New Spider-Man Flick a 'Classic' That 'Dazzles'

Artful 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' wins over audiences, critics alike
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2023 11:26 AM CDT

Expectations for the follow-up to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse were sky high, as evidenced by moviegoers flocking to theaters Thursday. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse had "the second best preview night ever for an animated movie" pulling in $16 million from 3,562 theaters, per Deadline. And audiences were not disappointed. They give the film a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while equally-impressed critics give it a 96%. The buzz:

  • "It's a classic," declares Chris Hewitt at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who gives the film a perfect score. It's "a sweet story of parents and children ... a believable romance, an accounting of adolescent woes and a grand adventure" rolled into one movie, he writes. And a beautiful one, to boot. "One minute, it resembles an Impressionist painting, then a stylized comic book, then a Sex Pistols album cover, then a Legos sculpture, then photo-realism, then a Roy Lichtenstein painting."
  • "Miles Morales and his coterie of cartoon colleagues have come to save not only the day, not only the multiverse, but the future of cinema itself," writes Mashable's Kristy Puchko. The film "reminds us of the power of animation" as "every burst of color carries meaning and emotion; every gesture born through computer animation brings character instead of a fruitless pursuit of manufactured reality. It's an explosion of art, sometimes goofy, sometimes gorgeous, but overall glorious."

  • It was all a bit much for Brian Lowry. The film "indulges in what feels like sensory overload, seeking emotional heft in ways that slow down the action," he writes at CNN. "The sheer artistry is never less than impressive," but the additional Spideys "aren’t as amusing as the original batch of alternate-universe eccentrics" and at 40 minutes longer than its predecessor, this Spider-Man "sticks around longer than it should."
  • For the AP's Jake Coyle, however, it's "the rare sequel that dazzles as much as the original did. It's something to behold. Colors drip, invert and splatter in a shimmering pop-art swirl." The multiple worlds and Spider-Men can have a dizzying effect, Coyle acknowledges. But "it's the first Marvel movie that I felt in the theater a palpable disappointment that it was over," he writes, giving the film 3.5 stars out of 4.
(More movie review stories.)

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