The expectations going into “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” have always been big. Sony’s follow-up to their animated Spider-Man film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” in 2018 has been postponed multiple times due to the working producers’ request to extend the production timeline and ensure that the animation gets it right.
Building on the promise
It’s also worth noting that “Into the Spider-Verse” is a landmark project for the animation industry. Before, industry leaders like Disney-Pixar and Dreamworks Animation have been challenging what our technology can offer in terms of animated works – and previous titles like Toy Story 4 and How to Train Your Dragon have offered exemplary real-life-like stills and movements. “Into the Spider-Verse” was one of the major films that dared to push for animation styles as if we were watching a moving comic book, with some scenes even going for multiple styles simultaneously in one frame. The film only earns several nods including the Oscars trophy for Best Animated Film that year no less.
This is why “Across the Spider-Verse” is important because it is building on the promise of its predecessor in terms of where animated movies can still go.
Miles Morales among the Spider-People
The film continues the story of Miles Morales as he navigates longingness for departed friends and as the sole Spider-Man of Brooklyn. An altercation involving a reunited friend Gwen Stacy accidentally brings him to the Multiverse, where he meets other Spider-People from the other universes.
Unlike the first Spider-Verse movie and even other multiverse-themed movies that came before it, “Across the Spider-Verse” ensures to bring the concept up to 110. Fans of Spider-Man will be thrilled to learn how this movie somehow becomes a celebration of the character’s different iterations, from film, TV, and comic books up to recent videogame adaptations.
The ideal follow-up
Never did the film dare shortcut itself to the multiverse aspect of it all and instead opts for rich character moments that truly resonated when it ended.
Challenging the animation
The animation of “Across the Spider-Verse” also dared to level up in terms of excellence. To laud its craftsmanship will be a disservice because the industry may have only encountered something like it for the first time. The best way to endorse it is how it may have challenged animation to top something like it.
The multiverse sequence in the middle of the film alone is worth the admission. A memorable chase sequence took the animators four years to complete, rendering the unique animation styles of each Spider-Man among an overwhelming crowd.
At this point, the third film in the “Spider-Verse” has huge shoes to fill. We can only hope that the next one doesn’t get lost in its richness.
SEA Wave rates the film 4 out of 5 waves.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is now showing in cinemas nationwide from Columbia Pictures.