Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
If you, dear reader, thank me for nothing else - and I know you won't - thank me for giving you a gob-slobbery heads up that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is only half a movie. It ends on a Grand Canyon-sized cliff hanger. If you, like me, didn't know that going in, then you, like me, might be just a wee bit pissed off. You're welcome.
The first movie in what is now obviously a series, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, introduced Miles Morales (Shameik "Don't Like It" Moore) as the big screen's first non-White Spider-Man back in 2018. As part of his origin story, Miles met up with a handful of other Spider-Folk from other dimensions. The movie, with its acid trip visuals and tongue-between-cheeks humor, scored with audiences and critics, although possibly more than it truly deserved.
As with most sequels, Across the Spider-Verse brings back some characters from the first flick - I'm looking at you Spider-Gwen (Hailee "Beer" Steinfeld) and middle-aged Peter Parker (Jake "Lyndon Baines" Johnson) - and ups the ante with dozens of other versions of Spider-Men and Spider-Women that you'd have to have read hundreds of comic books to have any chance of recognizing.
In a blatant ripoff of the Citadel of Ricks from Rick and Morty, there is a Citadel of Spider-People whose job it is to protect the multiverse. Or something. It's not really clear, and the stuff they get up to seems to endanger the multiverse more often than secure it, so either they're shit at their jobs or the script just wasn't very good. Dealer's choice.
The main villain, if you can even call him that after he's introduced and then pretty much completely forgotten about until the end as a set up for the sequel to this sequel (or, actually, the second half of this movie), is the Spot (Jason "I See Your Schwartz Is As Big As My" Schwartzman). He does get the funniest line in this thing when he discovers he has the power to jump between 'verses and exclaims, "My holes can take me anywhere!"
The crazy-ass visuals make another appearance, but the heart and, you know, story with a beginning, middle, and end are sadly as absent as a deadbeat dad. It's still better than the Andrew "I Hate Mondays" Garfield jawns, so there is that.
September 22, 2023
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