The most anticipated superhero movie of the year has arrived. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse, the long-awaited sequel to 2018’s animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, is finally in theaters after years of rumors, fan theories, and pushed-back release dates. The second part of everyone’s favorite super-powered Black Latino teen’s coming-of-age story is sure to get fans out to see the film, but is the movie good enough to make them love it just as much as the first one? Let’s get into it.
Shameik Moore (Dope, Cut Throat City, Wu-Tang: An American Saga) and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Hawkeye, Dickinson) reprise their role as Miles Morales and Gwen Stacey and they are straight-up fantastic. Both display great chemistry with the rest of the cast and play their characters with a level of sincerity rarely seen in animated films. Similar praises can be said about the supporting cast as well, everyone who stepped to a mic to record for this movie put legitimate effort to bring their characters to life.
After waiting five years for a movie to develop, audiences expect to see visuals that will obliterate their already high standards. Luckily for the fans, Spider-Man does exactly that. Not only is the film filled with awesome action and animated with high energy, but it also looks gorgeous. Every character, every setting, and every prop contain detailed and wildly stylized elements that make them stand out. If a character is not in their home universe, the clashing visuals will indicate it better than words could. The bright, fast-moving, and conflicting optics may come as a headache to some viewers, but if you can stand it, they really are something to admire.
Across the Spider-verse manages to capture the heart of the first movie and multiply it by three. Since the story doesn’t have to stop and introduce the protagonists and explain their motivations like it’s predecessor, it’s able to use it’s 2 hour and 15 minute runtime to instead further explore the relationships from Into the Spider-verse and give them even more depth. The dialogue sounds so real and genuine that it’s hard not to relate to the thughts and emotions they’re expressing. So whenever a main character is put in peril during an intense action scene, the audience has devloped such a connection to them they’re able to feel the same levels of desperation and urgency as the heroes trying to save them.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse is not just a great sequel, it’s better than the first. All the ideas introduced in the previous one both narratively and visually are built upon significantly. Everyone who worked on this project enjoyed themselves deeply and it really shows in the final product. And if the third one coming out next year sticks the landing on this incredible run, Miles Morales’s story will go down as the best Spider-Man saga ever put to screen.