The greatly anticipated sequel of the first film (Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse), had big shoes to fill. Thankfully, it did not disappoint, surpassing the expectations of many. The film is 2 hours of pure entertainment, action, and beautiful animation. There is also a third film set to come out in March 2024, which is set to conclude the trilogy of Miles Morales and the Spider-Verse.
First, however, it is important to note that this review contains a fair amount of spoilers for the first two films.
Summary Of The First Film
Thus, in order to properly understand the plot and concept of Spider-Man Across The Spider-Verse, it is critical to revisit the previous film that helped to introduce the audience to Miles Morales and his friends. The first film does a tremendous job at introducing a completely new character to the silver screen. Miles Morales’ version of Spider-Man feels completely new and relatable, as the film does a good job at differentiating his origin story from the previous Spider-Men that have graced the screens before. Into The Spider-Verse starts off with Miles Morales as a normal teenager, struggling with moving to a new school, and the academic pressure he faces as a freshman in high school. Miles relieves this stress by hanging around his Uncle, who has a strained relationship with Miles’ father. After one of his excursions with Uncle Aaron, Miles is bit by a radioactive spider, signifying the birth of a new Spider-Man. After vowing revenge after the death of the previous Spider-Man, Miles then has to juggle his educational career, with his crime-fighting one, as he seeks to bring down the super-villain Kingpin, who endangers the lives of millions, in trying to open up the Multiverse to help bring back his family. Throughout this process, Miles meets a group of Spider-People from other dimensions, introducing the concept of the Multiverse, or multiple universes. They all seek to aid him in his goal of defeating Kingpin, and returning home to their respective dimensions. After a series of setbacks and losses, and with the mentoring from Peter B. Parker, Miles is able to take a leap of faith and forge his own destiny.
Summary Of Spider-Man Across The Spider-Verse
After saving the Multiverse, Miles Morales is now the one and only Spider-Man…in his dimension. Despite learning in the first film that there are multiple Spider-People/heroes in alternate dimensions, Miles hears nothing from his newfound friends for quite some time (presumably 1-2 years). In the new film, Miles looks older, has longer hair, and is much more accustomed with his powers and saving his city (New York) from peril. The second film does an excellent job at introducing the new antagonist, by utilizing a running joke from the first film to introduce the character: The Spot. The film also does a good job at masking the true potential of The Spot’s powers and abilities, as at first glance, he seems harmless and a joke. As the movie progresses, however, The Spot transitions from a mere neighborhood villain, to a universal threat. Miles also reunites with his old Spider friends, and the film introduces a series of new characters that add humor, action, and suspense to the story. However, the film fails to end with a proper conclusion or resolution, helping to set up the third film in the trilogy, by creating suspense at the uncertain outcome and fate of specific characters.
Additionally, the animation presented within this film makes the two Spider-Verse movies, in my personal opinion, the best animation films of all time. The colors help make the screen seem vibrant and lively, and gets rid of the realism certain recent animations tend to utilize. Thus, the comic book animation style is seen through certain production choices, such as the colors, as mentioned earlier, and even the character designs. The movements of these characters as well, help to emphasize the animated aspect of the film, as it creates certain movements that cannot be achieved through live action. According to Phil Lord, one of the directors for the movie, the second film employed the usage of 6 different animation styles throughout the course of its runtime. This is an upgrade from the previous film, which had 1 animation style and was still lauded for its innovative and expressive animation. The six animation styles are used in different dimensions, to express the character and atmosphere of each said universe. For example, an Indian comic-book style is used in the universe/dimension referred to as “Mumbattan.”
The soundtrack for the first film, to say the least, was outstanding. Unlike other films, the movie had artists and music that the younger generation would actually listen to willingly. In the second film, it is no different. While the first film had the worldwide sensation Post Malone, headline the soundtrack along with other global/esteemed artists such as Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj, Across The Spider-Verse had the producer Metro-Boomin, produce many of the tracks along with Daniel Pemberton, scoring much of the film’s music. Although none of the tracks so far have lived up to the global hit “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee from Into The Spider-Verse, Metro-Boomin was still able to create an extremely solid and vibrant soundtrack that matches with the theme and concept of Across The Spider-Verse. Personally, however, although the second movie’s soundtrack was good, I felt that it fell short compared to the music featured in the first film.
I would personally rate this film a 9/10, for its amazing animation, story-line, characters, and music. If the movie had a proper conclusion and climax, I feel as if this could have been a perfect 10, or as perfect as a movie can subjectively be. I do think, however, if the third film does not severely disappoint, that the Spider-Verse trilogy could go down as one of the best trilogies in the film industry, at least in animation movies.