There has been a lot of controversy recently around the critical reception surrounding the new animated film “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” Upon the film’s release, it shot up to being rated the best film of all time on the social movie reviewing website, Letterboxd. This made ‘film bros’ (a term describing movie superfans, typically younger males), very upset with the general public. “This must just be recency bias!” “It’s overrated!”
But is there any basis to these claims that Spider-Verse 2 is only considered one of the greatest films ever because of recency bias? Is the public really just too eager to jump onto the newest thing? Well, not really.
Spider-Verse 2 is phenomenal in so many ways. It’s arguably the most visually appealing film of all time, the humour consistently works, each of the characters are developed into having their own meaningful arc, and you can’t help but just root for Miles throughout his journey.
But plenty of films are phenomenal in every single way. What separates Spider-Verse 2 from the rest of these movies into the territory of being possibly the greatest movie ever? The answer is simple – this movie is accessible to everybody, regardless of their upbringing, social status, or anything else.
The 2014 film Whiplash is my pick for the greatest movie ever. This is a film that tackles music, struggling with passion, and psychology. Incidentally, I am greatly interested in all of those things. Somebody else – somebody who is more interested in philosophical sci-fi – may think that The Matrix is the best movie ever. That film though, just could never resonate with me as much as Whiplash did. And I’m sure that the hardcore nature of Whiplash stopped many people from loving it as much as I do.
Spider-Verse 2, though, is so widely and universally acclaimed because of how accessible it is. This film isn’t experimental in any way except visually, a department it undoubtedly kills it in, and the story is easy to follow for anybody of any background. While the Matrix fan and I may view film from two entirely different angles, Spider-Verse 2 just seems like a medium that people from all angles can enjoy.
In being a film that was made in large part to appeal to children, Across the Spider-Verse needs to simplify a lot of the emotional moments of the film to some extent. But the result of this isn’t a non-resonating emotional message, it’s a message of self-determination that appeals so universally that people from all walks of life can’t help but adore this masterpiece of a film.
There is nothing objective about movies. Your perception of a movie is directly tied to how you can relate to it. And a film that appeals to just about everyone, that also happens to be the Magnum Opus of the medium of film animation, is a film that is well deserving of the title of greatest movie of all time. This is a consensus amongst the people.
I look forward to the next time that I can talk about a film that people are quick to call one of the greatest movies ever. Thank you all for reading, and until next time, I’ve kept it reel