Review: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – The First Verse

Everyone once in a while you come across an animated movie that wows you visually and emotionally. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the next chapter from Sony Animation about Mile Morales, delivers in many ways that make it a visual marvel and heartfelt story. But while it does so much right in making one of the best Spider-Man stories seen with animation, it unfortunately hits the breaks hard being only the first half of a two-part story. That will definitely disappoint many who are along for the ride but it’s not a deal breaker. There’s a lot to love in this sequel to 2018’s Spider-Man: Into Spider-Verse for both longtime Spider-Man fans and those who just enjoy a great animated movie.

Across The Spider-Verse does things a little bit differently than its predecessor, opting to begin the story with Spider-Gwen rather than Miles Morales. We catch up with Gwen Stacy on everything since the events of the last film, but eventually get dropped right into Miles’ story and how he has been dealing with being Spider-Man. Like always, it’s never easy having two identities, especially when Miles has to face the ire of his parents and the looming change that will come with college applications. But once the superhero antics start to ramp up, after a new villain called The Spot arrives to cause problems, Miles gets thrown back into the Spider-Verse and reunited with Gwen. But the growing threat of The Spot draws the attention of a Spider-Society with tons of Spider-Men from throughout the multiverse, putting Miles in a position that will rock his world and many others as well.

The story in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is very big and filled with a lot of events and characters that will make some viewers feel that it’s bloated. The big focus of the plot is on Miles and how he’s eventually going to have to face one of the biggest things about being Spider-Man, like many of his predecessors before him. Everything built around that, like his relationship with Gwen and the many Spider-Cameos we see throughout, helps to complement a story that feels relatable and deeper than most. The idea that a person can’t always have everything they want and the pressures from those around them on every little thing in their lives is something many people, not just superheroes, often go through. And with Miles Morales, it just happens to involve a web of universes that are different yet similar to his own life.

The visuals in this film are among the best that any Spider-Man story, or Marvel superhero story for that matter, has ever produced. Multiple characters we see throughout the Spider-Verse have their own unique art styles from their respective worlds that stand out yet fit within this context. Miles and Gwen have their unique look, with an array of colors and shadows that look fantastic, but it’s the different Spider-Men we meet that will provide much of the eye candy alongside the beautiful backdrops. Almost every shot in the film can stand on its own in a big print form and be marvelous to look at. Whether it’s the skyscrapers in the background or the lights zipping by as Miles and others swing, Across The Spider-Verse is a great-looking film. There are even scenes that play with the color of environments based on the emotion on display from characters in a scene, very similar to the comic books they are derived from. It’s beautiful and shows an incredible amount of effort and artistry on screen.

All of this is paired phenomenally with the amazing action that many scenes include. Miles fighting The Spot, Spider-Gwen working together with other Spider-Men from various universes, and even the fun moments with Miles swinging through the city. Everything looks very good in motion, with a lot of fast-paced scenes still conveying the weight of emotion behind every punch or dash without getting blurred in the heat of the moment. Some of the best scenes in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse are when so many characters are on screen but the focus is still clear enough on what is the key part of the scene. It’s moments like this where fans will find a treasure trove of Easter eggs and fan service that will keep them talking for years.

But while this is all beautifully put together, the movie suffers a bit from being the first half of a larger story. The ending is a hard cut that leaves the audience hanging at a point where many big things are revealed. Hopefully, everything can reach a conclusion within the inevitable sequel, but within the Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse it just makes things feel incomplete. A lot of the inner and outer conflict for Miles is put into place, with some things not being explored more towards the latter half of the movie or dropped entirely for now. Nothing is solved but rather set up for the next movie. For some, this will be understandable, but for many others, it will feel unsatisfying, like going on a ride that ends before going up the big hill or loop right in front of you.

The voice cast in this sequel brings their a-game and helps bring these characters to life once again. Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld reprise their roles as Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy, getting fantastic scenes together with some great dialogue that will tug at some heartstrings in a few spots. Miles’ family is played again by Lauren Velez and Brian Tyree Henry and brings a level of humor, relatability, and wisdom to the roles that make their interactions very enjoyable to watch.

But while these returning voices are great to heart once again, newcomers Oscar Issac and Issa Rae let audiences become intrigued with Miguel O’Hara (Spider-Man 2099) and Spider-Woman as they expand our view of the Spider-Verse. When big things start to happen, their voices bring weight to the situation Miles finds himself in, for better or worse.

The rest of the voices we hear are good for the purpose they serve. Many of the quick cameos we see from different versions of Spider-Man are nice, including a few from both the video games and even the classic cartoons from the 90s and early 2000s. Some characters who appeared in the first film also make a return but for a very quick cameo that isn’t as prominent as their previous roles.

Other characters in Miles’ world are goofy, including The Spot, played by Jason Schwartzman, who causes the most problems for everyone in the Spider-Verse. He’s a weird and bitter man that was affected by Miles in the first film but sounds like a total pushover at first glance. He doesn’t become a major issue until the middle and latter half of the film, as we see the progression of him becoming a minor nuisance into a major threat for everyone. He’s definitely important in this film, but will become more of a presence most likely in the sequel.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a solid film for fans of Spider-Man, especially if they’ve been following the character for many years. The more casual viewer will still enjoy the wild ride that this movie takes you on, even though they won’t get the full effect of everything happening in the story. But it’s the visual majesty and creative artistry on screen that will bring everyone together for this second outing for Miles Morales. We’ll have to wait a while to see how things come to an end, but what is shown in this film will definitely assure everyone that it’ll be worth the wait.

Are you going to see Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse? Who is your favorite Spider-Man and what do you want to see next for Miles Morales? Share your thoughts about everything down below in the comments!

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
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    Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse - 90%


This movie is a visual marvel that looks fantastic. There are a lot of creative scenes that have beautiful displays of color and awesome action. Unfortunately, the movie ends on a cliffhanger that sets up a sequel, leaving many things without a true conclusion. There’s a ton of fan service and great characters that many will love to see, as well as heartfelt moments that will speak to everyone. strives to be an apolitical, balanced and based pop culture news outlet. However, our contributors are entitled to their individual opinions. Author opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of our video hosts, other site contributors, site editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. This website contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. We disclaim products or services we have received for review purposes, as well as sponsored posts.

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Jakejames Lugo
Jakejames Lugo
Jakejames Lugo is a writer and content creator that has been covering video games, movies, and various sides of entertainment for over a decade. He has published reviews and articles on many different outlets and continues to make content for different platforms. Jakejames also makes video content regularly for places like YouTube and TikTok, and share daily posts about gaming on social media.

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