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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Rob Reviews "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse"

Six different dimensions. Two hundred forty characters. One thousand animators. This is what it took for Sony to put together Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, and I for one could not be happier that it did. For the record: that comes from a guy that is not the world’s biggest fan of the web-slinger.

After the events of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is doing his best to the be best Spider-Man he can be while perhaps losing what it means to be Miles Morales. A new villain appears on the scene named The Spot (Jason Schwartzman), he furthers the rift in the Multiverse reuniting Miles with Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld) and several other Spider-beings from across multiple dimensions to try to stop Spot while at the same time keeping the delicate balance of their timelines intact.

After its predecessor, I set the bar fairly high for Across the Spider-Verse, and it cleared that bar with authority. In another review I posted recently, I spoke about the concern I had with a movie aimed at kids holding a long run-time, and this one is even longer than that one. Now holding the American animated feature record at one hundred forty-four minutes, this runtime SAILED by with a story that weaves a tapestry of family, heroism, power, and responsibility (see what I did there?) that hits ALL of the feels. Miles is now at the point in his superhero journey where he needs to deal with the consequences of his actions as he deals with his future as both Miles AND Spider-Man while wanting to hang on to living in the moment in a way that is relatable to fans of all ages hitting all the right notes at the right moments.

For those of you that are worried that the trailers have given away too much for this film… don’t. Sure, the “more Spider-characters than you can shake a stick at” is all over the advertising, but with everything going on with this film, it felt like a choice made by the studio to help focus on the story versus the shock factor of seeing all of them on screen at one time. Being at a screening with a bunch of fans made the experience for me that much better as they reacted to each and every version of the character revealed on screen from both well-known and “deep cuts” representations. And when I say, “deep cuts,” I mean there were versions that even *I* tilted my head and went “that is a thing?” more than once while others made me think “WOW! They put THAT ONE in there!”

There is also another stellar voice cast here that adds Oscar Isaac, Issa Rae, Daniel Kaluuya, Shea Whigham, Amanda Stenberg, and even another MCU actor in Karan Soni (he was Dopinder in the Deadpool films and has a GREAT character here). Each of them works themselves into the established stories from the first film exceptionally well and is presented in a way that did not make me focus on who the voice actors were and just enjoy the ride.

While Sony makes some questionable choices in their live-action Marvel films, they have hit two home runs with their Spider-Verse films. I will be taking in multiple viewings of Across the Spider-Verse and enjoying each one while I continue to look for all the Easter Eggs that are near impossible to catch in a single time through. Also knowing it is formatted for IMAX and other premium formats, I look forward to seeing this film in as many high-quality presentations possible.

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