Spider-man Into the Spider-verse was one of the best films of 2018 and perhaps the best superhero film of all time. It was a smash hit that balanced comedy, action and drama in a way animation has never done before. Now 5 years later we are finally getting one of the most anticipated sequels of the decade. But does it live up to the hype of the previous film or does it fall flat to recreate the same magic?
You cannot talk about this film without first diving into the animation. It is the most creative and clever use of this medium I have ever seen. Every character has their own style and each world truly feels separate from the others. In particular Gwen Stacy’s world. The way the animations move and flow, based on the dialogue, is incredible. I am so glad they took 5 years to put this film out because every single frame truly feels like a hand drawn painting.
What I loved about the first movie was the dynamic between Miles, his Uncle Aaron, and his father. It had some heartfelt moments that I was hoping would be kept in the sequel. Across the Spider-verse has an even stronger focus on family. Miles, Gwen, Peter B Parker and Miguel O Hara are all driven by their family. But what really made me love this film was the moments between Miles and his parents. Each scene felt personal and touching in a way I wasn’t expecting. I never got tired of these scenes and honestly preferred them over the action set pieces.
Across the Spider-verse has some of the best voice acting in animation. It doesn’t feel like any of these actors were cast for their fame, but instead because of their talent as voice actors. The returning cast is equally as captivating while the new characters almost steal the show. Daniel Kaluuya as Spider-Punk and Jason Schwartzman as the Spot are so charming and charismatic that I want to see them in their own films. They both have a strong character development over the movie that completely surprised me.
One core problem with every Sony movie ever made is the marketing. Once again, Sony showed basically every sequence from this film to the point where I knew where the movie was going. Now I didn’t even watch most of the trailers and still felt I knew way too much going in (I won’t be watching any trailer for the final part).
Most superhero films coming out have some pretty bland action set pieces. It’s usually two people with the same skill set doing karate or shooting lasers at each other. Lord and Miller knew this and knew they needed to subvert it. Every action scene in this film is incredible. The fast-paced animation and chaotic nature feels refreshing and engaging in a way a live action film simply couldn’t do.
Across the Spider-verse is part one of two parts. Now if you didn’t know this, I think the ending might be a little frustrating. At first, I didn’t love the conclusion as it felt unsatisfying and I didn’t have any closure for this film. However, as I have thought about it more and more, I started to love the idea of keeping the audience hooked for a final movie. It feels like a big event now and makes me even more hyped for the final film.
Should you see Spider-man: Across the Spider-verse?
Spider-man: Across the Spider-verse is one of the best animated films I have ever seen. Even if you have no interest in superhero films it is at its core an excellent family film. It moves at a brilliant pace that wastes no time and keeps you engaged from start to finish. The writing is funny, heartfelt, and never feels forced or tiring. Go and see this film in cinemas, it is truly a cinematic event.