Review: Can Miles Morales Travel “Across the Spider-Verse”

Review: Can Miles Morales Travel “Across the Spider-Verse”

One of the biggest shocks and surprises to the superhero film world was the release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse in 2018. I’m not saying people were expecting it to fail before it came out, but fans didn’t seem to be ready for what many of them would consider the best comic book film, ever. You don’t have to reach far to find someone who thinks Into the Spider-verse is better than any MCU movie out there. After a four year wait, the next installment in the animated series has arrived, and some consider it to be ever better than the first. But is that the case?

After the events of Into the Spider-verse, all of the different Spider-people Miles encountered are back in their own universes; unable to contact each other. The Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen/Spider-Woman that Miles connected with is back dealing with her own issues in her universe where her father, the Captain of the police force is out searching for the elusive Spider-Woman in connection to the death of her Peter Parker. Just as he finally corners her after fighting off a version of The Vulture that entered her universe somehow, she is met with more Spider-People who invite her to join The Spider Society. A group of Spider-people who help keep the multiverse from collapsing.

By being a part of this cadre of super spiders, she has the ability to travel to any universe she wants. While she doesn’t immediately use this privilege to visit Miles, a new case leads her to his universe and she can’t resist from stopping in to see how he is doing. But this leads to larger problems that begin to spin out of control as they fail to contain the once weak, but now powerful super villain, The Spot. 

On almost all levels, Across the Spider-verse does surpass its predecessor. The animation is on point, the plot (though derivative, more on that soon) is deeper and more impactful, even the performances seem tighter. It’s hard not to like the film, even though it is overly long and ultimately just part of the whole story. Though all films in a single series are inherently connected, Across the Spider-verse is just the opening to a two part story that doesn’t get full closure until the next part concludes. 

But the film doesn’t come without its issues. I’ve already said it, it’s long and arduous. The general plot is also pretty much just the Loki Disney+ show, just with Miles Morales at the center. It treads some fairly familiar ground. This doesn’t necessarily do it better, and it isn’t sunk down by it; but it’s hard to overlook the similarities especially since the Loki series is still fresh in so many minds.

There is also a jarring animation contrast battle going on when certain characters rove out of their universe and into others. The art styles of The Vulture from the opening and at one time elusive Hobie/Spider-Punk are so drastically different from the rest of the background they inhabit on the screen that it becomes a little distracting and somewhat of an eyesore when they are front and center. Let alone the fact that by the time you’re in the Spider Society, you’re straining your eyes trying to catch all the different Spider variants. Just wait till some of these YouTube breakdown channels get their hands on a copy they can pause.

Much like the first installment in the series, you’re going to have a ball watching Miles and company swing through the city and fight everyone from The Spot to themselves. But much like Into the Spider-verse, even though you’ll love Across the Spider-verse, the breaks need to be pumped right here and right now. This is a good movie, and even though the heart takes a bigger stage over the laughs this time, it isn’t a revolutionary work of art that deserves to be praised like it is the second coming of Kubrick.

Final Grade: B

Check out more of Matthew’s articles.

Here’s the trailer of the film.

Comment (0)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here