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The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

‘Across the Spider-Verse’ Breaks Expectations

Photo courtesy of IMDb

I walked into Across the Spider-Verse, expecting everything from Into the Spider-Verse and more, and I was not disappointed. From voice-acting to animation, storylines, and dialogue – the film delivers in every aspect.  

The voice-acting was spot on on every account. My favorite casting choice has to be Oscar Issac for the role of Miguel O’Hara, Spider-Man 2099, striking the perfect balance of a sympathetic, yet aggressive (and usually) unlikeable character.

But, it makes sense–Miguel has to be the morally grey character, following the rules of the book, while still understanding why someone would be likely to make the same mistakes he did – the urge to recapture a sense of nostalgia and the passion to change one’s own story. Miguel forces the viewer to create a scale of ‘goodness’ and heroism and then allows the viewer to judge the characters based on their own moral fabric.

Spot, a seemingly goofy and harmless villain, constantly being downplayed by the heroes he fights against, turns into a massive threat to the entire multiverse. He encourages the viewer to ask themself: who is really the villain? Spot, for threatening to kill Miles’ family, or Miguel, for trying to stop Miles from escaping to save his own father? It certainly is bold of Miguel to criticize Miles for something he has already done, but it’s a moral divide trying to pick a side (at least for me). 

The film was grandiose; it tackled so many different characters, themes, art styles, and even generations. And? The film does it well. 

My greatest complaint? The film didn’t feel long enough. I wanted more to be wrapped up by the conclusion of the film, but now, I have to wait a year to figure out Mile’s fate. It may not seem like a long time, but I’m more excited to see the sequel to this film than turning 20, both happening in June 2023. 

And, I’m not sure if this is accurate, but the Writer’s Strike has (rightfully) stalled production efforts for the third film in the series. 

But – I’m not even that mad about it. Spider-Verse is such an amazing film that I don’t mind waiting forever to uncover the character’s futures, and I very, very rarely feel this way about sequels, trilogies, or other series. 

Yet, Spider-Verse seamlessly blended multiple mediums together to create a work of art. Thousands of people collaborated to make this film a magical viewing experience, and it was clear through the screen. 

The entire film and cast seemed to make perfect sense. 

I loved the concept of canon events that connect every Spider-Man to each other, but watching some of the heroes break away from this forced narrative was so refreshing. One of the overarching themes of Miles’ trife is that he wants to create his own story, not follow the path of what others expect from him, and it felt like this film perfectly captured that concept.

The representation of this film seemed fulfilling and accurate. It didn’t seem like a JK Rowling situation, where the only Chinese character was named Cho Chang; it felt like the culture was respected and appreciated. As a white American, I’m not the most suitable person to discuss this theme, but from the additional research I’ve conducted, it seems like the representation in this movie has been widely praised. 

One of my favorite aspects of the film was the simple attention to detail. In every scene, I found myself distracted (in a good way) by posters, cameos, and other seemingly mundane background features. This attention to detail is what makes this movie so amazing. 

Not only is the art style vibrant, eccentric, and engaging–but it tells a different story for every character (even the live-action ones). Watching the art style change in the slightest, to the most significant ways, depending on the character(s) in the scene, made the entire film 

There were so many different aspects of this film to identify with; the representation reaches a new level, something that is almost never seen (or accomplished well, in a non-forced way) in superhero movies. There was no awkward forced feminism, no girls kicking butt in spandex leggings strategically placed in front of cameras, no claims of “girl power!” in the middle of a violent fight, and the feminine characters were not defined by their gender. Could I ask for anything more in this film? 

Well, no cliffhanger. That’s about it. But again, I’m not that mad about it. 

Rate: 9.5/10

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    Ben ReilyOct 30, 2023 at 6:03 pm

    Love this review. The movie was incredible. The villains leitmotifs were a standout and I can’t wait for the third one