There was a lot of debate around the multiverse concept, as some pointed it out as the reason for the recent creative dullness of most MCU films. And to an extent, it felt like a valid point. What’s great about the new animated movie from Sony, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, is how its writers show how to explore the multiverse concept refreshingly. While humor and innovative twists consume a significant part of the movie, there is a bit of an ethical and dilemma-driven conflict in the end that adds a lot of depth to this fun entertainer.
Post the events in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, we are shown how Gwen missed everyone and also how she gets blamed for the death of her friend Peter Parker. In a hopeless situation, she gets saved by Miguel O’Hara and Jessica Drew, who is part of a Spider-Society that takes care of all the Spidey people in all the universes. In this installment of the franchise, we see the developments that happen when Gwen goes to Miles Morales’ universe to capture this inexperienced anomaly named the Spot.
First of all, I wasn’t expecting Pavitr Prabhakar (Indian Peter Parker) to have this much significance and space in a Spider-man movie. It might not be the perfect Indian version one would expect, but it felt like they made a great effort to make sure that the Indian audience won’t feel that Slumdog Millionaire kind of under-researched stereo-typed feel while doing that segment. And to make it even more exciting, the events in Mumbattan are actually giving the foundation for the conflict in the movie. The most exciting phase of the film happens when Miles Morales reaches Spider-society and is imprisoned for stopping a key event from happening. Something similar to the freshness and depth Thanos brought to the table for Avengers is seen here, as you can’t entirely disagree with the theory of Miguel O’Hara, aka Spider-Man 2099.
It might sound a bit weird when you talk about cinematography for an animated film, but the visual craft of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is spectacular. Directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson use color palettes, dolly zoom, etc., in an animation movie so brilliantly to convey the emotional subtext of the scenes. In a way, they won’t be able to achieve it in a live-action film. But here, it was used so effectively. The choices of animation styles, the subtle tribute to the comic book culture, and the penultimate twist in the very end that will excite you about Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, etc., are all giving it that freshness one would love to see.
The voice acting of the movie is also on point, and Shameik Moore, as Miles Morales, backs the emotions perfectly with his voice. Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry, Jake Johnson, Mahershala Ali, etc., reprised their roles from the previous film, while Oscar Isaac made his full-fledged franchise debut as Miguel O’Hara, aka Spider-Man 2099. Deadpool Dopinder Karan Soni was also a good choice for Pavitr Prabhakar, even though I felt a native Indian actor would have created much more excitement around that character.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is fun, and at the same time, it has the emotional foundation and an eagerness to explore the possibilities of a concept like a multiverse. By placing Miles in a highly unexpected universe, the next part of the franchise already looks enticing in terms of the possible emotional conflicts along with the likely changes in the Spider-society dynamic.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is fun, and at the same time, it has the emotional foundation and an eagerness to explore the possibilities of a concept like a multiverse.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended