Yesterday, I watched Across the Spider-Verse. And my god, it was pretty great.
Honestly, I don’t like giving movies sequels too much. They can be good, but nowadays, most sequels are made as cash grabs, and don’t meet the expectations the previous films set. But not only does Across the Spider-Verse meet those expectations, it goes beyond them in some ways.
I’m not really good at reviews and criticism or anything like that, so I’m going to be speaking my mind more than writing a concise review.
To start from the beginning of the movie, I love the extra context and backstory given to Gwen’s character. I actually missed the first few minutes of this since I was a bit late, but I saw enough of it to understand what happened. I think adding this conflict makes Gwen a more fleshed out character and really adds more depth to the cast of characters we’ve come to like from the previous film, and considering the important role Gwen plays in this movie and probably will play in the next movie, it’s good that they added these elements to her character. The conflict with her dad, a police captain hunting for Spider-Woman after the death of Peter Parker, is great, and I’m also happy that they went back to it near the end of the film, making the whole thing complete. It really is one of my favorite things in the movie.
Next notable aspect I want to talk about is the Spot. I really REALLY like the Spot. He’s just a fun villain, but it’s really a shame he pretty much disappeared in the last half of the film. I get why they had to cut him out, since they needed to make room for the events with Miguel and Miles, but he plays a very important role in this conflict, so it’s weird that he just disappears and the cast seems to forget about him briefly with seemingly no consequences. I hope the next film gives him the spotlight more.
Miguel O’Hara (Spider-Man 2099)
And since I mentioned Miguel, I’ll talk about him a bit. He’s also a great villain, but he plays a more cynical and aggressive role than the Spot does, being motivated by the loss of his family as a result of being in a universe that he doesn’t belong in (I believe that’s what happened? Sorry if I’m off), and this backstory provides a solid foundation for his contempt and motivation to stop Miles from disrupting the canon event of his father dying.
The Canon Event
The canon events, a concept set up in this movie, is really interesting. Essentially, a canon event is an event that must occur in a Spider-Man’s universe, such as Uncle Ben or Captain Stacy dying (I don’t really watch or read Spider-Man, so sorry if I get this wrong). It’s really interesting how this concept is set up and how Miles tries to subvert it as it serves as a commentary of what Spider-Man really is and what makes Spider-Man… well, Spider-Man.
I think the film has a little bit of bloat, as I mentioned with the Spot’s lack of appearance in the second half, but also around the end. I don’t think the runtime was too long, but I was feeling like the movie should’ve ended 20-30ish minutes prior to when it did. They set up a lot of stuff near the end that, while serving as a great cliffhanger that’s sure to draw people to the next film, makes the film feel bloated and drawn out. And with the nature of it being split in two parts, it feels incomplete, but I feel like maybe this could’ve been prevented by keeping some parts from the last section of the film in the next part of the movie.
My Overall Thoughts
It’s a great movie that definitely stands around as tall as its predecessor, maybe taller. I definitely recommend this movie, and can’t wait for the next movie to come out next year (hopefully there’s no delays!!!). I will probably try to fulfil my Spider-Verse craving by rewatching the first movie, since it’s been a long while since I’ve seen it.