Behold, web-slingers, Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse is an incredible sequel that enhances the storyline and its character tenfold. It's an endearing story and has many intense and fascinating action sequences. The 4K picture looks amazing and the Dolby Atmos audio mix sounds exquisite. They are both demo-worthy presentations. The bonus features are all worthwhile as well. Must-Own!
Newcomers Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson step into the Director's chair with powerhouse Writers/Producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller returning for this epic animated adventure that delivers on all fronts. Sequels usually try and go bigger, faster, and smarter. And Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse does just that, but it also feels more grounded in many of its areas with its more melodramatic moments of growing up and moving forward. There's a delicate balance to walk here and this film sticks a perfect landing.
In the first installment, the movie centered on Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) who is thrust into a universe of endless possibilities inside the multi-verse where he meets new Spider characters along the way including Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman (Hailee Steinfeld). In this sequel, the film follows Morales just as much as it centers on Stacy as the two young adults try and understand their powers and that the multi-verse exists while keeping it all secret from their loved ones. It's a great parallel story where each character can learn from one another in different ways.
In Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse the tone is about becoming an adult and spreading one's wings to figure out what one wants to be as Morales is hounded by his parents about his school work and staying close to home during his college years. After something goes awry in Stacy's universe, she is called into action by a collective of Spider-people from all universes to try and save the day when and wherever they can. Headed by Spider-Man 2099 Miguel O'Hara (Oscar Isaac), this collective allows Stacy to reteam with Morales who wants nothing more than to help out and be the best he can be. Just as he finally feels like he's being accepted, Milese soon realizes that his views of being a hero clash with Miguel's and the collective of Spider-people forcing Miles and Gwen to question their beliefs of right and wrong.
It's a brilliant narrative that can relate to any young generation growing up facing the real world where one might believe in a fantasy-like scenario of receiving the best news and opportunity, only to find out there is a seedy underbelly of how things really work. And it's a ton of fun to watch unfold on screen with everyone's impeccable voice performances. The visual style also adds a great deal of depth and is not the stereotypical Pixar-like animation, but rather a punk-rock style that breathes and comes alive in the background when characters emote. Those colors and paintings act as characters in the film with its rich, and beautiful renderings of the cityscape and the multi-verses. This all runs alongside the main villain known as Spot played perfectly by Jason Schwartzman who is colorless and wants to destroy everything that Spider-Man loves. Most villains are quick, suave, and built for war immediately, but with Spot, there is an original and different approach of someone brand new to the villain arena who doesn't quite nail his evil the way he might like to. In fact, he's very polite and witty, which is even scarier in the long run.
Not only does Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse house those tender and nuanced scenes between two characters struggling over their emotions and right and wrong, but it also implores some of the greatest and most-fun action scenes committed to film, whether it be animation or live-action. The way the camera moves through the animation allows for so many people to get a shot at shining in the spotlight. Additionally, there are so many crescendo moments where audiences will shout with glee. Prepare though for an abrupt ending, because this is a multi-part that leaves this film on a big cliffhanger. Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse is a joyous experience that fully explores this character more than ever before.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD
Spider-Man Across The Spider-Verse slings its way to 4K + Blu-ray + Digital Code in a fantastic and beautiful Steelbook that is exclusive to Best Buy. The two discs and digital code insert are housed inside a steel case with amazing artwork. The front artwork features 12 different Spider-People flying through the city. The opposite side features Miles only as he web-slings through the buildings. The discs themselves have artwork from the film on them as well.
Spider-Man Across The Spider-Verse comes with a brilliant, universal heavyweight champion of a 2160p UHD 4K transfer. This image is demo-worthy on every level and looks utterly fantastic. This animation style is original and gorgeous with one hell of a color palette.
Every color of the rainbow is on display here and with the Dolby Vision / HDR10 to enhance it all, these colors pop even more. Those light blue skies above that mix well with the buildings below and the Spider-Suit looks incredible. The big action sequences with the numerous Spider-people showcase many different blues, reds, blacks, and purples from all shades. Black levels are wonderfully inky and rich and the special lines look fantastic. The background colors are exquisite and give a ton of depth to this animated film. The detail in faces and movement looks excellent too. There are amazing textures to the animated characters that bring this image to a dazzling spotlight. The animation is fluid, smooth, and looks pitch-perfect. This video presentation is dynamic and might be one of the ultimate video presentations of an animated film. There are virtually no issues here.
This release comes with an equally impressive Dolby Atmos track which reverts to that 7.1 option for those not equipped with the Atmos setup. The sound effects are loud, robust, and have a consistent, bold sound. Building explosions, web slings, and car engines all sound wonderful here. In fact, this Dolby Atmos mix is also demo-worthy. The ambient noises of people walking around town, or even talking on multiple levels of the Spider-Verse is phenomenal. Each small noise and voice has its own distinct pitch and tone that can be heard through one of the speakers.
Big action sequences bring on the wonderful low end of bass that has a fantastic rumble to it that never crosses into rocky territory. Explosions create an immersive sound field that engulfs the entire speaker package with debris and objects flying all around. The smaller, more tender moment ground the audio to the center channel while other cityscape noises go off in the surround speakers. The height speakers give way to inclement weather, more web slingers, and voices from above. The dynamic range is extremely wide here and there are no audio problems to speak of. The dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow.
The 4K Disc has the audio commentary track while the Blu-ray Disc has that along with over 90 minutes of bonus features that include interviews with the cast and crew, and some behind-the-scenes footage. These are wonderful extras.
Spider-Man Across The Spider-Verse is a spectacular film that only builds on its predecessor in the best ways possible. And the action sequences are top-tier for anyone who loves action movies. This is one of the best superhero films out there. The 4K image with Dolby Vision looks incredible and the Dolby Atmos audio mix sounds fantastic. Both are demo-worthy. The extras or all worth the time as well. MUST-OWN!
Also Available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray: