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Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse Film Review


Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a solid movie that should have been more spectacular. Don't get me wrong, it's a great movie, but in my Spider opinion this one doesn't come anywhere close to the original. It definitely has the same feel to the first one in regards to animation, comedy, heart, and action, but there is a LOT going on in this movie, which is probably it's biggest weakness. Here's the breakdown.


The Animation

I'll get this one right out of the way, the animation is breathtaking and deserves thousands of accolades. The sheer variety of animation makes each universe truly feel different, and it is incredible how the animation team at Sony can make each Spider-Man just feel different when you look at them. The environments are gorgeous, and that's why it kind of sucks they stayed in Brooklyn WAY too long in the movie. I get that the movie is about Miles, but Brooklyn was by far the least interesting aspects of the movie visually. Even Gwen's opening felt so unique, due to the contrast of animation styles and colors they used for her world. The Vulture fight was also gorgeous, and the whole Nueva York sequence ALONE was the best animation you'll see in any movie in the last decade, maybe ever. Visually this movie is a 10/10, it's the story where it slows down.


The Story

As a HUGE Spider-Man fan the story was a bit of a let down. The first movie told an incredible coming of age story which was more than just a superhero movie. It was about family, trust, legacy, and responsibility. This movie was about...canon. Which worked, it did, but to go from a pretty grounded Spider-Man story (with a talking pig in it no less) to a "Well we are aware this is a comic book and you need to follow the plot" plot, was a bit of a web rush. The same themes ran throughout the movie, family, independence, but it was mired down by this strange obsession with canon and Spider-Man fan service. It wasn't as obvious fan service as No Way Home (I doubt most movie goers knew a majority of the Spiders in this one), but the focus on canon kind of took away from Miles' story. Sure, he is the Spider-Man that "breaks the mold", but the idea that you can break canon and get away with it sometimes but not all the time kind of ruins the idea. If we saw Spider-Man India's homeworld get totally destroyed, the threat feels real, but to see it in a hologram flashback instead? Doesn't quite hit as hard. The first movie's stakes felt so real, Spider-Man DIES in the first twenty minutes. The stakes in this one were MUCH larger, but felt incredibly smaller for some reason. And I'm not saying it's a bad story, it's just not even close to the complete story that was told in the first movie. I'm hopeful the third movie ties together this plot in a meaningful way, so I'll reserve judgement until then. Although I guess I did just judge it. A lot. Oops.


The Spiders

Honestly as long as they keep doing all the Spider variants justice they should keep making like a million of these movies. Spider-Man India and Spider Punk were the two new main spiders we get to see, and they do not disappoint. Honestly as excellent as the Nueva York sequence was, the time spent in Spider-Man India's world was incredible, and Karan Soni absolutely nailed the performance. And although I didn't like how Miguel ended up, his initial scene with Gwen and Jessica Drew (who is also awesome) was great. He was serious, funny, and SO badass. Then they turn him into the meh bad guy and kind of took the thrill away from him. For a world full of incredible spiders voiced by incredibly talented people, I kind of wish they had just gone the classic "hunting multiversal threats" route, or day I say it, Morlun and the Inheritors feasting on Spiders and Miles and company having to stop them. Regardless, the Spider-Men and Women of this movie are perfectly done, shout out to Web-Slinger.


Peter B Parker

As more of a Peter fan the absolute lack of Peter B Parker killed me. He steals the scenes he is in, but he is a huge reason the first movie was as good as it was. Miles is done perfectly well in these movies, and I get he needs to move away from Peter to have his own story told, but for a movie that had over 300 Spider-Men in it, you think they could spend a bit more time on the classic one. Peter's moments with Miles in the film are fleeting, but strong. The intense relationship between the two is what made the first movie shine, so to shy away from it here is just a bizarre choice. Heck even Peter making a stand and sticking up for Miles and trying to help him escape would have been great, instead we get him as more of a pushover character. Hopefully the sequel gives Peter some spotlight time again.


Summary

Even if it doesn't live up to the original, Spider-Man:ATS thrills with some of the best animation you'll see in movies today, and a solid but a little scattered story keeps you entertained from start to finish.


Score: 8/10

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