Moviegoers Are Furious With Across The Spider-Verse In Theaters

Fans are complaining they can't hear the dialogue in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse over the soundtrack.

By Zack Zagranis | Published

Oscar Isaac’s Spider-Man 2099

If a Spider-Person shoots their web and no one can hear it, does it still make a thwip? That’s the problem facing audiences across the country as Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse continues to break records despite having the worst sound mixing of any film in recent memory. As reports, fans everywhere are getting frustrated that they can’t hear the movie’s dialogue over the soundtrack.

Everyone seems to be in agreement that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is an objectively beautiful film. The film’s mixture of different animation styles and creative use of color delivers a visual treat for the eyes that is unfortunately undercut by the garbage sound mix assaulting viewer’s ears. The eye-popping visual of hundreds of different Spider-Folk swinging around is less effective if you can’t hear what any of them are saying.

When you take into account that throughout multiple universes, the one constant that unites all the different versions of Spider-Man is a love of one-liners, it’s kind of a big deal when all the voices on screen mush together into one indecipherable whisper obscured by blaring music and sound effects. Across the Spider-Verse was written by Clone High and Lego Movie scribes Chris Miller and Phil Lord, so you know it’s just full of witty banter and killer jokes. It’s a shame for viewers to miss most of them.

Fans have understandably taken to social media to vent their frustrations with Across the Spider-Verse‘s subpar audio. Some moviegoers on Twitter initially wondered if their individual theaters were to blame for the sound issues. It quickly became apparent, however, that the problem was with the film’s sound mix itself.

spider-man across the spider-verse

This revelation caused other fans to wonder why Sony wasn’t alerting movie theaters about the glaring defects in the movie’s audio track. One viewer compared the way Across the Spider-Verse sounded in the theater to listening to a movie at home through a cheap soundbar. Another fan tweeted that they were looking forward to watching the movie again with subtitles so they could actually figure out what all the characters were saying.

It does seem weird that Sony would pay for and advertise all these celebrity voices, like Oscar Isaac as Spider-Man 2099 and Issa Rae as Spider-Woman, and then bury their voices so theatergoers can’t hear them. Of course, mistakes happen, but considering all the people that have to approve a movie before it goes to theaters, it’s hard to wrap one’s head around releasing a movie like Across the Spider-Verse without making sure that every aspect of the film is perfect. To paraphrase another fan on Twitter, it would be crazy if Spider-Verse ends up with a lot of Oscar buzz only to earn a Razzie for worst sound at the same time.

Meanwhile, the bad sound mix doesn’t seem to be hurting Spider-Man’s wallet any. Across the Spider-Verse earned over $120 million stateside in its opening weekend, making it the second-best domestic debut of the year so far. The movie did gangbusters overseas as well, earning the top spot at China’s box office over the weekend. Not bad for a movie that sounds like The Dark Knight Rises‘ Bane mixed it.

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