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  • Writer's pictureJack Aling

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse - Review

Everyone Keeps Telling Me How My Story is Supposed to Go. 5 / 5

The Guardians of the Galaxy team line up

Released in UK Cinemas: 2nd June 2023

Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers & Justin K. Thompson

Miles Morales catapults across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence.

In 2018, Into The Spider-Verse exploded onto the scene, surprising audiences worldwide and proving how vibrant and varied animation could be. Landing as my film of the year, expectations were high for the highly anticipated follow-up.

Fortunately, Across The Spider-Verse continues the winning streak in an inventive and exciting adventure through the multiverse pushing the boundaries of what I thought was possible to visually portray, balancing six wildly different animation styles and hundreds of unique Spider-People.

It's going to take several viewings to fully take in and appreciate the artistry that goes into every frame. Deeply textured backgrounds, a variety of art styles and hidden details and characters hide in every scene, overstimulating your senses as you rush to keep up and attempt to take it all in. Surely the Best Animated Feature Oscar already has Across The Spider-Verse's name on.

Building on the last film, where this is still very much Miles Morales' story, it expands its focus giving Gwen Stacey a more central role as well as opening the door/portal to any and every Spider-Person imaginable. The stakes are raised as we spend more time learning about Miles and Gwen's personal lives and how a Spider-Person's life is often haunted by tragedy - with some seeing this misfortune as fate. This emotional weight is the driving force of the story, following our characters through multiple realities.

Though there are many sequences that move at a mile a minute, the film allows itself time to breathe taking a slower more composed pace, especially in the first half. Though the pacing could easily be tighter, the film is very aware that it is only here to tell the first half of a wider story so allows extended time to show the characters' motivations, ultimately making a richer experience that many superhero films don't allow themselves.

As tensions rise and shocking revelations are revealed, the music swells to a crescendo before a sudden cut to black: To Be Continued in 2024's Beyond The Spider-Verse. And so the wait begins all over again.

Meeting the highest of expectations, packed with sharp jokes, easter eggs and stunning animation - the Spider-Verse team is close to completing what could be one of the greatest trilogies of all time.

An ambitious and innovative next chapter, Across The Spider-Verse celebrates creativity, revolutionary animation and most importantly, Spider-Man.

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