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Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – The highly-anticipated sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has finally arrived – Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. This Spidey adventure continues the captivating journey initiated by its predecessor. It’s a visually stunning, action-packed, and humor-laden follow-up that meets the expectations of fans worldwide.
Miles Morales has seen remarkable success in recent years, with his acclaimed 2018 animated film and the hit video game Spider-Man: Miles Morales in 2020. In this latest installment, Miles grapples with the challenges of balancing his personal life and crime-fighting, displaying newfound confidence and maturity as Spider-Man. Shameik Moore delivers a compelling and authentic performance as Miles.
Sequels often face the risk of disappointment, but Across The Spider-Verse rises above this challenge. It expands the Spider-Verse universe, intensifies the stakes, and seamlessly carries forward the themes of its predecessor. Moreover, it takes a darker tone, reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back in the Star Wars saga.
While the film is packed with Easter eggs and references to Spider-Man lore, it might overwhelm viewers trying to keep up. However, this abundance of references adds to the excitement for fans to pause and discover every hidden gem when the film becomes available digitally.
Beneath the surface, Across The Spider-Verse delves into the profound theme of the responsibilities and consequences that come with being Spider-Man. Sacrifice is at the heart of every Spider-Man story, and this film explores this aspect in a way that sets it apart from most other superhero movies.
Despite its many strengths, the film’s lengthy runtime, at 140 minutes, can test patience. Some moments, especially the opening sequences, feel dragged out. Certain characters, like Miguel O’Hara / Spider-Man 2099, are underdeveloped, given their potential. Additionally, the main threat in the film feels underutilized, but this may be due to the film’s intent to set up the next installment, Beyond The Spider-Verse, set for release next year.
Nevertheless, Across The Spider-Verse is a cinematic spectacle that deserves to be seen in theaters. Sony Pictures Animation continues to excel in animation craftsmanship, showcasing distinct styles for each universe visited and delivering breathtaking action sequences. Returning characters Spider-Gwen and Peter B. Parker add to the enjoyment, with Hailee Steinfeld and Jake Johnson delivering standout performances. While it may not surpass the impact of the first film, it fulfills the expectations of a worthy sequel.