‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ First Reactions Tease Sequel as an ‘Actual Work of Art,’ ‘Darker and Sadder’ Than Expected

The first reactions are in for “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” with critics and journalists saying the film is “an actual work of art” while also “darker and sadder” than expected.

The long-awaited sequel to 2018’s highly successful animated adventure “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “Across the Spider-Verse” picks up over a year after the events of the first film. Miles Morales/ Spider-Man (Shameik Moore) is approached by Gwen Stacy/ Spider-Woman (Hailee Steinfeld) to help her complete a mission that will save every universe from supervillain the Spot (Jason Schwartzman). Together, Miles and Gwen travel through the Multiverse, where they encounter the Spider-Society, led by Miguel O’Hara (Oscar Isaac).

CinemaBlend managing editor Sean O’Connell wrote on Twitter that the film “lives one step above Masterpiece. It’s an actual work of art. Every frame deserves to be hung in a museum. The jokes and nods to Spidey lore are perfect.”

THR writer Brian Davids teased that “Across the Spider-Verse” is “darker and sadder than I expected, but necessary.” Davids also praised Steinfeld’s performance as Gwen, saying she “really comes into her own.”

Meanwhile, Rotten Tomatoes writer Tessa Smith said “Across the Spider-Verse” “raises its own bar which seemed impossible.”

“There are shocking twists, unexpected surprises and a story that truly makes sense for the crazy multiverse world that we have all jumped head first in to,” Smith continued.

Uproxx writer Mike Ryan concurred, tweeting that the sequel is “not surprisingly terrific” and is “still about Miles just wanting to be accepted for who he is.”

However, not everyone was a fan of the sequel. This Week Media editor in chief Eze Baum said that the film ultimately “fails to come close to where the original is for me, mainly due to the fact that it prioritizes fan service over a strong story.”

Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson, the film’s star-studded cast also includes Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Vélez, Jake Johnson, Issa Rae, Karan Soni and Daniel Kaluuya.

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” is set to release in theaters on June 2. A third film is already in development and scheduled for March 29, 2024.

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