Where To Watch: Theaters
Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Dave Callaham
Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac
Animation, Action, Adventure
All media used courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation
Animation has proven time and time again that it is an art form to be treated seriously. The possibilities of storytelling through this endlessly creative genre continue to be pushed in ways that I am astounded by, and one of those films that did that was Into The Spiderverse. The mixing of 2D, 3D, and other forms of animation seamlessly into 24 frames a second was unbelievable. It remains for me the best film of the year and I am so proud that our Utah Film Critics Association agreed and we selected it as best picture. It was always going to be a high bar to cross for the sequel, but still, I wanted to meet the film where it was and judge it as its own story. Not only does Across the Spiderverse exceed in giving us a bigger story, bigger stakes, better animation, and more Spider-Men than you could imagine, but it manages to contain all of that with an even more compelling story.
Miles is at a crossroads in life that many other Spideys have gone through. How to balance his time under the mask or his normal life with the people he loves. He’s whisked away into the Spiderverse and is introduced to an organization of Spider-Men, tasked with saving the multiverse. If you want more plot- head to my spoiler review with Scott Menzel later this week! What I loved about the film is its boldness in storytelling and animation right from the very first frame. The introduction is creative and sets the tone perfectly for the rest of the movie. The action sequences are astounding- but the first one might be my favorite at this moment. There’s so much to look at with the Spiderverse films and every second matters and can give you something new on repeat viewings.
Miles and Gwen’s relationship is grown in an organic and realistic way. The voice acting on display from everyone is great, but Miles and Gwen’s story is the webbing that holds it all together and keeps you interested. The new voice cast are great additions and the characters all stood on their own. I loved Miles relationship developing with his Mother and Father, and their struggles trying to maintain a strong bond while Miles is keeping this huge part of himself a secret. The representation in this film for different cultures is great, and keeps the situations unique to Miles while also being relatable to anyone.This is one of the smartest animated films as far as weaving in so many styles of animation and storylines that in some cases pay off in this film, and in others, we’ll have to wait for Part. 2!
If there are any criticisms I have they may easily be explained after a second viewing, right now I’m still just buzzing about what I saw on screen, and am DESPERATE for anyone who has not given the first film a try to please, for me, give this a shot. Animation is so special in storytelling and Across The Spiderverse utilizes every moment to prove that. Bravo to the directors and writers, cannot wait for the next film- because if it is as good as these two have been, we’re looking at the greatest Superhero trilogy ever made.