Amazing Spider-Man 2

 

Marvel / Columbia Pictures

 

Rating: PG-13

 

Reason for the Rating: Sequences of sci-fi action/violence.

 

Plot Summary: As Peter Parker faces complications in his personal life, Spider-Man meets an enemy more powerful than he's ever faced.

 

PopFam Recommends: A must-see for the Spider-Man fans and action-movie lovers in your family.

 

Marvel is at it again. One month after the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, another Marvel blockbuster is given to the public to enjoy. It's obvious we love our superheroes. After 20+ years of Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man, we're still ready for more, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn't disappoint. Action? Check. Romance? Yup. Very cool evil villain? Double check.

 

Before we get to the villains though, Spider-Man, a.k.a. Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is one happy hero. Not only is he graduating from high school and dating Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), the most loyal and kind-hearted girlfriend around, but he's swinging from a web and catching bad guys on a regular basis. Life is very good. Except that he misses his parents and can't figure out why they left him with Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Fields).

 

Peter's quest for answers is disrupted though by the appearance of Electro (Jamie Foxx), a blue glowing villain who seems to especially hate Spider-Man. As his power comes directly from the electric grid, his power is immense and unending, leaving Peter unsure how he is to be defeated. Also showing up on the scene is Peter's childhood friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), the newly appointed head of Oscorp, who has his own set of issues and ghosts haunting him. Additionally, with Gwen breaking up with him and Aunt May upset over Peter's decision to understand his father's disappearance, Peter's life is, well, complicated.

 

But the movie is not complicated, although it is long (p.s., go to the bathroom right before it starts!) at 142 minutes. Yet it's so filled with emotion, action, and relationships that it doesn't drag. I regularly find myself glancing at my watch during a movie, and didn't once check the time during Spider-Man 2. I think it helps that in this version of Spider-Man, Peter is the right amount of cocky teenager and invincible superhero, unlike other superheroes who are serious and dark (think Christian Bale's Batman) or solemn and pensive (2013's Man of Steel). Peter Parker is funny yet still trying to figure it all out. A really great combination that makes him likable and believable.

 

As a parent though, you'll want to note that there are some pretty intense scenes in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. One in particular when Richard and Mary Parker (Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz) are fighting for their lives is powerful, and may be too strong for young children.

 

Unlike some Spidey lovers, I was not a comic book fan in my youth. Oh, I read a few here and there, but novels were more my passion. Which could by why I love when an original work is honored in a film version. If you were a comic book fan, there are details in this movie only you will catch. The Oscorp employees Felicia and Smythe are characters in Spider-Man comics, who go on to challenge him as villains. At one point the clock tower stops at 1:21, because the event that is taking place occurred in comic #121. Even the clothing Gwen is wearing at the clock tower resembles the clothing she wore in that edition. There are a couple others...did you find them?

 

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• In the movie it's said that Spider-Man gives hope to people. In this regard, how is he like Jesus?

 

• Harry Osborn gets very upset when Spider-Man refuses to help him, and can't understand how it's for his own good. Ultimately, he takes matters into his own hands, creating a bigger complication. How is this like when you distrust God?

 

• Which Spider-Man do you like better...Andrew Garfield or Toby McGuire? Explain.

 

--JW

 

Tags: Spider-Man,Marvel,Andrew Garfield,Gwen Stacy,Emma Stone, Electro,Jamie Foxx,Aunt May,Sally Field, Amazing Spider-Man 2

 

Note: All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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