Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse review: Animated sequel is a veritable masterpiece

Miles Morales' second outing is a marvel

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)
  • 🎞️ When is Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse in cinemas: 2 June, 2023

  • ⭐️ Our rating: 5/5

  • 🎭 Who's in it? Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac, Daniel Kaluuya

  • 👍 What we liked: Across the Spider-Verse is a visual marvel that has fun new characters and a moving story that is a true celebration of the Spider-Man legacy

  • 👎 What we didn't: At 2 hour, 16 minutes, it may test the patience of younger viewers

  • 📖 What's it about?: Miles Morales must contend with the notion of Spider-Man's pre-destined future and his place in the world as the multiverse begins to collapse because of an unlikely villain.

In 2018, Sony Animation blew audiences away with the sensational Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and its is guaranteed to do so again with its sequel, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

Read more: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: The best Easter eggs and cameos (spoilers)

The film returns to the worlds of Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) and Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), both of whom are the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man/Woman in their respective universes.

When Gwen is faced with a Vulture from another universe fellow Spider-people Miguel O'Hara (Oscar Isaac) and Jessica Drew (Issa Rae) help her defeat him, and they get her to join their Spidey collective, a group who deal with anomalies that threaten to destroy the multiverse.

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)

One such anomaly is a villain in Miles' universe named The Spot (Jason Schwartzman), and when he starts to mess with the constructs of the multiverse Gwen and Miles take action by following him to different worlds.

At first, Miles is delighted to meet his counterparts but their rules around what they can and can't change forces the teen to question what it truly means to be a hero.

Read more: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse recap

Often, too often really, animation is seen as a medium "just for kids" but the Spider-Verse franchise proves how incorrect this idea is.

Across the Spider-Verse features an intricate plot that poses interesting questions about what is right and wrong. The film is bigger and bolder than its predecessor because of this, and it truly feels like it has surpassed everything that has come before it (live-action Spidey-films included).

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)

The story also deepens the relationships that we already knew and loved, from Miles' bond with his parents to his budding romance with Gwen, and brings in interesting new characters like Pavitr Prabhakar (Karan Soni) and Hobie Brown, aka Spider-Punk, (Daniel Kaluuya).

Read more: Spider-Verse star Daniel Kaluuya addresses film's love triangle

All of this adds to the fun of the Spider-Verse sequel, which spans a huge terrain of new worlds, characters, and storylines. There's a lot to unpack in the animation, but even if it does have a lot to get through the film never feels weighed down by the gigantic storyline, in fact viewers will wish there was more by the time it ends on a very dramatic cliffhanger.

In terms of the animation the film is an absolute masterpiece, and it's hard not to stare in awe at each stunning sequence that comes onscreen.

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse - Part One (Sony Pictures)
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse - Part One (Sony Pictures)

Not only have the animators added to the technical innovations that were presented in the first film, they have put an incredible amount of thought into each and every frame. Each multiverse aptly recreates the art style of the respective comic it's based on, Gwen's Earth is unique to Pavitr's Mumbattan, to Miles' Brooklyn, and so on.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is an incredible addition to the franchise that serves as a fun yet emotional celebration of it. Should Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse be as good as this film and its predecessor, which seems likely, then forget the live-action films, this trilogy will be the best Spider-Man adaptation there is.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is out in cinemas and on IMAX now.

Watch: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse star Daniel Kaluuya discusses film's love triangle