OTTplay Logo
settings icon
profile icon

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse review: The perfect sequel!

The follow-up to Oscar-winning animated film is bigger in scope and execution 

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse review: The perfect sequel!

Last Updated: 02.35 PM, Feb 26, 2024


Story: Miles Morales finds it tedious as the only Spider-Man in New York after the death of Peter Parker. Keeping his identity a secret from his parents is taking a toll on his personal life and is also shackling him from being the best version of Spider-Man. But when his friend Gwen Stacy, the Spider-Woman from another universe, returns, things take a turn and a new threat emerges – one that could destroy the multiverse.


Review: Creating a sequel to an Academy Award-winning film is a monumental task. Only a handful of sequels throughout history have managed to maintain the same standards as the original, let alone surpass it. And when it comes to superhero films the number of compelling sequels are barely a handful. The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 2, X2 or X-Men 2, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier are possibly the only superhero films to have truly eclipsed the original films. However, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has comfortably joined this illustrious company.


Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson, the animated film is one of the most unique and authentic adaptations of a comic book superhero. The cherry on top is that it has a compelling story to tell and has no qualms about taking several risks in terms of creativity and storytelling. Admittedly, the blend of computer animation and motion-smearing style could be overwhelming at times, especially for viewers who are not accustomed to animated content. However, it is evident why the filmmakers have opted for this particular animation style for their film.


The vivid colours, the neon aesthetic, and the frames resembling comic book panels add more depth to the premise and storytelling. For instance, during the emotional scenes between Gwen and her father in the first act, the background adjusts its colour, and even its texture, as the tension in the scene becomes more palpable. This particular scene would not have translated well in a live-action adaptation. And the only recent animated production that can boast better visuals is arguably the Netflix original series, Arcane.


In addition to its remarkable animation style, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, has well-written characters and a storyline that certainly keeps one hooked from start to finish. The fact that Spider-Man stories always have a relatable core, regardless of the surreal set-pieces, certainly helps the film connect with the audience better. Be it the Peter Parker played by Andrew Garfield or the Peter Parker and the Miles Morales in the critically-acclaimed 2018 PlayStation game – the working-class hero from New York resonates with the audience like no other superhero. Spider-Man is the antithesis of DC’s Batman in many ways and is probably the only rival to the legendary dark knight in terms of popularity.


The central theme of the film is about the difficult choices a hero must make in order to ‘save the day’. These complex philosophical conundrums that haunt the 15-year-old Miles are integral to the narrative. The question of whether a person is willing to risk the fate of the world in order to save one life has become a topic of great debate in recent years, especially after the massive success of The Last Us – both the video game and the recent TV adaptation. Miles in this film is offered a similar choice as Joel Miller in the post-apocalyptic story.


The exploration of the multiverse and the endless cameos and references of ‘Spider-people’ and other Marvel characters from comic books, animated shows, live-action, and other media, have been added to the story without affecting the flow of the narrative. And the writers deserve credit for not using these characters for cheap shock value. Additionally, the performances by the lead voice cast, including Shamiek Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Issac, and Jake Johnson, perfectly capture the essence of the chaos that has engulfed the Spider-Verse.


Verdict: The animated film is a masterfully crafted ode to Marvel’s greatest superhero – Spider-Man. The film ends on a cliffhanger and all but confirms that a third film is on the way.


    Get the latest updates in your inbox