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Movie Review

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Superhero Sci-Fi Action Adventure Sequel 3D IMAX
Length:
2 hr. 22 min.
Year of Release:
2014
USA Release:
May 2, 2014 (wide—4,000+ theaters)
DVD: August 19, 2014
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

spiders in the Bible

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Featuring: Andrew Garfield … Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Emma StoneGwen Stacy
Jamie FoxxElectro / Max Dillon
Dane DeHaan … Green Goblin / Harry Osborn
Colm Feore … Donald Menken
Felicity Jones … Felicia
Paul GiamattiAleksei Sytsevich
Sally FieldAunt May
Embeth Davidtz … Mary Parker
Campbell Scott … Richard Parker
more »
Director: Marc Webb
Producer: Marvel Enterprises
Avi Arad Productions
more »
Distributor: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

In 2012’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” young Peter Parker’s parents, Richard and Mary, seemingly abandon him when they leave him with his aunt and uncle in the dead of night. The mystery as to why they did this has haunted Peter all his life. Spider-Man 2 begins by revealing some of the events from that night years ago, as we see Richard and Mary Parker trying only to protect Peter while fleeing for their lives.

Today, Peter (Andrew Garfield) is Spider-Man, and the false bravado of his early career has been replaced by the supreme confidence and humor he displays whether he is fighting crime or kissing his girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) center stage at their high school graduation. Yet, even on that momentous day, the specter of Gwen’s dad haunts him, reminding him that the only way to keep her safe is by staying away from her.

Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) was Peter’s best friend when Peter first lost his parents and has only just returned to New York to assume control of his father’s company. Soon, desperate circumstances drive him to seek Spider-Man’s help, , and he is determined to get it, even if he must make an alliance with a villain.

Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) works at Oscorp, but he has no friends, and he lives a delusional life, even believing Spider-Man is his best friend. There is an anger in this sad, confused man that is only tempered by his low self-esteem. This all changes soon after an accident at Oscorp turns him into the super villain Electro—eventually leading to the ultimate confrontation between him and his one-time idol.

The movie splits its time between dealing with Gwen and Peter’s on-again, off-again relationship, Harry Osborn’s desperate pursuit to fight his destiny and the introduction of an iconic comic book villain just coming to terms with his own godlike (his words not mine) powers. The battles starring Electro are visually one of the most impressive to hit the big screen, but any film is the sum of all its parts, and it’s the other components that keep Spider-Man 2 from reaching it’s full potential. There are both positive and less than positive things that should be explored, so let’s begin with how the film got it’s PG-13 rating.

Objectionable Issues

Language: Mild. Only twice is the Lord’s name taken in vain, and only in the forms of “Oh God” and “God No”. In another scene, Max, in reference to his powers says, “I will be like a god.” No other profanity was noticeable, unless perhaps as spoken by a Russian hijacker, which makes this the cleanest PG-13 film I have heard in a very long time.

Violence: Heavy. There is a great deal of gun play, including machine gun fire and short range missiles, but only once do we see someone shot and killed. A mostly bloodless film, enough is shown in two cases to confirm that the injuries are fatal. There is close hand-to-hand mortal combat, a plane is seen about to crash, and many vehicles, both police and civilian, are destroyed during chases and street scenes. Billboards and parts of buildings are destroyed, and it is assumed people are hurt from the widespread falling debris.

The accident which transforms Max leaves him initially nothing more than a charred husk of a man, and he, in fact, appears dead. Guards are seared and killed by electric shock, and one man is tortured before his inevitable, though unseen, demise. Electric eels viciously attack a man who has fallen into their tank, and someone’s neck is broken. These examples, along with the others cited, make this wholly unsuitable for small children, although I saw plenty of them on opening night. Imagery of this nature has been proven to affect a child’s psyche, and I strongly urge parents to seriously consider this warning.

Sex/Nudity: Mild. The kisses Peter and Gwen share are passionate and heartfelt but never go over the line and are always in public. Peter is seen removing the top of his costume baring his chest after a night of fighting crime.

Lessons

The comic book genre is known for containing morality lessons, and this movie had a few of its own. Peter is determined to learn the truth about his parents, and his steadfastness in following the few clues his father left behind finally lead him to uncover it. The Bible speaks of the value of truth and its benefits as though it was a precious commodity, and, in fact, it is!

“Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom discipline and understanding.” —Proverbs 23:23

Even before Max becomes a villain, he is already suffering from what appears to be a type of Dissociative Personality Disorder. His self-centeredness and inability to show empathy for others conflicts tragically with his desperate need to be noticed and needed by anyone. Add to that the other ‘voices’ that engage him, and it becomes clear he is in dire need of a cohesive single identity—an identity such as the one we can all take on if we only believe in God’s only Son, as it is written in The Word.

“You are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ.” —Galatians 3:26

“… because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” —Romans 8:14

“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” —2 Corinthians 6:18

Perhaps the film’s most powerful words come from Gwen herself during her graduation speech when she says, “Fight for what matters to you, no matter what. For even if we fall short, what better way is there to live?” I was so very much reminded of the encouragement the apostle Paul had for Timothy, and in turn, for all of us when he said,

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness…” —2 Timothy 4:7

Director Marc Webb includes several nods to fans of the comics with both the characterization and imagery, some eerily so, as when Harry and Peter are discussing Gwen in sight of the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as nods to sci-fi fans who may appreciate the fleeting references to “2001: A Space Odyssey” (musically) and “Star Trek” (1701 license plate).

Moviegoers, however, would have benefited more by some judicious editing of the movie’s length (i.e., Peter’s discovery of his dad’s work could have been much earlier) and by tightening of the film’s focus, which came off as disjointed. Lastly, Jamie Foxx himself may have been tipping his hat off to Arnold Schwarzenegger by the use of so many one-liners (as Electro) that frankly felt contrived.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is an uneven effort that will at times thrill and then bore audiences, as they wait for the plot to move forward. Despite a very emotionally charged last act, this is a sequel that does not live up to it’s finer honed predecessor. I still recommend seeing it, as long as you manage your expectations and leave the smaller kids at home.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive— I’ve overheard some people criticizing this movie for being so unrealistic. If you go to see a movie with the word “Spiderman” in the title, however, you shouldn’t be expecting realistic. Also, it’s based on a comic book, so it won’t exactly be scientifically accurate. Nevertheless, this is a good thing to note: if you don’t like superheroes and genetically mutated villains, you will not appreciate this movie.

Along with the superheroes and genetically mutated villains comes quite a bit of violence and destruction which certainly earns this movie its PG-13 rating. The violence is no worse than it was in the previous “…Amazing Spider-Man,” however. In addition to some disgusting bad guys and a couple gross-looking characters, this film also has some foul language and misuses of the Lord’s name. Although I would not say that these negative elements are enough to keep families from watching this movie, the language and violence are still present and would not be suitable for sensitive viewers. As a result, parents must be discerning as they consider this film for a family movie night. I certainly would not recommend the movie for kids under thirteen. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Leah Hickman, age 19 (USA)
Positive—Having just viewed this title, this movie is something that is truly remarkable. The special effects were top-notch, and the relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy made it a rather entertaining flick. The action in the film was quite decent and not overdone. I really enjoyed the film’s message about standing up for what you believe in, even if it may be futile. Overall, great film. Highly recommend for die-hard Spider-man fans!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Chris, age 21 (USA)
Positive—My first thought with the first Amazing Spider-Man was full of doubt. Could it really live up to the trilogy that Sam Raimi had created? My answer was no. But per usual, when I walked out, I was surprisingly impressed. Walking into the second Amazing Spider-Man, I wasn’t sure. My family member really wanted to see it, and I was a little hesitant as to whether they would make improvements to the first or just repeat themselves. I have to say though, the Amazing Spider-Man 2 had more depth, more action, more character development and story than the first EVER did.

The action sequences were simply mind blowing, where I even stared at the screen and said, “Wow…”. The 3D worked really well for this film, and the director filmed this movie with 3D in mind first, versus the other way around. This movie comes highly recommended. You’ll laugh, ache, and be “amazed” at what this film did. There’s a lot more heart and substance to this film than the first. If you do see it, see it 3D. Definitely worth the upgrade! Two thumbs up!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Alexander Malsan, age 24 (USA)
Positive—I thought The Amazing Spider-man 2 was very fun. For the most part, good is called good and evil is called evil. The violence is intense, but like most movies, it is a “Good vs. Evil” type. I laughed with a lot of the humor in this movie and enjoyed Peter and Aunt May’s love for one another. ***SPOILER*** One of the best parts was when the planes avoided collision with each other. ***END SPOILER***

The way Max and Harry are treated should be a reminder to all of us how we are to treat others. I was saddened for them and how they were treated, but they still had no right to hurt others. Next time we are tempted to make a rude comment to someone, think of these characters, but more importantly, think of Jesus” words to treat others the way we would like to be treated and no one likes to be bullied or abandoned. ***SPOILER*** Gwen’s death scene was a good reminder that we should make an effort to keep our promises. ***END SPOILER*** I am optimistic about the third movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Peter, age 23 (USA)
Positive—I saw THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 yesterday, and it was fantastic. It’s best viewed in 3-D to get the full effect. Continuing where the first one left off, there is more drama, romance and, of course, action.

My main gripe with the movie, though, is that several scenes in the first trailer were cut from the film. When you’ve seen a trailer for a movie, you expect to see everything in the trailer, plus a whole lot more, of course. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

I strongly recommend seeing “The Amazing Spider-Man” before viewing this film. And stay through the credits for an additional scene. Biblically speaking, there is plenty of action, but it’s mostly bloodless, except for one scene at the beginning. There’s no language, and no sexual content. I recommend it. My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5, —D, age 28 (USA)
Positive—“The Amazing Spider Man 2” is very appropiate for kids 13 and above, because it has maybe the d-word once and says OMG once, because my kids love Spider-Man, and they have seen the first Amazing Spider-man, and the second was even better.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—John, age 34 (USA)
Negative
Negative—Despite some very good-looking special effects and action sequences, the long stretches of boring dialog combined with a detestable, unnecessary, and grossly disappointing plot twist, make this a must-miss entry in the Marvel catalog.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Jeremy Klein, age 58 (USA)
Negative—I never liked the reboot of this series, and after seeing this movie I like the reboot even less. The casting never resonated with me, and Spider-Man two is no exception. The movie itself was slow at times, and the special effects average for the genre. By the end of the movie, there were too many plots to make any of them meaningful. This movie made me miss the original cast.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Jason, age 40 (USA)
Negative—This is one of the dumbest and most boring movies I have seen. I actually really liked the last Spider Man, but this one was lame. The story line with the blue guy was totally ridiculous, and even though these are “super heroes” and most of what they do isn’t realistic anyway, it was just stupid. And it just seemed the way they filmed this one, made the Spiderman scenes so much faker and animated.

Then, the other main character, when he went bad, it was just creepy and gross to look at. I am disappointed I wasted 2½ hours of my life to watch this movie. Don’t waste your time or money.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Stephanie, age 39 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—Went to see this movie opening day with very high expectations. Yet, while I still liked it, the first one was better. I felt that there was not enough Spider-Man just swinging around fighting ordinary crime. Electro was cool, but he was kind of a villan that was in the film way too much. I liked all the actors; they did great, but the Green Goblin and the Rhino were not in it enough, but Electro was in it too much.

Also, ***SPOILER*** I was expecting Gwen Stacy’s death, but I still wish it didn’t happen. I was not surprised she died, but I would of been surprised if the director had kept her living. I wish they did not kill her off just so Peter could have a brand new girlfriend in the next movie. ***END SPOILER***

Yet, I still enjoyed the film. I love Spider-Man, and this was a surprisingly Clean film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Matthew, age 13 (USA)
Positive—I just saw it a few days ago, and it was the best Spider Man movie you could ever want to see. But the only thing really bad in it is that Peter has to say the h- and d-word 2 times and his aunt says (“Thank God”) whenever the power comes back on in the hospital. But, besides that, it is very decent movie for kids 12 and above. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Matthew, age 13 (USA)

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