Across the Spider-Verse I Review by: Amanda Guarragi
When we first meet Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), he is a bright young man with a loving set of parents. Like all Spider-Man tales, a couple of defining moments push him into becoming the hero he was always meant to be. At first, it was a leap of faith to learn how to be Spider-Man, thanks to Peter Parker (Jake Johnson). But now, in Across the Spider-Verse, Morales has to contend with his fate as Spider-Man by doing impossible things across dimensions. What creators Phil Lord and Christopher Miller focus on in Morales’ story is who he is at his roots, thanks to his parents. A Black-Puerto Rican teenager who has to navigate this world differently, even when it’s around his fellow Spider-people. As Morales catapults across the Multiverse, he encounters a team of Spider-people charged with protecting his existence.
Into the Spider-Verse was an incredible achievement in animation and one of the best comic book movies capturing the very essence of what it means to be a hero. The team at Sony Pictures Animation pushed the boundaries even more in Across the Spider-Verse. The main difference between the animation is how it updated the style of actual comic book panels on the big screen. The way they edited the panels together to create such visually interesting and gorgeous action set pieces almost made everything feel life-like. Naturally, animation can offer another layer of imagination that can enhance the translation of those comic book panels, which is something live-action cannot do. This was a visual spectacle on all fronts, from the colour distinction for different universes and their designated Spider-Man to travelling through the multiverse.
What Across the Spider-Verse dives into is the decisions heroes make. And how each one can affect their story. We learn more about Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld) and the aftermath of her best friend, Peter, dying. We are introduced to more Spider-people; Jessica Drew (Issa Rae), Hobie Brown (Daniel Kaluuya), Pavitr Prabhakar (Karan Soni), and Miguel O’Hara (Oscar Isaac). Each of them highlighted their strengths and what happened to them in the past to lead them to work with O’Hara. The story for Miles is layered because his identity is not defined by being Spider-Man, and O’Hara makes him aware of that. The second half of this film has great action pieces and a multiversal twist that will easily make Morales one of your favourite characters…if he wasn’t already. His character arc is the most well-developed of all Spider-Men, and his trilogy will be the defining story for the character as a whole.
Across the Spider-Verse is one of the best movies of the year and one of the best Spider-Man stories to ever be told. The care and precision that have gone into making Miles Morales in this animated world are on another level of storytelling. One that can only be achieved through the imaginative realm of animation. The grand scope of the multiverse is truly felt, and the stakes are extremely high for Morales. For comic book fans, all the references were doubled in this sequel and possibly integrated better than the previous instalment. It is brilliant work from the team at Sony Pictures Animation. The entire voice cast did a wonderful job with these characters, especially Oscar Isaac. The third instalment, Beyond the Spider-Verse, could not get here any sooner.
Review by: Amanda Guarragi
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