. The way it seamlessly blends various animation styles, sometimes in the same frame, will blow your mind. It is vibrant, unique and technically astounding.

But it’s not a case of style over substance – the film has a good story too, with plenty of emotional depth and dramatic stakes and exciting action sequences.

Yet, thanks to comedy geniuses Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who wrote the script with David Callaham, the film is also incredibly funny and filled with many sight gags, witty one-liners and subtle jokes you might miss on the first go.

If you thought the first film contained a lot of Spider-People, then wait until you check this out. There are so many multiverse variants of Spider-Man packed in here and a sequence in their HQ is the most entertaining portion of the film.

Naturally, given the sheer amount of characters on display, there are a lot of voice actors in the mix. The standouts were Daniel Kaluuya as Hobie/Spider-Punk, a Cockney bloke, Schwartzman as the nerdy scientist, and the hilarious Karan Soni as Spider-Man India.

But the film is not a complete success. The runtime is excessive at 2 hours and 20 minutes and it doesn’t feel like a standalone story but more like the first half of a two-part movie. Also, it can be visually chaotic and overwhelming at times and hard to follow what’s going on.

It may not be a masterpiece but it comes pretty close. It ticks all the boxes, has something for everyone, and is a surefire bet for the Best Animation Oscar next year.

In cinemas from Friday 2nd June.

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