Across The Multiverse

- James White


RELEASED OUT NOW! 12A | 148 minutes

Director Jon Watts

Cast Tom Holland, Zendaya,

Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei

Across the two previous films, the Marvel/sony partnershi­p produced fun, energetic and (mostly) small-scale Spider-man movies starring Tom Holland’s likeable Peter Parker. So the question was: would raising the stakes help or hinder that run? The answer: both.

Fortunatel­y, director Jon Watts and writers Chris Mckenna and Erik Sommers don’t forget to slow down at times and keep the focus on Peter, Ned (Jacob Batalon) and MJ (Zendaya) despite everything happening around them. “Everything” in this case being the arrival of villains from other Spider-universes, including Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin and Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock from the Sam Raimi movies, and Jamie Foxx’s Electro from Marc Webb’s. They cross into the current Spidervers­e thanks to a wayward worldwide forgetfuln­ess spell from Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatc­h) that Peter keeps trying to alter after his identity was revealed to the world at the end of Far From Home.

There are some refreshing­ly unexpected turns here – this is certainly more than the simple Peter-vs-different-baddies narrative pushed by the promos. And yet, more than either of its predecesso­rs, it falls victim to an overloaded final act that tries to squeeze so much plot and so many clashes into its set-pieces that it can become numbing. One moment late on is particular­ly galling for anyone who hoped this franchise would keep sidesteppi­ng major tropes. Yet thanks to a commitment to sticking with its story-altering ramificati­ons, by the time the credits roll it manages to clamber out from beneath the combined weight of expectatio­n, exposition and providing a satisfying third outing.

The MIT guy’s car has the number plate 63ASM-3. Doc Ock first appeared in 1963’s Amazing Spider-man #3. Clever, eh?

 ?? ?? “I haven’t really thought this through, to be honest.”
“I haven’t really thought this through, to be honest.”

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