Criticism of “Spider-Man: Through the Spider-Verse” (“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”)

Four and a half years after the remarkable Spider-Man: A New Universe comes this equally successful second installment of the animated saga written and produced by the Phil Lord-Christopher Miller duo that will conclude in March 2024 with Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse. With this brand new film -another visual and narrative delight- the franchise is consolidated as one of the best approaches to the spirit of the original comics and the universe of superheroes in times of metaverses.

Spider-Man: Through the Spider-Verse (Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, United States / 2023). Direction: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson. Screenplay: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Dave Callaham. Editing: Mike Andrews. Music: Daniel Pemberton. Voices (original version with subtitles): Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Velez, Jake Johnson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Schwartzman, Daniel Kaluuya, Issa Rae, Shea Whigham, Amandla Stenberg, Karan Soni, Rachel Dratch and Andy Samberg . Distributor: UIP (Sony). Duration: 140 minutes. Suitable for all public.

With three new directors (Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson taking over from Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman), this sequel set barely a year after A New Universe not only maintains (which would already have been an achievement) ) but rather redoubles, enhances, amplifies and expands everything that was fascinating, fun, daring and dazzling in that 2018 film (it arrived in Argentina in January 2019).

The quantity and variety of details, nuances, beauty, intelligence, spectacularity, ingenuity and creativity that are in each of the shots of the more than two hours of Through the Spider-Verse make it an experience with few precedents. Of course, it is possible that in the vertigo, in the debauchery, in the flood of ideas, in the barrage of stimuli, in the constant time jumps (we are in times of the multiverse) part of the public feels a little perplexed and overwhelmed because really It is not easy to assimilate so much information in such short periods, but if one frees oneself from pressures and demands to simply surrender to this festival of shapes and colors that adapt the spirit of the comic, of hypnotic images (things go from realism to the surreal and hallucinatory), the proposal is as satisfying as it is intoxicating.

The protagonist again is the teenager Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), whose parents, an African-American police officer (Brian Tyree Henry) and a Puerto Rican nurse (Luna Lauren Velez), have no idea that he is Spider-Man. And who gains a lot of space this time is Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), the drummer of a rock band that she soon leaves and whom her father (Shea Whigham), also a police officer, does not know that she is Spider-Woman.

But we're talking about the multiverse, so the action will change times and places (from Brooklyn to Mumbai) with the appearance of multiple spider-men and women such as Oscar Isaak's Miguel O'Hara (a dark ninja vampire and hunter), Jessica Drew by Issa Rae (pregnant but not afraid to ride her motorcycle), Daniel Kaluuya's Spider-Punk (a Londoner with a punk crest and a guitar slung on his back) or Jake Johnson's pathetic Peter B. Parker (Miles' mentor). . The truth is that currently or in the alternative universe of 2099 there ends up being a Spider-Society with members from the United States, England and even India (Karan Soni's Spider-Man India). And, of course, there will also be a villain like La Mancha (a very well played former scientist Jason Schwartzman) and even cameos like Donald Glover's (not animated, but in person).

As in any story that takes place in parallel dimensions, there are rules that must be followed so as not to alter certain events with catastrophic consequences, but there is always the temptation to return to the original universe in time to, for example, save the life of a loved one.

At times, Through the Spider-Verse seems more twisted than it really is, since when one is immersed in its proposal, its imprint and its dynamics, the story has its logic and even its coherence within the chaos. Once again: it is probable that a more adult public or one with a more classic taste feels some aspects of the plot between far-fetched and pyrotechnic, but for the youngest (as it happened in another record with Everything everywhere at the same time) within delirium and accumulation is finding its raison d'etre and its charm.

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