Miles Morales returns for the next chapter of the Oscar®-winning Spider-Verse saga, an epic adventure that will transport Brooklyn’s full-time, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man across the Multiverse to join forces with Gwen Stacy and a new team of Spider-People to face off with a villain more powerful than anything they have ever encountered.
With this being the tenth Spider-Man film is there a fatigue brewing around the corner, or is this the best release yet? There’s definitely an answer to that question, but that’s such a high bar to climb. Prior to this release, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018) was considered the best Spider-Man film ever by many moviegoers at the time. It wasn’t the opinion of everyone, but it was enough fans in the comment sections online making that large claim. It was a phenomenal movie, and an argument can be made for it being one of the best. Though now we have the sequel, and even though there were some changes in the director’s seat, writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller returned, and they may have outdid themselves.
If you’re a fan of comic books, superheroes, Spider-Man, or even movies in general you’ll fall in love with this feature. It’s a dream come true, especially for the formers mentioned. There were so many different aspects to this film, and they all merged together brilliantly. The concept of the multiverse being one of them, which can be extensively confusing at times if not told correctly. That’s one of the issues that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has going on at the moment, and with each film the MCU releases the narrative gets more cluttered with that subject matter. However with Across the Spider-Verse this film aced that test with flying colors. The film was able to explain in great detail the mechanics of how the multiverse works, in a fun, bright, spectacular design. It took the, “explain it to me like I’m five” approach without dumbing it down or insulting your intelligence. Just smooth-as-butter storytelling.
The intro alone was simply remarkable too. You’d think it would focus on the main character, Miles Morales (Spider-Man), but it doesn’t and that’s perfectly fine. It has a different focus that you’re drawn into instantly. You love what you’re seeing just as much or more than the main titular star. When the film transitioned to the next plot point, a moment of disappointment clouded the air because you’re so satisfied with what’s currently being served. Why is that the case though? It’s the characters’ arcs that pulls you in. Not just one character but all of them. Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) was a knockout during this film. She had a severe dilemma on her hands, and it was difficult for her to choose the right path. Her character’s journey was just as powerful as Miles’, and there will be debates online about which character was the audience’s favorite.
Yet Miles was still fantastic in his own right. He manages so much as a young teenager trying to be a superhero while also maintaining a normal social life. It’s similar to the main Spider-Man, Peter Parker, but still has its drastic difference with Black and Hispanic culture at the foundation. Being a superhero and not identifying yourself to the general public is already an obstacle, but dealing with that while also being Black is another hurdle to master which makes Miles’ story more unique. It all feels natural, and he’s easy to relate to. That’s why this Spider-Man is so popular as well. There’s also more than one Spider-Man in this film. There are several, and they’re all drastically different while still being similar. Jake Johnson (Peter B. Parker), Oscar Isaac (Miguel O’Hara), and Jessica Drew (Issa Rae) all have a large amount to contribute to this film as various Spider-Man, and every time a new one was introduced the theater smiled with loud cheers.
When it comes to the action the film held no punches in the slightest. Seeing all of these Spider-Man with their special moves was a delight. This was a full display of all the power and abilities of each Spider-Man. They all have their different motivations to fight as well which enhanced their vision on the battlefield. I saw maneuvers with the webbing that have never been seen before on screen. The amount of teamwork and collaboration had to be at the highest levels to pull this amount of choreography off so seamlessly. A nervous panic hovered over my body at times during intense sequences, not knowing what the outcome would be, or who would live or die. This is what the movie-going experience is all about.
All the action was even better with the animation style that was used. There’s never been anything like it before. There were over one thousand animators for this film, and the way they drew this together, was nothing short of brilliant. There were even moments with two drastically different animation styles rendering simultaneously on screen while still being distinct. It was a breathtaking masterpiece of art that should be recognized again during award season for best-animated film. It can be described as a sophisticated rainbow with unique patterns that matched the characters’ energy. It was both organized and chaotic and knew what time to shut on or off with its bright colors.
The soundtrack and score were also a headbanger. The sound was another character that complimented all of its surroundings. Specifically, whenever a character would glitch from occupying space in the wrong dimension or someone’s spider-sense going off there was a sound bite that made its presence known. It had a strong base to it that’s very memorable. Miles Morales’ Spider-Man now has a musical number tied to his character which is another flaw the MCU suffers from with its characters.
Of course, there’s always an underlying theme of a film or a message that it’s trying to convey. Here there were multiple in that no matter what you’re going through or who you are, it’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. Sure, there’s the main foundation, that great power comes with great responsibility, but where do you draw the line? Where do you stop working for others, and start working for yourself? How much do you sacrifice for the greater good, and how do you even come to such conclusions to make a decision? These are all questions teenagers have to answer as well. Will you learn from your past mistakes, or continue doing the same thing expecting a different result? Do you tell your loved ones all your deepest secrets or do you keep them close to your chest? These are all great just on an individual level to deal with. Though when you have multiple Spider-Man interacting with each other with similar dynamics they can all discuss it like a support group. This adds to all of their developments making them richer characters that you attach yourself to. There can be more said about how fantastic this film is, and the cliffhanger it leaves you on is amazing! The sequel can’t get here fast enough, and I can’t wait. Especially with this possibly being the best Spider-Man movie ever released.