Thursday, June 1, 2023

Anyone for a new 'Spider-Man' or, perhaps, dazzling dozens of 'em?

Worlds collide all over the screen -- continuously for two-plus hours -- in the breakneck "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse," the rare "better" sequel, believe it or not, even if it arrives half a decade beyond the deserving 2018 Best Animated Feature Oscar-winner, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse."

Of course, if that's too many Spiders in one sentence, then please know you ain't seen nothin' yet! I mean, brilliant high-schooler Miles Morales (again with the committed voice of Shameik Moore) might be "the only Spider-Man in Brooklyn" but . . . uh, you'll catch the drift when you see it -- from an instantaneous visit to Legoland, to a nice chat with a pregnant Spider-Woman, and a full assortment of look quick or you might miss a few under, over and all around.

Glimpses of real faces spot the cool landscape, and a few voices might be recognized, too, in a creatively artistic -- and occasionally draining -- mix. (The biggest blotch likely will arrive only for those of us who may get bummed by cliffhanger endings.)

Meanwhile, the evolving stories of the gifted Morales, quibbling with sparkling parents (Brian Tyree Henry and Luna Lauren Velez), and courageous friend/soulmate/heroine Gwen Stacey (Hailee Steinfeld), ever dealing with her solid cop father (Shea Whigham), among other issues, nicely help shake off any and all of the action cobwebs. 

One warning: Only the deepest kids under 10 or so might understand much of it. But better news, the villain of the piece (Jason Schwartzman) never really goes batspit evil.

Rated "PG" by MPAA: animated action violence, some language, and thematic elements: 2:20; $ $ $ $ and 1/2 out of $5

Also new Friday in theaters: "The Bogeyman," "Sanctuary, and "The Starling Girl." Streaming: "Shooting Stars" (only on Peacock).

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