MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse’ — Mind Blowing Sequel Doesn’t Disappoint

Joe Hogarty

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse’ — Mind Blowing Sequel Doesn’t Disappoint

THIS… is how you make a movie. The people behind “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” understand the most important aspect of a good movie: the story always has to come first. Phil Lord and Chris Miller wrote this movie, and a lot of credit has to go to them for its success.

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

“Across The Spider-Verse” takes place a few years after “Into The Spider-Verse.” Miles (Shameik Moore) is having trouble balancing being a superhero, working to get into the college of his choice, and having a normal relationship with his parents. Miles gets a visit from an old friend, Gwen Stacey (Hailee Steinfeld), and they encounter a multitude of Spider-Man variants tasked with protecting The Spider-Verse. Miles encounters new and powerful threats and has to make very difficult decisions that will have life altering ramifications for him and everyone that exists in The Spider-Verse.

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I really enjoyed this movie. What made it great for me is you sometimes forget that you are watching an animated movie. Everything seems very real. It’s like you are witnessing someone’s life, but they can’t see you. And there are times it feels like a comic book movie, but most of the time, it feels like an engaging drama.

I have seen so many comic book movies (and regular movies) in the past few years where they feel lazy and uninspiring. Those movies come across like someone said, “Here is your budget, here are your stars; make a movie, and we’ll market the hell out of it and hopefully make a lot of money.”

“Across The Spider-Verse,” for the most part, feels like they don’t care about how much money the movie will make. They just want to tell a good story and have us relate to the characters in the movie.

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The animation was well done in the first movie, but in this movie, it’s on a completely different level. I want to start out with Miles’ costume. I love it. It just looks so sleek and makes him stand out from everyone else on screen. Spider-Man has always had so many great variants from his original red and blue costume, and Miles’ costume is another great one.

What makes Miles a great character is that he is completely satisfied being Brooklyn’s Spider-Man. Miles looks out for the little guys and doesn’t need any real fanfare. As soon as he performs his duty, he is usually off to work on a school project or trying to have some family time with his mom and dad. It also shows that not everyone can be a superhero because it is time consuming and doesn’t allow for a life that you can enjoy.

Most importantly, Miles is relatable to everyone. This was Stan Lee’s most important message that he wanted to get across when he wrote the original Spider-Man. He wanted kids and adults to relate to the everyday problems that Peter Parker faced that we all have faced at some time or another. Miles continues with that tradition and does such a great job.

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Gwen also has her character fleshed out more in this movie. The movie starts with about twenty minutes dedicated to Gwen’s backstory and the difficult decisions she had to face becoming Spider-Woman, or Spider-Gwen. Gwen’s story had me totally engaged from the start, and I was a little bummed once it was over and it got into the real movie. It also shows that in whatever universe there is a Spider-Man, they all have similar origins and pain that they have to endure. 

I did have a few problems with the movie. The movie is two hours and twenty minutes, and that was way too long. I found myself nodding off around the hour mark and had difficulty keeping awake. It was so bad, that I actually considered walking out several times. But there is a point where a character says something that completely changed the direction of the movie, and it had me re-engaged immediately. Also, a lot of the alternates from the Spider-Verse are basically just Easter Eggs for Spider-Man fans. There are way too many, and at times, it’s distracting. There is no way you can see every alternate version. There are times when you are looking at characters on the right side of the screen, you miss everyone that is on the left side of the screen because they are gone within seconds.

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I do have one problem with Miles. He’s way overpowered compared to all of the other Spider-Men. This is the problem when comics introduce an alternate superhero. The alternates should never be overpowered or take away from the original. Peter (well, Peter B. Parker) in this movie is sidelined to wearing a pink bathrobe and bunny slippers while attending to his baby. However, it is nice to see character development showing a future where Peter Parker can prioritize being a present and attentive father.

I have to address one of the biggest issues. This movie is the first of a two-parter. And this movie ends abruptly on a cliffhanger. I was mad at how it ended because it was just too much of a cliffhanger. Everyone in my audience moaned and groaned at the end, and I could hear a lot of, “What? It’s over?” So be prepared to be a little disappointed with the ending.

I am happy to report that there are no after credit scenes. So don’t feel obligated to wait around.

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Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse is a great movie with stunning visuals that, unfortunately, is a bit too long. If they would have cut the movie by a half hour, I would have given it a higher score. I’m not sure if a lot of the movie will go over kids’ heads at times, and it may be hard for some to sit still for the entire length of the movie. I’m just so glad that we have a movie that cares about the story for a change, and it is a great story. Highly recommended.

I give “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” an 8.5/10.

You can read my review for the first film in the series, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” here.

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Author

  • Joe Hogarty

    Joe moved from New York to Florida back in 1997. He currently resides in St. Petersburg and visits the parks frequently. His first visit to the Magic Kingdom was when he was 8 years old back in 1974. Joe originally originally started as a photographer for WDWNT and is now the host of WDWNT: Nerd Alert, our movie reviewer and reports the news for WDWNT. You can contact Joe through email at Joe@wdwnt.com.