Sony Pictures Animation redefined the animation industry with “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” in 2018. With an exceptional cast of voice actors, a soundtrack that featured one of the most streamed songs in history, and a refreshing interpretation of Spider-Man for the big screen, the film raised the bar to astronomical heights. I tried to remind myself of these achievements as I anticipated the release of “Across the Spider-Verse,” preparing myself for the possibility it wouldn’t live up to the expectations set by its predecessor. However, little did I know this movie would swing right over all my expectations, and set a new bar even higher.

From a technical standpoint, this movie is a masterpiece. The animation reaches new heights, which is prevalent in the first ten minutes of the movie, showing just how much the animation has improved over the past four years. The comic book stylization that was so captivating in the original film is further refined, resulting in some of the most breathtaking and visually stunning scenes I have ever seen. Certain shots possess such beauty that they could hang on the walls of an art gallery, while others are filled with so much action that you might miss subtle details if you dare to blink. Every different style from the different universes is so distinct and beautiful in its own way, yet fits the movie so well. Furthermore, Daniel Pemberton once again demonstrates his creativity with the film’s score. Each character’s theme felt independent, while still staying true to the Spider-Man theme set in the first movie. His use of synthesizers and other electrical aspects is unlike anything else in the film industry, but it fits in perfectly with the soundtrack produced by Metro Boomin, which gives us more songs to obsess over.

Obviously the technical aspects alone cannot carry the film without a compelling story that matches the same standard. The beginning of the movie rekindles our love with the characters and provides deeper insight into their lives since the first movie. The relationship between Miles and Gwen is impossible not to love, despite not spending a ton of time with them until now. This dynamic serves as a driving force for the story, propelling it into the second act, where the film truly shines. The second act immerses us in a whirlwind of action that keeps you glued to the screen. As the film reaches its climax, the ending left me speechless, and I’m sure it will do the same for many others. This installment masterfully plays into the larger trilogy, similar to how “The Empire Strikes Back” does in the Star Wars saga.

Just as “Empire” left viewers eagerly awaiting the final movie, “Across the Spider-Verse” sets up a cinematic finale that has the potential to be remembered for generations. I highly recommend getting your tickets now. This is one that deserves to be seen on the big screen, and I have no doubt that you’ll want to go back for a second viewing before it leaves theaters.

About Jeffrey Doman

When I was about seven years old, my dad rented Star Wars from the local library and we watched all six in three days, and ever since then I’ve been obsessed with movies. I found myself going out to see movies so often, people started asking me what I thought of them. At first I would give a score out of 10 on my snapchat story, and eventually those turned into the paragraphs you’re reading here. I’m currently studying Robotics Engineering Technology at Purdue University in hopes of one day working on animatronics in the film industry.