Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is the sequel to the Academy Award-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which blew audiences away, setting the bar for CG-animated films in terms of digital artistry and writing. It’s hard to follow up such a success, but Across the Spider-Verse (the second of a planned trilogy) takes the action and the story to the next level and may just be a superior film. It is simply gorgeous, reflecting the same comic-book stylization the first film utilized, including multiple panels highlighting close-ups and wide angles, or various perspectives, as well as different artistic styles for each major character and mind-blowing animation.
Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) is back as Brooklyn’s favorite web-slinger, facing off against a growing threat from The Spot, and reuniting with Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld) to traverse the Multiverse, with each world populated with a different Spider-Man and reflecting a different artistic aesthetic. Miles’s home world is reminiscent of classic comic books, Spider-Man India/Pavitr Prabhakar’s (Karan Soni) world is filled with a mandala of colors and configurations, like a fusion of New Delhi and New York, and Miguel O’Hara’s world of Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac) is a futuristic New York. There’s a literal Spider Society protecting the Multiverse full of enough Spider-Men, Women, Cats, and other Things to make fans lose their minds, with enough Easter eggs to fill a dozen baskets. With a hilariously smart and sensitive screenplay by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, and Dave Callaham, and directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is destined to be the first well-deserved summer blockbuster. PG, 140 min.