Criminals, watch out! The web-slinging crime-fighter Spider-Man is back in The Amazing Spider Man 2 (rated PG-13). Director Marc Webb pulls out all the stops to deliver heart-pounding sounds, electrifying special effects, and strong emotional themes.
Filmed in New York City, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 delves into what happened to Peter Parker’s parents and how Oscorp Industries has been part of his life all along. The film’s producers, Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad, explained during the New York press junket that making the sequel was about telling a Spider-Man story they all loved. They added that the movie really puts Peter Parker’s dedication to being Spider-Man to the test. The filmmakers’ goal was to get the message across that “with great power comes great responsibility and, truly, great sacrifice and pain."
A Hero’s Journey
Andrew Garfield embodies the Spider-Man role many say he was born to play. The sequel finds new high school graduate Peter Parker struggling to maintain a romance with Gwen Stacy (played by Emma Stone) while dealing with the wrath of villains Electro (Jamie Foxx), Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan), and Rhino (Paul Giamatti)—and also uncovering painful truths about his past. However, viewers can see Peter find “inner strength to do the right thing,” says Garfield. "Spider-Man is really coming into his own as a hero and as a person. He is really allowing himself to grow into the symbol and fill the duties of what it takes to be a hero." (Click here to read a Q&A with Garfield.)
Amidst all the action, viewers can messages of love and hope. "Gwen Stacy tells you in this movie to be grateful for every moment you have, and look at the people in your life and appreciate them now,” says Tolmach. “All of the hardship that Peter Parker endures goes to this idea that it is so important to be able to find hope in life and in the world and sometimes it’s critical that we become hope for other people.”
Chatting with the Stars
During the press junket, I got to see an advance screening of the movie and talk to the cast. I asked Emma Stone about the similarities and differences between her and her character. “We both knew what we wanted to do at a young age,” she said. “I knew I wanted to be an actor. Gwen loves biology and molecular medicine. She is science-minded and probably less dramatic than I am, which is why I became an actor and she became a scientist.”
Playing the bad guys was fun for Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan. As Electro, Foxx starts out as shy electrical engineer Max Dillon, who gains the ability to control electricity while trying to repair power lines at Oscorp. DeHaan plays Harry Osborn, Peter Parker’s childhood friend, who becomes the Green Goblin. Foxx said the stunts included wild moments hanging on wires, and DeHaan said it took four people to get him into his 50-pound suit. DeHaan also described filming the final battle as particularly brutal. “The set was at least 110 degrees,” he said. “It was so hot they literally poured ice water down my suit between takes and it turned into steam."
I asked DeHaan if it was hard playing a character who goes from nice to mean. "It is hard but that is what’s fun,” he replied. “It is an origin story and you get to see what can happen to a good person who makes decisions that make him become bad.”
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is in theaters now. Watch this superhero use his brains, agility, and spider sense to save his fellow New Yorkers. After watching this movie, you may be as caught up in his web as I am.