Does Whatever a Spider Can
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is everything that makes comic books fun
The superhero genre is one that has always appealed to the perpetual outsider. This has become harder to remember as the genre has become the most dominant force in mainstream entertainment, but the idea of a societal outcast who must keep their true identity secret to a world that would turn against them is something that attracts the marginalized from all walks of life. It's no surprise that comic books have always had a large LGBTQIA+ following.
The long-anticipated sequel, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is the first film in a long time that recognizes that appeal to the outsider. It's what happens when all the weirdos from every dimension come together in one glorious, spectacularly animated visual spectacle. It's the rare instance of a sequel being better than the original.
Sixteen months after his universe-hopping adventure, Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) has been living a double life as a high school student and a superhero, but he longs to meet others like him. That desire is answered when his friend Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) returns to his dimension and shows him a world where all the Spider-People have come together to handle threats that could undo the fabric of reality.
Like the first, this film uses dazzling animation that seems to combine hundreds of styles into one, resulting in a visual feast for the senses. The action is fast-paced and for a film whose story is almost entirely exposition, never feels bogged down by the details. The characters, both old and new are likable (Spider-Punk voiced by Daniel Kaluuya is destined to become a fan favorite) and the writing is witty, making this Spider-Verse one that we never want to leave.
Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin K. Thompson, and Kemp Power // Written by Dave Callahan, Phil Lord, and Christopher Miller // Starring Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Valez, Jake Johnson, Jason Schwartzman, Issa Rae, Karan Soni, Shea Whigham, Greta Lee, Andy Samberg, Daniel Kaluuya, Mahershala Ali, and Oscar Isaac // Sony Pictures // 140 minutes // Rated 'PG'