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Review: Phenomenal 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' continues to push boundaries

Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation's SPIDER-MAN™: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE (PART ONE).
Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation's SPIDER-MAN™: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE (PART ONE).
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Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
Writers: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Dave Callaham
Starring: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac
Genre: Animation, Adventure
Rated: PG for sequences of animated action violence, some language and thematic elements

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Studio Synopsis: Miles Morales returns for the next chapter of the Oscar-winning Spider-Verse saga, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. After reuniting with Gwen Stacy, Brooklyn’s full-time, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is catapulted across the Multiverse, where he encounters the Spider Society, a team of Spider-People charged with protecting the Multiverse’s very existence. But when the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles finds himself pitted against the other Spiders and must set out on his own to save those he loves most. Anyone can wear the mask – it’s how you wear it that makes you a hero.

Review: It might surprise you as much as it surprises me; there are still places movies have yet to explore. 2018’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” was evidence of that and 2023’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” continues to push boundaries with its frenzy of animation styles and a sound mix that is reason enough alone to see the film in a well-equipped theater with a high-end sound system.

But “Across the Spider-Verse” is far more than its visuals and sound design. Behind the flashbang is a story about identity and acceptance wrapped in a wonderfully chaotic Multiverse-jumping adventure that sees Gwent Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) and Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) skipping through universes as they attempt to locate and capture the Spot (Jason Schwartzman), a vindictive scientist who blames Spider-Man for his unusual mutation that has left him faceless, ostracized, and alone.

There is something incredibly liberating about watching “Across the Spider-Verse.” It’s what I should have felt while watching Ari Aster’s genre-busting film “Beau is Afraid.” But Aster’s film seemed to be driven by a sense of disdain, a hatred for the audience and the film industry and the movie devolved into an empty, eye-rolling experience. This film is far more of a celebration, a joyous experimentation that never forgets to tell a story filled with meaning and purpose. It is bold, fearless, and deeply human. It might be the best film of 2023. It is absolutely my favorite theatrical experience of the year thus far.

And it ends with the sort of cliffhanger that sets up a sequel that I’m dying to see. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until March 2024 to see what happens next.

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