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Across and inside out – the best superhero sequel

Across and inside out – the best superhero sequel

            Across the Spider-Verse single-handedly officially became my personal best superhero movie sequel and 2nd best film of 2023. Mind you, I still have not yet witnessed the 1st best, since it’s premiering in July, but AtSV came, ate and left no crumbs. 

Everyone keeps telling me how my story is supposed to go. Nah. Imma do my own thing.

            Life lately works in mysterious ways so I had no time to watch this movie as it came out in IMAX, which might be one of the biggest regrets of 2023 (comparable only to texting someone just to get ghosted, hehe). But hey – such is life and I am still grateful I got to watch it on a big screen with a fantastic company. 

My expectations were high, but I knew that this animation would deliver – even though they decided to push the initial premiere date from April, I think? Don’t get me wrong, I was gutted to see Across… pushed in time, because in most cases it almost never says nothing good about the quality of the product, but DAMN. 

Photo by Sony Pictures Animation – © 2023 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved. **ALL IMAGES ARE PROPERTY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC.

My freakout began, once again, within the first 10 seconds of the movie – the animated intro, all the studios and all that shit. First of all, the memories of my first screening of Into the Spider-Verse came flooding. Second, this intro was just a perfect nod and yet an elevated version of the Into . And just like that – I just knew I am in for a treat.

Miles, being Spider-man is a sacrifice. You have a choice between saving one person and saving every world.

            Now that I think about it – calling Across the Spider-Verse merely the best superhero sequel is a severe understatement. It is, along with Into the Spider-Verse, THE BEST SPIDER-MAN MOVIE EVER MADE; THE BEST ANIMATED SUPERHERO FILM EVER MADE.

Technical excellence is yet again on a different level. I cannot even begin the amount of hours, work and creative overtime put into making this one. It’s effortlessly bold, stylistically cool and simply breathtaking in many moments. 

There’s not a frame of this gorgeous, kaleidoscopically detailed animation that isn’t awing. This time, apart from good-old original talent in the form of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, we got some fresh blood as well – Kemp Powers (the one behind Pixar’s Soul). Accordingly, apart from Miles and Gwen, the OGs of Into… we got plenty of new characters, including Hobie Brown (which for me is a perfect crossover of Lenny Kravitz looks and combined aesthetics of Gorillaz (Jamie Hewlett) and Sex Pistols (Jamie Reid). 

Photo by Sony Pictures Animation – © 2023 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved. **ALL IMAGES ARE PROPERTY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC.

I’m sorry if I am freaking out but this movie for sure deserves it. We also fully immerse into and across the vast Spider-Verse. There are so many Spider-Men and Spider-Women out there! And what better way to sneak into important messages, than through a disruptive community led by seemingly good, righteous and wise Spider-Man 2099? 

And don’t get me started on Doctor Strange and that little nerd back on Earth-199999!

            I love how Miles is completely rebuilding the concept of canon. What is really “canon”, you ask? I mean, we all throw that term around but do we really understand the full meaning of it and behind it? “Canon” typically refers to the “official” or “accepted” continuity of a fictional universe. It encompasses the stories, characters, events, and rules that are recognized as part of the official storyline within a particular franchise.

Across the Spider-Verse is the definition then, of the concept introduced in Into the Spider-Verse. Sure, they technically establish a “multiverse”, which we can then see in Venom, Spider-Man: No way home and Doctor Strange part two which was super shitty. 

But when it comes to canon, I think Star Wars has the clearest division between what is canon and what not – and to be honest I am hoping to see more of that 4th wall breaking soon. Anyway, back to Across… – Miles is realizing that there is no one in the world that could tell him how his life is going to look BUT him.

Photo by Sony Pictures Animation – © 2023 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved. **ALL IMAGES ARE PROPERTY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC.

            And you know what? The sooner we all realize that, the better. The 4th wall will break for us too, setting free all the creative spirits out there. By disrupting a cannon event, Miles rewrote the destiny – perhaps even from Gwen – but with that move, he decided to take charge of his own story.

I didn’t wanna hurt him, but I did. And… he’s not the only one.

            Now, after watching it I said one thing: Even though there was no “Leap of faith” scene, the escape from headquarters is the closest thing we could get and just a mere thought of it is sending shivers down my spine. Into the Spider-Verse set the premise for Across… to provide the most fantastic fan service ever – and there was NO HOLDING BACK.

For me, seeing Donald Glover as Prowler – priceless and MM can vouch for that: I lost my shit. Sitting between my nephew and her, I literally lost it. And yes, my 7 year-old nephew looked at me as if I was crazy. Don’t get me wrong – I wasn’t the first nor the only one who called it 3 years ago, and even sooner, when watching Homecoming. It made perfect sense and they just couldn’t let this slip.


            Now, here is what I think and wish: live action Miles Morales film with Glover as uncle and ultimately – Prowler, but I am still debating whether I want him as an ultimate baddie or a redeemed villain. Time will tell, but as your friendly neighborhood movie person, this one I know for sure: Miles live action is a matter of time. And it’s going to be sooner rather than later. 

Seeing Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield moments? I did not see that one coming, but this is how and when and ONCE AGAIN HOW you set up a proper multiverse within a Spider-Verse. What truly sent me and MM over the freaking edge was another moment.

Taking a crap in the establishment, I salute you.

            The full circle of life moment, when Spot appears in the Venom universe to talk with the convenience store lady. This was just WHOLESOME, considering the first spot (hehe, pun intended) for Into the Spider-Verse appeared as a post-credit scene in the first part of Venom.

The MCU reference again, with Doctor Strange and “that little nerd”, a.k.a. Tom Holland’s Spidey featuring the crap they pulled in No way home – a sweet nod and an important indication that whatever happened in NWH, had implications across the vast galaxy of Spider-Verse.

Another great cameo that warmed my heart? The Spectacular Spider-Man, which was a short-lived yet beloved animated series that I used to watch. The voice of J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, Mahershala Ali as the voice of Aaron Davis (not Prowler…) from Earth-42… And most importantly, the OG team: Peter B. Parker, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir and Peni Parker are all back!!!

Photo by Sony Pictures Animation – © 2023 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved. **ALL IMAGES ARE PROPERTY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC.

When I saw the old gang on the screen by the end of the film, I completely forgot this was part one and this story WILL be continued. Once again, I lost my shit, because I got so invested in the story… 

I never found the right band to join, so I started my own, with a few old friends. You want in?

            Across… features also six different animation styles, also to introduce new characters and Earths. We have our beloved Miles Morales’ original universe, and girl, do I love it? It’s a combination of 3D and 2D animation, much familiar from Into… This time, I noticed more character-focus, which was nice.

Gwen Stacy’s universe was essentially a mood-ring. Did you notice how the watercolor changed depending on the tension? It reflected what Gwen was feeling and that last scene of reconciliation between her and her dad – now EX police man – and how serene the colors became? Wow. 

Now, the Spider-Man 2099 universe was interesting to see. Vibrant peek on “what the future might look like”. Kind of neon-y, but most importantly when you think about it and pick up any comic book that happens in the future – this is exactly how the colors and aesthetic looks like. 

Photo by Sony Pictures Animation – © 2023 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved. **ALL IMAGES ARE PROPERTY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC.

Spider-Man India with a new character and completely original story (of which, I am still not sure what to think) – colorful, cheeky and very (in terms of style) ‘70s like. This universe was supposed to feel like an extension of the comic books published during that time in India. 

My current favorite – Spider-Punk’s universe which gave me a HUGE Gorillaz vibe, OMG! It made itself feel like it was hand-cut, drawn, pasted and just glued together – kind of like the punk-rock poster back in the glory days. Also, an interesting note – Spider-Punk’s jacket is often animated at a different frame rate than the rest of the characters (which, as you can assume, it’s not easy to pull off). 

            And finally – the Spot animation. Becoming a living, interdimensional portal in the film was a slight distinction from the original portrayal, that resembled a concept of a “living painting”. Yet, the feeling was quite nicely replicated, but… More lively and more real. Spot’s animation also proves the significant step-up of Across… over Into… – which we all know WAS SPECTACULAR.

I’m Miles Morales. But you, you can call me The Prowler.

            The cliffhanger ending was just a cherry on top and to be honest – finding out that there is a world without Spider-Man, there is a lawless world where Miles is the enemy… Proves that at the end of the day, we are our own worst enemies. 

Photo by Sony Pictures Animation – © 2023 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved. **ALL IMAGES ARE PROPERTY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC.

I cannot wait for part two of Across the Spider-Verse (or as my nephew says, “Jula, it’s part three”, and well, he ain’t wrong), which is supposed to premiere in 2024. I CANNOT wait, because these two movies are by far, the greatest superhero films – in my opinion surpassing even my absolute favorite Nolan’s trilogy (but you also know I don’t look at The Dark Knight trilogy as a typical superhero genre). 

Am I going to see it again tomorrow? Yes, of course. This time with subtitles, but I have to tell you – Polish dubbing wasn’t all that bad! 😉 

            Was it me, or was there a split-second moment of a “live action” Miles Morales? I can’t tell, but I will try to spot it (hehehehe, am I funny or am I funny?) again tomorrow. 

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