Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse - A Spoiler Review

Into the Spider-Verse totally snuck up on me; I hesitated to see it when it first came out, and when I did, I kicked myself for waiting so long to watch it. I came out of the sequel blown away by it, Across the Spider-Verse is possibly my favourite Spider-Man film now. On so many levels is this an amazing film, the voice acting, the animation, the story, the score/music and the vibe. I was so lost in the film that when it was in the third act, I was expecting the story to wrap up, but I failed to realize it was already 2 hours and 10 minutes into the film. The decision to end on a cliff-hanger was a great choice as the third film in the series is due out in 2024, I can only imagine if there was no release date how annoyed I would be. It puts me at ease that the next film is coming next year, because that ending was awesome and it has me pumped to see how it plays out. Not only has the Spider-Verse films given us Miles Morales, Spider-Gwen, and Spider-Man 2099 they have also given us a different portrayal of Peter Parker. While the action scenes were phenomenal, I thought the character work for Miles and Gwen was on another level and some of the best stuff in any Marvel film. I am sure that others will not have connected with the character elements like I did, but the film is so enjoyable I find it hard for anyone to not enjoy it.

I cannot speak for anyone else, but for me this is a near the top of the list for comic book films. I think Across the Spider-Verse is superior to Into the Spider-Verse, but that is like comparing a 9 to a 10. Both films so far in the series are fantastic, and their unique animation style has made them stand out, but the character done in the first two films has made the series what it is. As I have gotten older, I appreciate action less than I used to, and I am more interested in characters which is why the Transformers films have been flat for me until Bumblebee came out. I can see the next installment in the series giving more reason to understand Spider-Man 2099's reasons and make him more sympathetic. Miguel O'Hara made for an interesting antagonist as we understood why he was doing what he was doing, but his coldness towards Miles made him a villain. I thought the introduction of Spot was perfect as it made us kind of like him, but as the film progressed Spot became a joke of a villain and turned into a true super villain. The fact that Spot was not featured in the final third of the film makes him feel like a secondary antagonist to Miguel O'Hara (Spider-Man 2099). 


The film opens focusing on Spider-Gwen (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld) who is back on her earth, and we see how she lost her best friend Peter Parker. In the present Gwen is finding it difficult to make new friends, and she is missing both Peter and Miles. Gwen's father Captain Stacy is hunting for Spider-Woman who he holds responsible for Peter's death. There is call of an attack by the Vulture so Captain Stacy leaves hoping he can capture Spider-Woman if she shows up to fight Vulture. Gwen shows up and subdues the police (including her father) in webbing so she can focus on Vulture, but the Vulture inside the museum is not her Vulture but one from another universe. As Gwen takes on the Vulture her father enters the fray, but a portal opens and a mysterious figure attacks Vulture. Another figure emerges to assist the first one through and the three heroes combine to take down the Vulture. The destruction post-battle leaves Gwen with her guard down, and her father points his gun at her. Gwen takes off her mask and then tries to explain how she did not kill Peter, but her father refuses to listen. The two mysterious heroes agree to let Gwen come with them when they see that she is in trouble.

The scene shifts to Miles (voiced by Shameik Moore) as he is late for a meeting with his parents and the guidance counselor. Miles becomes involved with a villain named Spot (voiced by Jason Schwartzman), and Spot can open holes in reality, but he has not fully mastered her powers. Miles is able to stop Spot, but as he is in the meeting with the guidance counselor, he sees that Spot gets free so Miles leaves again. Mile's parents are upset with his behavior of late, and they remind him that he needs to bring the cakes to the party celebrating the father getting promoted to Captain. Miles fights Spot, but his dad arrives and assists, but Spot disappears into one of his spots. Spot reveals that he got his powers from Miles blowing up the collider at the end of the first film, Spot also gave Miles his powers as Spot brought the spider that bit Miles from another earth (earth-42). Miles gets the cakes, but on the way home he cannot escape from his heroic duties, so he arrives to the party late and misses his father speech. Miles gets lectured about being late, but they also see that the cakes are ruined so Miles gets grounded. Miles is sulking in his room when a portal opens up and Gwen comes into his room. Miles and Gwen catchup as they web sling around the city, but Gwen is on a mission, and she sneaks away to plant a spy device watching Spot's hideout. Miles and Gwen with Miles having trouble sharing his feelings to Gwen, but she pours cold water on it saying Gwen and Spider-Man have tragic ends on all the earths she seen. 

Gwen and Miles join the party, but Miles' parents come over to introduce themselves to Gwen. Gwen gets an alert from her portal bracelet, so she leaves in a rushed awkward way, and Miles' mom notices his sad look when Gwen leaves. Miles' mom knowing that her son is going through something shows empathy and she encourages him to follow Gwen. Miles follows Gwen to Spot's hideout, but something bad has happened as the building is partially destroyed. Miles goes invisible so he can watch Gwen from a distance, and he hears her talk to Jessica Drew (voiced by Issa Rae). Miles learns that Gwen was not supposed to see Miles, and she promises to never see him again. Spot made more spots on his body, and learned how to use his powers which led him to go into another earth looking for an earth with an active collider. Miles follows Gwen through a portal to Mumbattan where take on Spot, but now that he has mastered his powers, he is tough to handle. They get help from Pavitr Prabhakar (Spider-Man of Mumbattan) and Hobie Brown (Spider-Punk), but they cannot prevent Spot from getting to the collider. Spot enters the collider where he is given more power, and before he disappears, he tells Miles he will make him pay. The collider blows up, and the spider heroes have to save the citizens of Mumbattan from the collapsing buildings. The captain of the police in Mumbattan is the father of Pavitr's girlfriend, and Miles saves him from a collapsing building, but the earth starts falling apart as more spider people arrive for help. Jessica Drew says that Miles has caused the destruction of Mumbattan by disrupting a canon event (the death of the captain). 

Miles goes back to the base of the spider people Nueva York so he can meet Miguel and he sees Spider-people of all different backgrounds. Miguel explains that they are trying to fix the multiverse as the collider from Mile's earth has caused chaos. Miguel explains that Miles is anomaly as the spider that bit him was from earth-42, and that world never got a spider-man. Miles becoming Spider-Man also caused the death of his world's Peter Parker which caused another ripple. Peter B Parker arrives with his daughter in tow, and he tells Miles that canon events are important. Miles realizes that his dad is going to die, and that Miguel intends to prevent Miles from interfering. Miguel then imprisons Miles in an forcefield, but Miles uses his powers to break free and run away. Miguel has everyone try to stop Miles, but he escapes and activated the portal used to send the villains back to their correct worlds. Miguel sends Gwen back to her earth, Hobie leaves in disgust, Peter B Parker heads back to MJ and Miguel forms a team to hunt down Miles. Miles is in his bedroom, and he hugs his mom as soon as he sees apologizing for what happened, and he tells her he is Spider-Man. Gwen goes home and she makes up with her father who says a guy (Hobie) stopped by leaving Gwen a portal bracelet. 

Gwen uses the bracelet and goes to Mile's apartment to look for him, but he is not there and that is when she realizes Miles went to the wrong earth. Miles is trying to explain who Spider-Man is to his mother when his uncle walks in. Miles is in earth-42, and his uncle takes him to the roof where he sees a mural in honor of his father who is dead. Miles is knocked out from behind, and when he awakens, he is strapped to a punching bag. Miles tries to talk to his uncle; he tells his uncle that he is a good man that didn't want to be the Prowler. Mile's Uncle then says that he is not the Prowler as the Prowler walks into the room taking off his mask revealing himself to be the Miles of earth-42. Gwen then forms a team of her own to help Miles, Gwen gets Peter B Parker, Spider-Man Noir, Pavitr, Hobie, Peni Parker, Spider-Byte and Spider-Ham as the film ends.


I am excited to see the film again, and I think it will be something I watch a lot just like the Mission Impossible films (3-6). I still need to read the Spider-Verse comics, and the Miles Morales run so it is hard to judge the story, but I am digging what they are doing with this series. The story was a lot more interesting this time around, and I think there will be some crazy things happening in the next film. I was wondering where Spider-Ham and Spider-Man Noir were and seeing them at the end made me happy that the team will be back together. It was cool seeing all of the different versions of Spider heroes, but I hope we get more depth to some of the other ones in this film. I think one of the directors has said that the Miles Prowler will be explored deeper in the next film, and that he might not be what we think. I never considered the idea that the Prowler on earth-42 might not be a villain, and the more that I think of it the more it makes sense. Earth-42 lacks a Spider-Man, and after losing his father Miles might become the Prowler in effort to get justice. The Prowler reveal at the end was good, and it opens the door for more interesting character development in the next film. Spider-Miles and Prowler-Miles could learn from each other and knowing that his father's life is in grave danger, Prowler-Miles could help in saving his dad. 

Gwen's story was interesting as we saw her lose Peter Parker to his worst decision so that he could be special like Gwen. The Edge of Spider-Verse comic uses that origin story, and I liked her relationship with her dad was strained as a result of heroic secret life. The common trait of the Spider-People is that being a hero comes with a great cost, and that the burden of being a hero is so heavy. That has been one of the reasons that Peter Parker has been such a compelling hero since his inception. Peter Parker has always felt so real because he feels like an ordinary guy who has bother ordinary and extraordinary problems. Across the Spider-Verse shows Miles now struggling more than ever to balance his personal and hero life. We saw Gwen struggling with this too, and I am expecting to learn more about Miguel O'Hara in the next film. I will be curious how they will be able to defeat Spot, but that Spider-Team Gwen formed will need to be at their best to stop Spot. I think they will also have their hands fill trying to prevent Miguel and his team from going after Miles. The best action scene was in Mumbattan where Spot and the Spider-People battle it out, and then saving the citizens. The chase sequence in Nueva York went on a little too long for me, and it did not make sense how Miles made it back to the base so much faster than the others. 

I am going to give Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse a 10/10 as I think it is the best film I have seen in 2023. The animation and character designs are amazing, and I would love to get a cool movie poster. The score by Daniel Pemberton was fantastic and it kept the film moving along. I was shocked by how good the animation was able to convey emotions in the characters faces. The voice acting was perfect, but in a lot of cases the animation takes away some of the power, but in this case, it added to the voice performance. I can hope that the release date for the next film will stay the same (March 29, 2024) or possibly move up. I was more taken in by the story than I was expecting to, and I find myself really involved in Miles, Gwen, Peter B Parker and Miguel story. The Miles and Gwen dynamic is fascinating because they are so connected, but there is also a wall put up by Gwen that seems to be coming down but too late to do something about it. The style of the Spider-Verse films is incredible, and it has only gotten better in this film. I think we will also be introduced to some new villains in the third film, and while I have no clue who it will be I have faith that they will be interesting. I cannot recommend this film more than I already did, if I were you, I would watch Into the Spider-Verse before watching this film because it really does build off of the first film. 

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