Spider Man: Across the Spider Verse
This month’s movie is Spiderman: Across the Spider-Verse for obvious reasons. Those reasons being: this movie is awesome and everyone should see it. Like its predecessor, Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, the main characters are part of a broader team of spider-people. So in the spirit of the Spider-Verse, Scott, Mark, and Jessie have teamed up to bring you a spoiler-free review of what we are collectively calling the only superhero movie you need to see in 2023.
First: an answer to a commonly asked question: Do I need to rewatch Into the Spider-Verse before watching Across the Spider-Verse? We would say that you totally can (and doing so is absolutely not a bad use of your time), but it’s not a requirement. The characters you know and love will certainly make an appearance—but the movie does a good job helping viewers who might not remember every detail of the first movie to catch any old references. Which is good, because the first movie came out in 2018!
The color-rich, breathtaking animation that made the first film an Acadamy Award winner is back in Across the Spider-Verse, you might even say this time—it's better. Every character has a unique style that tells you something about them—and it’s all more distinct than the last movie. In some places, the film drops the 3D-rendered background of a scene and replaces it with a more abstract design that uses colors to reflect the emotional state of the characters brilliantly. Bonus fun fact: there is a stop-motion LEGO scene (brief, but hilarious) in the film that was animated by a 14-year-old.
And let’s talk about the music! If you didn’t know Daniel Pemberton before, you’ll know him now. Much like the animation, the music that is paired with each character tells the audience something unique. Even when characters’ themes collide, you can close your eyes and know who’s on screen by the music alone. Weaving with the unique story told by the bright colors and shifting art style, the narrative is one that picks you up and takes you along for the ride.
What is a Spider Man movie without some cameos? But don’t worry—the cameos they work into this movie are hilarious, welcome, and never overpowering. There are easter eggs for Spider fans of all ages—But we won’t drop any spoilers! You’ve got to see them for yourself. In contrast to last month’s movie of the month, The Super Mario Bros., this movie has plenty of references—but they don’t feel like as much of a stretch.
All of the main characters deliver fantastic performances—if you loved the last movie, you won’t be disappointed. Where the last movie gave a little more screen time to Miles’ father, this time, Rio Morales steps into the spotlight. Luna Lauren Vélez delivers a monologue that might just have you feeling misty! We know we were. Andy Samberg gives a delightful appearance as the Scarlet Spider, and we were blown away by Oscar Isaac as Miguel O’Hara. The movie’s antagonist, The Spot, is a delightful combination of funny and threatening—the ideal combo for a super villain, and we were wowed by Jason Schwartz’s performance from beginning to end. Jessie also wants to add that her favorite spider person was hands down Spider Punk, played by the indelible Daniel Kalyuua. Writers, if you’re listening, the people want to see more Spider Punk content!
After the credits rolled, we found ourselves in awe. Do yourself a favor and catch this one while it’s still on the big screen! There’s no better place to experience a film with this quality of color, sound, and writing. You won’t regret it!
(PS – there is no after-credits scene, so there’s no need to sit around crossing your legs and thinking about how much you need to pee for 20 minutes. You’re welcome.)