When we first ventured into the Spider-Verse back in 2018, minds were blown around the world at just how creative and powerful a film it was. As soon as they announced the sequels, there was palpable excitement brewing for what else the creative team behind the film could deliver that would top what they made previously. With Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, they've done exactly that, and then some, with a film that shows the possibilities are endless in one of the greatest sequels ever made.

After reuniting with Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), Brooklyn's full-time, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is catapulted across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. However, when the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles (Shameik Moore) finds himself pitted against the other Spiders. He must soon redefine what it means to be a hero so he can save the people he loves most.
What truly stands out in both Spider-Verse films so far is just how much they seem to understand the character of Spider-Man. Into the Spider-Verse saw Miles Morales find his place as Spider-Man amidst a small band of Spider-People from other universes, and Across the Spider-Verse is an enthralling story of Miles Morales, as well as others, coming face-to-face with their destiny as Spider-Man. It makes for such compelling viewing as Miles struggles to come to terms with everything thrown his way in the Multiverse.

It expands upon what its predecessor introduced with proper emotional beats - Miles sharing more tender moments with his mother this time round, brilliant writing that delves deeper into the conflicting background of characters such as Gwen Stacy, and clever humour that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller just have down to a tee these days. It's all there from the beginning but when Miles visits various locations in the Multiverse, the film takes it all to the next level with humour and easter eggs that will have you pausing every second as soon as the home release lands.
None of it would be possible without the outstanding work of the animators, tasked with scaling up on what came previously and delivering such stellar work as a result. The blending of animation styles moves the narrative forward in such spectacular fashion, an assault on the senses has never been this appealing. It'd be great to spend a whole film in just one of the locations brought to life so vividly, to get to visit multiple is just them spoiling us, and showing off a little if I'm being honest. Let them do it though because it's just such magnificent work.

Returning to the main voice cast are Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld and Jake Johnson, all familiar with their characters to the point you can just settle in for this abstract ride. Moore and Steinfeld in particular add even more layers of emotion to their performances here as their characters feel a natural pull to one another. It's newcomers Daniel Kaluuya as Spider-Punk and Oscar Isaac as Miguel O'Hara who impress the most from the rest, Kaluuya effortless in his coolness and Isaac borderline psychotic as the leader of the Spider-Society trying to save the Multiverse. Listen out for a scene-stealing Andy Samberg as Scarlet Spider too.

It all culminates with a closing sequence that left everyone on the edge of their seat, masterfully ramping up the tension before cutting to black and leaving us in waiting for Beyond the Spider-Verse next year. If they make it as good as the first two instalments, we are talking one of the great trilogies with these Spider-Verse films.

Verdict: ★★★★★


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