Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Director: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
Starring: Voices of: Shameik Moore, Haille Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac, Jake Johnson, Issa Rae, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Shea Whigham, Greta Lee, Mahershala Ali, Elizabeth Perkins, JK Simmons
Distributor: Sony Pictures
Runtime: 140 mins. Reviewed in Jun 2023
Reviewer: Fr Peter Malone msc
| JustWatch |
Rating notes: Mild science fiction themes, animated violence and coarse language

Continuing the animation series of the many Spider-People, multiracial men and women combatting villains in alternate worlds.

Whew! And whew again! Two hours 20 minutes of intense emotion in the Spider-Verse – action-filled, bright colours, descent into darkness, loud, a reminder of what popular movies are these days. And, after the whirl through alternate universes, multi-dimensions, a vast array of Spider-Man characters, male and female, trying to keep track of the original Peter Parker, somewhat overwhelmed to find Gwen Stacy, his girlfriend, now a kind of Spider-Person, but trying to focus on the central character, the engaging desiring-to-be-a hero, Miles Morales, we are faced with the large colourful caption: To Be Continued . . .

The only possible review is: most definitely for Spiderman, spider-verse fans and devotees. For anyone venturing into this spider-verse, confusion, bewilderment, the need for some kind of a guide.

As regards the quality of the filmmaking, that is a matter for the serious critics who one suspects will not be too enthusiastic. There is a huge, vast, gulf between art-cinema and popular movies.

This is the second of the Spider-Verse films. The first film, 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, was highly successful. Marvel Universe audiences had enjoyed various Spider Man episodes, with both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Soon after, there was the even more popular series with Tom Holland. There is definitely a broad, worldwide, audience eager for Spider-Man movies. (And, with the reassurance, that the next episode is already in post-production.)

This film is a reminder of the popularity of this kind of entertainment, coming soon after the worldwide box office success of The Super Mario Brothers, the audience attracted by the animation, and not forgetting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. And, not forgetting the popularity of video games with the younger generation – who, of course, grow into the middle-aged generation. [Statistics indicate that adult audience has been indulging in John Wick 4.]

Impossible to give a brief resume of the characters and events, just that there is definitely a universe of parallel worlds, of multi-dimensions, of alternate portrayals of characters and families, and of a whole range of super hero Spider-Persons ready to confront the villain, but the focus on Miles, his mystified parents and the support of Gwen who has her own conflict with her police officer father, and the mystery of where is Peter Parker.

The franchise must be attractive since a rather large voice cast of prominent actors have said yes when asked to contribute.

The younger generation hurrying off to see this Spider-Verse show will not read a review – but maybe parents will need some kind of background to be able to give an attentive ear to the enthusiasm of the younger generation.

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