“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” Movie Review: Sony’s New Sequel Is All That & A Bag Of Chips 

by Shaye Wyllie
spider man across the spider verse review

Up until a few days ago, before I saw an advanced screening of Sony’s new Spider-Verse movie … I often told people that the only Spider-Man that I cared about, was “the Black one”. And that really hasn’t changed much. I mean, thanks to “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” I now have a few more Spideys (of color) that I absolutely adore! But I still think those other Spider-Men, and their movies … you know the ones I’m talking ’bout … the *ahem* lighter versions, don’t even come close to Miles Morales. Or Hobie Brown, or Pavitr Prabhakar, or even annoying, old-ass Miguel O’Hara.

Hell, if anything “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” solidifies who the best Spider-Man really is. So trust and believe me when I say that Sony’s Spider-Verse sequel surpasses all them other Spider-Man movies! It’s THAT good! And you can fight me if you think otherwise.

Full “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” Review

Sony’s new superhero animation film is incredibly and wonderfully complex, which makes this sequel an absolute delight to watch …

Not only is the animation visually stunning — I’m talking freakishly insane — because from the moment this film begins you can just TELL this was a LOT to f*cking animate! Like, a lot! But whoever wrote this also understands our culture! This isn’t one of those white films, with a brown face slapped on the cover to appease the masses. This is a thoroughly fleshed-out story about an Afro-Latino Brooklyn kid who is now a teen superhero, and all the struggles he faces along the way.

From his life at home — keeping his identity a secret, concealing his suit from his family and neighbors, and talking back to his mother. (Because clearly, he’s a stressed-out, foolish child, trying to keep it all together.) To school, where he’s basically “failing” Spanish class, a class he should easily be getting an “A” in. Miles is struggling to find the balance between life as a superhero and just being a damn teen, and we get to see him struggle through it all! Which I absolutely love!

I should note, I don’t love that he’s struggling, I just love that they show us the different layers of what it’s like being an Afro-Latino teen superhero from Brooklyn! This story isn’t one-dimensional! We can see his inner struggles, outer struggles, and everything in between.

I mean, they pay attention to ALL the details in this one!

Right down to what it’s really like living in NYC.

Minor Spoiler Alert: That little boy licking the train glass is very real around these parts! I’ve seen way too many kids lick a dirty glass window! That moment made me cringe internally and scream for joy externally because whoever made this GETS NYC!

Plus there’s a scene where someone ripped a package open, that basically felt like someone was ripping my heart right out of my chest. The geek in me ’bout damn well jumped right up out of my seat! The emotions are a bit of a rollercoaster in this, but it’s so freaking good, you just can’t look away! It’s clear they made this Spider-Verse sequel with love! Like, they really put their foot in this one!

And I mean it when I say every version of Spider-Man in this movie … is great!

Of course, there are some who stand out, like …

Spider-Punk aka Hobie Brown (played by Daniel Kaluuya) – a brilliant anti-establishment punk-rock Black Spider-man with an incredibly sexy British accent and a guitar, who hates: capitalism, blindly following the crowd, and distrusts figures of authority … oh yeah, and he’s also kind of in a band. He’s cool AF, and immediately takes to Miles Morales, and sticks beside him when Miguel O’Hara gets a little bit shady. He’s loyal, stands up for what’s right, and is now my absolute fave!

Spider-Man India aka Pavitr Prabhakar (played by Karan Soni) – a cheeky, Indian Spider-Man who lives in Mumbattan aka Mumbai and Manhattan who I absolutely adore because he naturally just feels like a great friend to Miles Morales. And boy could he use some new friends!

Spider-Byte aka Margo Kess (played by Amandla Stenberg) – a benevolent Black Spider-woman who hacked the system and created her own spider-powered avatar to fight crime in cyberspace. She feels similar to Shuri and Ironheart in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Spider-Woman aka Jessica Drew (played by Issa Rae) – a badass Black Spider-Woman who kicks ass on her motorcycle, even while pregnant. Although I’m still torn between loving the representation, and the idea that pregnant women can continue to work and be great at their job … versus, wondering why Black women can never catch a break! I mean she’s pregnant and still working! Did I miss the line that says this is her idea because she isn’t ready to quit working just yet? Am I overthinking this? Probably. But still! I’m also not sure I entirely like Issa’s voice for this character. But I don’t hate it.

Miguel O’Hara (played by Oscar Issac) – a Latino Spider-Man, who’s clearly older than the others, which makes him a tad bit wiser, but also a lot more jaded than his teenage counterparts. He’s clearly over the hype, and no longer feels the thrill of helping others because he already completely understands that having powers isn’t always a great thing. And even though it feels like he’s slowly becoming a villain himself, he’s still a great addition to the team!

And yeah … Gwen is still cool, but alas … she’s no longer my fave! And can you blame me? There are so many more Spider-Men and Women now!

P.s. – THIS is how you do diversity and do it well. Take notes, Disney! This is how it’s supposed to be done!

The Spider-Verse sequel also has one of the best villains I’ve seen in a very long time.

‘Spot’ isn’t just some silly, nonsensical, absurd villain with holes.

I mean, he IS all of that. But there’s so much more to him. For one, he’s probably the world’s worst thief, and I happen to love that about him. He’s also funny, and while he feels like a minor threat when we first meet him. (And super entertaining to watch as he interacts with Miles in such a friendly, non-hostile way.) He slowly graduates into a supervillain that’s so much more!

To me, he’s right up there with the greats! Spot, played by Jason Schwartzman, could easily be on par with Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin if given as much time to shine. And if they play their cards right, and write this character well enough. He’s not quite there yet, especially not in intensity, because we know Willem’s a beast as Green Goblin! But I do think he’ll get there! At least, I hope so, because that’s where he seems to be headed. And I love me a villain with a sad sob tale of a backstory!

A few more things I loved about the Spider-Verse sequel …

  • The art commentary is hilarious and quite true.
  • We get more of Gwen and her story. Which considering the first film introduced us to our first spider-women of this universe, just felt right.
  • The shop owner is Caribbean, with what sounds like a real Caribbean accent, and all the mannerisms of someone who’s Caribbean. Right down to beef patties being a fair trade for superhero work. Typical Caribbean man foolery.
  • The guidance counselor scene as we watch Miles struggle to be in both worlds.
  • Miles being late for his dad’s party because he can’t turn off the urge to help others. As an empath, that one hits home hard!
  • The mental health commentary — as they weave in the issue of older Black men ignoring their mental health and make it a concerning matter.
  • And yes, of course, the cliffhanger ending that left most of the world in an uproar, including my 11 yr old tween daughter who had no idea this movie was only “part one”.

Honestly, there’s really nothing to complain about, the ‘Spider-Verse’ sequel is amazing.

It’s funny, cheeky, full of action, and incredibly clear that Philip Lord and Christopher Miller (whose work you may remember from “The Mitchells Vs The Machines”, “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs”, and “The Lego Movie”) worked on this film. I mean, their stories are always so well-developed that it’s almost hard to not notice their work.

You could also say Miles Morales is kind of the amazing Spider-Man, no? Sorry. Bad joke? I’ll see myself out. However, if you’ve been reading Popcorn and Tequila for the last few years, or following me on Twitter and TikTok, then you know I usually do have some sort of complaint or critique for just about every movie I’ve ever seen.

But truth is … “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” isn’t just a great sequel, it’s also an incredible film!

If you haven’t already seen “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” yet, you’ll definitely need to watch that before catching this fantastic sequel. “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” is ultimately a continuation of the first film and its story. So you won’t really understand the ending without watching the first film. Which you NEED to understand because it’s partially why this movie is so f*cking awesome!

I can not wait to see this again and to own it on Blu-Ray, because it’s definitely a film I can see myself rewatching again and again. This trilogy is already becoming one of my faves and it’s not even complete yet! But no matter how part two plays out … yes, there’s a “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” part two … I’ll forever be grateful for finally having a Spider-Man that I can now relate to and love.

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