This year has given us one masterpiece film after another! We’re lucky to have witnessed not one but two Spider-Verse movies in our lifetime and will hopefully see a third one next year! Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse came out last June to high expectations and eager fans who have been waiting for another Miles Morales film since 2018. The movie made a bang, as expected, and earned excellent reviews!
We wanted to wait for our review of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse until it was out in digital (and it is!), so we give all of you a chance to watch the movie before we dive into all its glorious details. We thought Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse was the perfect Spider-Man movie ever made, then Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse said, “Hold my beer, I’m about to blow your mind!”. And blow our minds, it did!
We will talk about every detail of the movie, so if you haven’t seen it yet, we highly recommend doing that first! Trust us; you want to experience this A+ movie for the first time on the screen, not in words! If you have watched this masterpiece, let’s talk about Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
The Making of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
First of all, let’s start with a bit of background story to get you in the loop! In 2018, the animation world (and the film world as a whole) was shifted off its axis with the release of Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse! It was time to introduce Miles Morales as Spider-Man, and Sony was taking no chances. The film was a masterclass in 2D animation and storytelling. We, as Spider-Man fans, finally got to see Miles Morales on the big screen. And it wasn’t just him! He was joined by so many awesome Spider-people such as Peter B. Parker, Gwen Stacey and even Spider-Ham!
After the great success of Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse, a sequel was announced in April 2020 with no title or plot, just the date of 7 October 2022. Later, the movie was postponed to June 2023, but we were more than willing to wait to give the artists the time they needed to create a masterpiece! And they did not let us down!
Meet the Spider-People
The main idea behind the Spider-Verse is that anyone can be Spider-Man! All you need is the right attitude and to be bitten by a radioactive spider at some point in your life (easy enough). We have previously met several Spider-people in Into the Spider-Verse, and now in Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse, we’ll meet some old friends and many new ones. Let’s meet the voice cast of Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse!
Shameik Moore as Miles Morales
Our Brooklyn-based Spider-Man is back! Shameik Moore is back to reprise his role as the one and only Miles Morales and the Spider-Man of Earth-1610. This time, a little taller and a bit older but still just as goofy and fun!
Shamiek Moore had his lead film debut in Dope (2015), which premiered during the Sundance Film Festival. The movie earned him much praise and got him named one of the “Major Breakouts of Sundance Film Festival”.
Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacey
Our darling and multi-talented Hailee Steinfeld is also reprising her role as Gwen Stacey. No, not Spider-Man’s girlfriend, but the Spider-Women of Earth-65! Gwen is ready to be reunited with her best friend, and she’ll do anything to get to him!
Hailee is one of the youngest Oscar-nominated actresses in history for her role in True Grit. She also played the lead role of Emily Dickinson in the highly successful Apple TV+ show Dickinson. She currently plays two Marvel characters, Kate Bishop and Gwen Stacey.
Jake Johnson as Peter B. Parker
Spider-Man wearing sweatpants over his suit? You bet it’s Jake Johnson’s Peter B. Parker! This time, Peter is back as a new dad of Mayday. We guess it finally worked out with his MJ after all! Way to go, Peter!
Jake Johnson is best known for his role as Nick Miller in New Girl. The part gained him great popularity and praise that carried him to more roles after the show ended. He currently leads HBO Max‘s Minx.
Oscar Isaac as Miguel O’Hara
Our first new Spider-Man is the leader of the Spider-Society, Miguel O’Hara, played by none other than Oscar Isaac. Miguel is the Vampire-Spider of Earth-928, and he is not someone you want to mess with!
Oscar Isaac is also not someone you want to mess with, but for different reasons! The actor has become one of the most recognised talents of the decade. From his role as Poe in Star Wars to playing the lead role in Marvel’s Moon Knight, Oscar Isaac is killing the game!
Issa Rae as Jessica Drew
If we have a Dad Spider, we must also have a Mum Spider because women can do it all! Issa Rae plays the improbable Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman from Earth-404.
Welcome to Spider-Society (Plot Summary)
This time around, the story starts with Gwen Stacey. Gwen is the one and only Spider-Women of Earth-65. She has been a Spider-Women for years. After the tragic death of her best friend, Peter Parker, Gwen has sworn off friendships. That is until she met Miles Morales. Being separated from Miles by the stretch of the multiverse is not doing Gwen’s sanity very well, but she’s managing. Or at least trying.
One day, Gwen gets a notification on her police walkie-talkie that the Vulture is attacking the art museum. She goes to do her thing, only to discover that this Vulture is not her Vulture but one from another universe! Through the fight, she is joined by other Spider-people who help her take down the Vulture and return him to his universe.
Unfortunately, during the commotion, Gwen’s father, a cop, finds out that his daughter is Spider-Woman. During his shock, he tries to arrest Gwen under the false accusation that Spider-Women killed Peter Parker. Hurt by her father’s actions, Gwen leaves with the Spider-Society.
Spider-Man and Spider-Women
In another universe, Miles Morales has been the one and only Spider-Man (of his Earth, at least) for more than a year. He has been protecting the people of New York, fighting crime, managing his school work (kind of), missing his friends, and lying to his parents for more than a whole year! For what it’s worth, he is doing his best.
One day, after he almost misses his father’s promotion party because of his Spidey activities, he lies in his bed mopping when Gwen appears! She uses her new membership in the Spider Society to visit Miles. But that’s not the whole story! Gwen is here to track Spot, a villain Miles has been fighting. Gwen and Miles spend a lovely day together, but before Gwen leaves, Miles finds out she is tracking Spot, and he decides to follow her through the multiverse.
Gwen and Miles (unknown to Gwen) arrive at Mumbattan at Earth-50101 following Spot. They get help from the local Spider-Man, Pavitr, and Spider-Punk, Hobie. A nasty fight occurs around the city. During the battle, Miles saves Pavitr’s girlfriend’s father, a police captain, from being crushed by a building. However, the team fails to capture Spot and causes a massive rift in the multiverse.
Spider-Society and Canon Events
Everyone, including Miles, gets summoned back to the Spider-Society’s headquarters. Miles, being the eager puppy that he is, is excited to get the chance to join the Spider-Society, but Gwen is not super into him being at headquarters. They meet Miguel O’Hara, the leader of the Spider-Society, who explains to Miles that his saving of the police captain has caused the rift in the multiverse.
Miguel says that every Spider-Man has to have a police captain die under his watch. This event is called a canon event. Canon events are the main threads that create Spider-Man’s story and connect all the Spider-people. The fact that Miles messed with a cannon event causes ripples around the Spider-Verse and might destroy Earth-50101.
Miles is horrified by the idea but refuses to apologise for saving the captain. He argues that they don’t know that saving the captain will cause harm, and he will never sit still while someone else dies. As they argue, Miles realises that his father is about to become captain, which means he will be Earth-1610’s captain to die. He discovers that everyone, including Gwen and Peter, knew about this cannon event and did not tell him.
The Original Anomaly
Feeling angry and betrayed and adamant about saving his father no matter the consequences, Miles attempts to escape back to his universe. Miguel sends the entire Spider Society after Miles to try and stop him, and a chase around the city begins.
While Miles is running away (not knowing where to go), Miguel reveals a big plot twist. Despite Gwen and Peter’s pleas not to, Miguel tells Miles that he was never meant to be Spider-Man. The Spider that bit Miles did not come from his universe and was never meant to be there. Miles getting bitten has caused an error in the multiverse. This error got Earth 1610’s Spider-Man killed and left the universe where the radioactive Spider was originally from without a Spider-Man to protect it.
Shocked by this revelation and by the fact that Gwen and Peter knew but never told him, Miles insists that he is Spider-Man. He manages to escape Miguel and runs into the machine the Spider-Society uses to send anomalies back into their universe.
Hoping to return to his universe, Miles turns the machine on and steps inside. Unfortunately, the device reads Miles’ spider genes and sends him to the original universe where the Spider was from—the universe without Spider-Man.
The Art of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
A big thing about the Spider-Verse movies is their art and animation style. In 2018, Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse introduced audiences to a new style of 2D and 3D animation that made the movie look like it came straight out of a comic book. The film’s style has positively surprised audiences and ushered in a new animation style.
In Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the filmmakers wanted to take things further and build on the tools they used in the first film. They created six utterly different art styles for each of the six universes we see during the movie. They wanted each universe to look like it was drawn and animated by a completely different artist with their own style.
Gwen’s world was created in an impressionist style using watercolours. The colours of her universe reflected her mood and changed as her attitude changed. From dim colours to represent sadness to more vivid colours when she councils with her father.
The animation in Pavitr’s world and the city of Mumbattan was inspired by 2000-year-old Indian fighting styles. While Nueva York, Miguel’s world had a more neo-futuristic art style to reflect 2099.
Another fascinating art style is the one used to create Spider-Punk. The character was created using inspiration from punk-rock album covers and magazine clippings. He looked like he was printed in a Xerox printer in the 1970s!
Our Verdict for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
It’s hard to find words to describe this film, but we will because it’s our job! The movie surpasses Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse in every way imaginable, and that’s not an easy job at all! The story perfectly captures the essence of Spider-Man and the fact that in whatever universe, time or place, Spider-Man will always try to save everyone.
The whole point of being Spider-Man is trying to save people so that what happened with each character’s version of Uncle Ben never happens again to anyone. In the real world, that is not possible, and we all know it. Even Spider-Man will not be able to save everyone all the time. But he sure will try.
Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse has no second of boredom or slow plot. We were on the edge of our seats for the whole two hours of the movie! (At some point, we were even sitting on the ground). The film takes you from one universe to the other without giving you a chance to blink, and by the time it ends, you’ll be left speechless.
The art style and animation are somehow even better than the first movie, which says a lot! The different art style of each character’s universe gives you a real sense of travelling through the multiverse. With the multiverse being a hot thing in superhero movies, we believe no one has done better than Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse!
In our opinion, Gwen’s world and Hobie’s designs were our favourite things about the movie, artistically speaking. Story-wise, we loved having a closer look into Gwen’s backstory, and we hope we get to see a solo Gwen movie sometime in the future. Miles’ story (to be continued) was also very well built and gave the character room to grow, as well as kept his roots deep in place.
We definitely gaped a little at the small cameo by Donald Glover as the Prowler. And the blink-and-you-miss-it scenes with Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man and Toby Maguire’s Spider-Man. The only Spider-Man who was missing was our very own Tom Holland, even though he got a quick grumble from Miguel about the events of Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness!
All in all, we absolutely loved Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse! It gets an A++ from us, and we cannot wait to see the next movie, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse coming in 2024. In the meantime, we will be rewatching every Spider-Man movie ever made, and we hope you join us as well!