Movie Review: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Movie Review: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

John Santone, Junior Editor

In 2018, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was released in theaters, and opened up new views of how animated storytelling can be done through film. It was as if the studio animators had ripped panels out of a comic book and made them into a cinematic masterpiece. Everything about the film was near perfection, from the storytelling to the visual design.

Well, five years have passed since then, and fans finally have a sequel. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was released in theaters June 2, and theaters were swarmed. Be warned: SPOILERS AHEAD.

There is a common belief that sequels almost always end up being worse than their predecessors, but that idea does not apply here. SM:ATSV matches the original in so many aspects. The soundtrack, animation, and the story are so amazing it defies belief. The way the animators change the entire art style of the movie based on the dimension the characters are currently in makes the film visually stunning.

The film follows Miles Morales roughly a year after he became Spider-Man, and tells an enthralling story of the young teen becoming comfortable with his new lifestyle. He faces the struggle of the difficult decisions that come with great power. We see the return of Gwen Stacy and many other versions of Spider-Man from alternate dimensions. It is so nice to see more of Gwen’s backstory and life in her dimension. The water-colored art style is so unique and a beautiful representation of Gwen’s character.

The story centers around Miles defiance to the idea that he cannot save everyone. The trailers point this out, and it is frequently mentioned once the main action starts. He undergoes pressure from his friends, mentor, and every other version of Spider-Man he comes across, to accept this as part of the job.

Miles’ journey to save those he loves, as well as protect the innocent, shapes the plot into a heartfelt and bittersweet story of determination, courage, and independence. The audience is genuinely able to seethe growth of a character they have become attached to.

The movie ends with a gut-punch of a cliffhanger that could make the most level-heading audience member jump out of their seat. Miles is stranded, alone in a foreign world with no other heroes to help him. He literally comes face-to-face with himself, an alternate version of Miles that became a villain. His friends are hunting him, and he is left alone with many more dangers ahead of him when “to be continued” pops up on the screen.

This movie has the power to stir up genuine emotions, and the fact that we have to wait another year to finish the story will cause some frustration, but that will make the release all the better. Currently, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 9.1 from IMDb. This movie is fantastic, and has definitely jumped to the top of many viewers’ favorite movie lists.