Thursday, June 1, 2023

Spider-Gwen: Across the Spider-Verse

Hailed by fans and critics as one of the best Spider-Man movies ever created, is it possible the sequel to 2018's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is even better? Yes, yes it is. Shifting the focus more on Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld) this time around, giving her equal star treatment along with Miles (Shameik Moore), Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is not only a great super-hero film but throws out the expected battle a new big bad by instead offering an existential discussion on what it means to be Spider-Man.

You don't need to have encyclopedic knowledge of various Spideys, but the more you know the richer this film will be for you. There's still plenty of humor in the sequel, with lots of action, along with many, many more versions of Spider-Man from across the Spider-Verse, but it's in the deeper emotional storylines mined that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse manages to one-up the previous film by asking: What makes a Spider-Man? Oh, and this version has Scarlet Spider (Andy Samberg) so you know it's gonna be awesome.

Continuing to expand the Spider-Verse, while still showing us the individual struggles of both Gwen and Miles as the Spideys in their own dimensions, the sequel introduces us to the Spider-Society. A collection of various versions of Spideys from across the Spider-Verse, the society is led by Miguel O'Hara (Oscar Isaac) obsessed with keeping Spider-Man canon on track in each and every dimension of the Spider-Verse. Other notable versions of Spidey that get more than just cameos are Pavitr Prabhakar (Karan Soni), Spider-Punk (Daniel Kaluuya), Spider-Byte (Amandla Stenberg), and Jessica Drew (Issa Rae).

In terms of look and feel, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse continues the same multi-faceted use of the animation spectrum we witnessed in the first film, even mixing in a few live-action characters from time to time. The film isn't without a villain with the inclusion of the Spot (Jason Schwartzman), a ridiculous D-lister who turns out to be more dangerous that Miles initially suspects, but the story is more centered on our heroes, their struggles, and the friendship between Miles and Gwen which will be put to the test before the credits roll. My only real complaint with the film is that it isn't a full story, offering up a dramatic cliffhanger to be explored in the next film (which we'll have to wait nearly a full year to see). Even with that nitpick, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse cements itself as the best Spider-Man film.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  • IMDb: link

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