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Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (A Movie Review)

Updated: Mar 1


Featuring the voices of Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Vélez, Jake Johnson, Jason Schwartzman, Issa Rae, Karan Soni, Daniel Kaluuya, Oscar Isaac, Shea Whigham, Greta Lee, Mahershala Ali, Andy Samberg, Amandla Stenberg, Rachel Dratch, Jorma Taccone, Taran Killam, Metro Boomin, Kimiko Glenn, Zoë Kravitz and JK Simmons.

Screenplay by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller and David Callaham.

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

Distributed by Columbia Pictures. 140 minutes. Rated PG.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a wild ride of a film, stuffed (sometimes overstuffed) with ideas and angles and characters and artistic styles. And Spider-Men (and women, and cats, and pigs, etc.).

And it is mostly damned good. It’s also nearly impossible to review without giving up spoilers, so apologies for being somewhat vague in the descriptions.

The Spider-Verse movies are the yin to the yang of the Spider-Man films. Beyond the obvious differences – the Spider-Verse films are animated while the traditional Spidey films are live action and this has a completely different Spider-Man, a biracial teen student named Miles Morales, rather than young photographer Peter Parker – it also has a wildly different pulse and vibe.

What can I say? Both versions work.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a wonderful piece of fan service, though, an irreverent and sometimes surprisingly touching story (particularly with two main parent-child relationships) which is full of action, humor and loads of Easter eggs for the fans.

If there is one slight complaint about Across the Spider-Verse, it is that the film leaves you in the lurch with a cliffhanger – literally in the middle of a sequence. I groaned when the credits came on, saying that the adventure would be continued in the next film, particularly knowing that there was a gap of five years between the first two Spider-Verse movies.

It turns out that Spider-Man: Beyond The Spider-Verse will be coming out next spring, so that’s a bit better. Still, I wish we didn’t have to wait nine months for the answers to what will happen. Then again, just the fact that Across the Spider-Verse is causing such sweet anticipation is a good thing.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2023 All rights reserved. Posted: June 2, 2023.


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