Director: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson

Starring: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac, Brian Tyree Henry

Year: 2023

I can’t stand the new trend that all comic book/sci-fi movies are buying into bigtime; the multiverse.  I like to talk about it more than most people, imagine the lives I am living in parallel universes, the ways I died there, the things I became there, what that means for life and death and eternity and infinity and all that; I’m with you.  But when it comes to movies, I’m not on board for expanding the horizons so far that there aren’t any horizons left, running with the idea that anything is possible so it doesn’t matter if a character is dead, makes a bad decision, or if one story arc goes one specific direction.  None of that matters if you can just *plip* over to another universe where you can meet a million more yous and keep trying with a million more plotlines, I think it’s lazy and annoying and I want it to go out of style.  BUT, I guess if anyone’s gonna do it & do it right it would be this franchise, because somehow they got it right the first time and, more shockingly, they got it right again.

Miles Morales is, accidentally, Spider-Man, and he handled the gig pretty well the first time around.  When he was bitten by a spider from another realm, and when his world’s Peter Parker died, Miles took on the helm and saved the day, aided by a few other Spider-Dudes from around the multiverse, as he simultaneously saved the day and helped them all get home where they belonged.  Now he’s officially The Man, but that doesn’t mean things are easy.  He’s trying to juggle his home life with his school life, and also defeat a villain who seems hell bent on opening portals to all dimensions, so they come colliding together.  Miles meets so many other Spider-People from so many other places, and apparently they have formed a squad of heroes whose goal is to save the multiverse, and yet, inexplicably, he hasn’t been invited in.  Teaming up with Gwen, he’ll have to discover the truth about his place in the pattern, and learn to accept the things he cannot change.

I absolutely loved the first Spider-Verse, despite not being a fan of the multiverse concept; I don’t like it in Marvel or DC, I think it’s cheap, and I hate that now anyone can die and not be dead, anyone can visit their other selves, nothing is finite anymore, which makes nothing honest and creates a world that I simply can’t care about since I can’t invest myself in its importance or permanence.  But again, BUT, this franchise is the only one handling the new trend correctly, smartly, and with high entertainment.  This is the way I want to see this concept, done, with such emotion that you can take it seriously, thought out so cleverly that we can still love the characters, even when they multiply.  The art of the animation, the marvelous music, the action sequences, the layered themes; I heard that the third part of the trilogy has been delayed because they simply can’t get it done in time for next year, and I am fine with that; take all the time you need, because you’ve got it right twice, just take your time & do your thing.  Without exaggeration, the first is maybe the greatest animated film of all time, and while this second can’t quite reach that level (maybe a little too long, maybe a little too frantic, maybe a little too trendy), it will still probably be the best animated film of the year, and maybe even Top 10 best of the entire year, period.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


By ochippie

Writer, Critic, Dad Columbus, Ohio, USA Denver Broncos, St. Louis Cardinals Colorado Avalanche, Duke Blue Devils