When Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was released, it was lauded for being one of the most spectacular viewing experiences possible. The incredible diversity of art styles and chaotic mix of Spider-Characters made for a visual feast. In hindsight, the story, while fun an unique, wasn’t exactly deep. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse takes that incredible groundwork, and adds the heart the animation truly deserves.
Across the Spider-Verse gives us a quick slice of Gwen’s life after she returns to her world. She has lost Peter, who was her best friend, and thanks to timing, the chief of police thinks it was Spider-Woman. That chief of police is Gwen’s dad, so she is feeling incredibly isolated. A random attack from The Vulture on a museum quickly shows that the multiverse is still having issues, and she joins Spider-Man and Spider-Woman in venturing into the Spider-Verse.
Then we jump back to Miles’ life. Miles is trying to balance being a superhero and living his teenage years when he comes face-to-face…ish with his new villain, Spot. Spot was unfortunately created in an event involving Miles and has a particular vendetta against him. He is completely white with no facial features but covered in black spots. These act as small portals, and through a stroke of misfortune, they allow him to start traveling through different universes, and our plot kicks off as the Spider-Characters need to stop him and the other chaos.
This time, instead of blending characters from different worlds, we get to experience the different worlds themselves. I don’t want to spoil them because the weirdness of some is truly a treat to witness during your first watch of the movie. Nonetheless, the animators have achieved greatness, from the stunning to the unique to the bizarre. It is an amazing triumph.
As with Into the Spider-Verse, the soundtrack and voice acting are absolutely on point again. I don’t always notice the music in movies because it tends to blend into the scenes, but I absolutely noticed some incredible songs that added to some of the trippiest scenes.
One thing you should note if you haven’t seen it yet is this is part 1 of a 2-part movie. As the time ticked past the two-hour mark, I was wondering how the hell they were going to wrap it up. Across the Spider-Verse wraps up a few threads of the story, but it builds up more and then drops on a massive cliffhanger.
That being said, that isn’t a major negative, and you should absolutely not sleep on it because it isn’t the finished story. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a must-see at the cinema, with the best screen and sound you have access to. It is an incredible movie that is as fun to watch as it is to emotionally absorb.
Incredible animation, incredible music, incredible everything. Part II had better stick the landing!