I greatly enjoyed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which in my view is one of the greatest animation movies of all time. Indeed, I consider it one of the best films of the 21st century so far. Even though I’m not really into sequels I was looking forward to Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse, especially after seeing a trailer and watching the extended preview. But as usual I didn’t come around to watching it when it was released.
Let me say straight away that I find it a bit disappointing that, like Kill Bill and Dune, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has been split into two films. It doesn’t even have an ending, it sort of stops in the middle of a scene.
Apart from that it is an absolutely marvelous film. The filmmakers have taken the approach that made Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse such a feast for the eye to another level. I love the different animation styles. I love, love, LOVE the Spider-Punk character, whose animation style is inspired by 1970s punk album covers, posters and magazines. I also loved the visual styling of Earth-50101, which is a blend of Manhattan and Mumbai complete with an Indian Spider-Man. The spot character is also, ehh, spot-on and allows for some interesting visual tricks.
It is worth noting that the Miles Morales/Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman character have about equal weight. Indeed, the film's first 15 or so minutes are all about Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman. I loved how the relationship between Gwen Stacy and her father is reflected in the animation style.
As in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse I enjoyed the intertextual elements. The animators must have had so much pleasure rummaging through art books and animation and comic book history. The opening titles are also really cool. I'm pretty sure the filmmakers know the legendary opening credits for Enter the Void and thought of ways they could move beyond it.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is such a visually rich film that it demands to be seen at least twice. Watching at home I missed the cinema experience, but I was able to pause the film every now and then to admire all the visual details and to read the screen captions that fly by from time to time.
Needless to say that I look forward to Part II of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which has been called Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse. I wonder what other visual innovations the filmmakers have up their sleeve.
My brief review of Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse.