Film: Spider-man: Across the Spider-verse
Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
Cast (by virtue of lending their voices to the characters on screen): Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson, Issa Rae, Daniel Kaluuya, Karan Soni, Jason Schwartzman, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Velez, Greta Lee, Rachel Dratch, Jorma Taccone, Shea Whigham and Oscar Isaac
Screenplay by:Phil Lord & Christopher Miller and David Callaham
Rating: 2.5 stars
Make no mistake about it, if you are someone who hasn’t watched the first chapter of the Spider-verse series – Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse, then you are bound to be at sea while watching the second.
That doesn’t mean that the film has nothing to offer to people who are watching a Spider-verse film for the very first time.
The second instalment of Spider-man: Across the Spider-verse series is likely to impress you with its brilliant designs and colour. But that’s as far as it gets. When it comes to characterisation, animation, or narration, you get the feeling you’ve seen better films.
Before we analyse the film any further, here’s the synopsis…
Gwen Stacy (dubbed for by Hailee Steinfeld) is still at loggerheads with her dad (Shea Whigham), who is intent on hunting down the Spider-woman, whom he believes to be responsible for the death of his daughter’s friend.
Unable to disclose that she is Spider-woman to her dad, Gwen is frustrated. She is angry with herself and the world, looking for an outlet to vent out the anger.
To cut a long story short, Gwen gets chosen to be a part of the elite Spider-Society, a group of spidermen and women who have taken upon themselves the task of keeping the multiverse in order.
Meanwhile, our man, Miles Morales (dubbed for by Shameik Moore), is more evolved now — at least in some ways. He has more control over his powers and is more aware of some his responsibilities. While he is keen on fulfilling his role as a superhero, he still has a long way to go in fulfilling his responsibilities as a son and as a student for he fails to arrive on time for important meetings — be it with his counsellor or a family get-together.
When Gwen eventually meets Miles, he follows her to the multiverse, only to find that it is filled with crucial nodes called cannons that cannot be disrupted.
The Spider-society, led by Miguel O’Hara (Oscar Isaac), will not let cannon disruptions occur but Miles, who has arrived on a one-time pass into this world, happens to realise that a disaster is waiting to happen which could end in a personal loss for him.
Miles is advised to sit tight but he refuses to let disaster strike someone dear to him and dares to take on the entire Spider-society…
Facts first. The film is painfully long. What is even more annoying is that despite having a run-time of around 140 minutes, the film ends inconclusively, making you wait for the next sequel to know what eventually happens.
Marvel seems to be particular about being politically correct and therefore seems to have created far too many characters from varied and different backgrounds for the sake of showcasing themselves as being inclusive. So, we have Spider-men and Spider-women in all colours and displaying various traits.
While the characters themselves are not a problem, the fact that many of them have little or nothing to contribute to the developments in the story strikes you pretty hard.
In short, Spider-man: Across the Spider-verse might delight fans of the Marvel series. However, it is highly doubtful if whether it will thrill people who are not fans of the series.
This is a film that is not for everyone and is only for a select few who have a liking for the first part.