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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Did “Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse” Live Up to the Hype?

Photo Credit: IMDb

Alright, let’s do this one last time. 

On June 2, 2023, the long-awaited “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” finally hit theaters after an agonizing four-year wait. This was one of the most highly anticipated films of 2023 and it did not disappoint in the slightest.

Its predecessor “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a masterclass in not only animation but cinema as a whole. Every possible positive thing that can be said about that movie has been said, and it set an incredibly high bar for the animation industry going forward. 

Unsurprisingly, “Across the Spider-Verse” soared above everyone’s expectations with its innovative animation, well-developed characters, complex storylines, and laugh-out-loud humor

Countless different art styles were merged into this film, from Spider-Gwen’s watercolor-inspired mood ring universe to the comic book-inspired style of the first film. This carried over into Miles Morales’s dimension in this movie, with even an entire sequence animated in Legos

Each character’s design was meticulously crafted, with around 280 unique “Spider-People” created for this film. The character who stands out the most is “Spider-Punk”, a nonconformist superhero who strives to fight traditional societal expectations.

To emphasize this fact, the animators made very specific choices regarding his outlook, choosing to animate each part of his character model, such as his body, vest, and guitar, all at different frame rates. This was an incredibly effective way to convey the disarray and ferocity of his personality, but it also meant that it took far more time and effort to animate him than any of the other characters.

Innovation was bursting at the seams in this film, with not only the animation being ground-breaking, but also the way it tackled the beast that is the multiverse genre. 

“Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” delivered the basic beats of a superhero multiverse story, but “Across the Spider-Verse” fully developed each character in a way that the “Multiverse of Madness” couldn’t.

While expanding upon the ongoing story of the first film, this sequel managed to set up countless intriguing characters and broadened the scope of the Spider-Man universe as we know it. With the explanation of “canon events”, which are fundamental aspects of each spider-person’s backstory, such as the death of an Uncle Ben figure, our understanding as an audience of how the multiverse works is immediately enhanced. 

The film also introduced two new villains, Miguel O’Hara and The Spot, with either half of the film centering around either character. 

Miguel O’Hara is the leader of the Spider Society, a league of hundreds of different spider-people from different universes who work together to keep the multiverse in order. Miguel serves as the typical intimidating, cunning, brilliant (and attractive) villain, prowling Miles as he fights to prevent him from destabilizing the Spider-Verse.

The Spot is a more unique spin on the typical nemesis, at the beginning of the film, he seems to be a temporary conflict. However, as the movie continues, he proves himself to be more than the villain of the weak, and we learn that the entire multiverse could be altered by his universe-shifting abilities.

By the end of the film, he truly transforms from the butt of the joke to a bone-chilling villain with several intimidating sequences.

There are countless aspects of “Across the Spider-Verse” to mention, but if I went into all of them, this article would never end. So, if you haven’t yet, GO WATCH “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”!

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