Caught in the Web: Across The Spider-Verse

The Spider-Verse is back y’all, and this time with more Spider-people. Like a LOT more Spider-people. Some of whom are a bit unexpected. Let’s get into it!

Spider-Man (Shameik Moore) and Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.

Sony Picture’s Across the Spider-Verse (check out the trailer here) is the next chapter of the Spider-Verse story, and it’s good. The animation, character relationships and music are all somehow even better this time. 

In this next chapter, the stakes are even higher. Miles is an older and more confident Spider_Man. He’s catching criminals left and right, making his own suit, and gathering sponsors. Yet, he’s hiding things from his parents, mainly his superhero secret identity. Something we discussed with Luna Lauren Vélez and Brian Tyree Henry. He’s struggling because he wants desperately to open up to them but has heard firsthand from Gwen how badly that can go. 

Speaking of Gwen. She’s part of a super selective Spider-people fighting group. And by super selective, I mean everyone and their mama, but Miles was invited. As Miles learns more about this group and why he was not invited into it, he learns that all spider people share moments in their lives. Fate will soon make him choose between saving one person and saving everyone. Miles has to trust his instincts and try to save the ones he loves.

I LOVED this movie. I was a big Into the Spider-Verse fan, but this film shows how much more the Spider-Verse series has yet to show us. The stakes are so much higher, and the world is so much bigger, but the core of the Spider-Verse remains. The Across the Spider-Verse team gets Spider-Man in a way no one else really does. It’s funny, heartwarming, but also kept me on the edge of my seat. The jokes are perfect; they’re so meta while also not taking away from how serious the story is.

White racists are going to hate it, but the fact that literally, anyone could be Spider-Man is drilled into our heads just in case any of us forgot from the last movie, and I love it. We get so many kinds of Spider-people, from a pregnant motorcycle-riding Spider-Woman, Mumbattan Spider-Man, an anarchist Spider-Man, a hijabi Spider-Woman, and an android Spider-Woman. I mean, the list goes on and on. The fight scenes are also awesome. How they topped the animation from the last movie…I don’t even know.

Jessica Drew (Issa Rae), Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson) and his daughter Mayday in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animations SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.

The story is truly where this film goes from good to great. The idea of fate is played in an amazing way. It makes all of the Spider-people feel like they don’t have free will and are left to the cruel hands of fate, which is a really sad concept. Miles is attempting to go against fate, and it doesn’t feel easy. You want to say, “Of course, he’ll succeed,” but he really struggles, which makes his journey feels earned.

What is not as refreshing and more so confusing is the role of cops in this movie. It was already… a choice to make Miles’s dad a cop. But post-2020, I’m curious as to what, if anything, Spider-Verse is trying to say about the police. The plot is literally dependent on Miles’s dad being a cop, and there are points of the movie that feel… questionable. It constantly feels like they are going to address the cop situation when it’s so obvious that the cops in this story are trying to be the “right” kind of cops. I am unsure, though, if that is going to transition into a lesson that you can’t be the “right” kind of cop.

Miles Morales as Spider-Man (Shameik Moore) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.

You have to wonder what message they want audiences, especially Black audiences, to take away. Especially with Brian Tyree Henry being such a big BLM advocate. I hope in Part Two, we get a message about the police that does justice to the Black Lives Matter movement. I am very excited about the next part of this amazing story and the new things we can learn about the Spider-Verse.

Check out more from Sydney in this interview The Little Mermaid and Camille Friend, the Woman Behind the Locs.

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