By Evy Baehr, associate editor of MOVIEGUIDE®
Movieguide® gave an award to the first Amazing Spider-man by director Marc Webb, and the second looks quite good as well. Though we haven’t seen the entire film, the clips show a theme of standing up for what is right even in danger, even though no man is eternal, not even Spider-man. The first Amazing Spider-man did not show much of Parker’s parents, but this movie actually starts with a scene of the parents dying for what they believe. Webb says that he included the parents to “unfold as that long shadow that was cast over Peter Parker’s life”.
From what is seen, the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 has amped up the action, with the villains even more powerful and more explosives. Electro, played by Jamie Foxx, is a very strong villain who can suck up electricity and control it, but has a conflicting inward desire to be noticed and needed. It is normal for Marc Webb’s characters to be deeper then the normal action adventure character, with conflicting emotions or trying to understand the meaning of their powers, to which he says “I also really value richness of character and that requires spending some time and being thoughtful about it”. Webb definitely did this with Electro’s character, “as we were trying to crack Electro’s story, thematically there was a resonance between Max Dillon’s character and Spider-Man. What is that villain going to bring out in your protagonist? How is he going to make that character more heroic? That was important, but really it was about this movie. It was about finding a villain and an adversary that was interesting, that was powerful, strong, but had a thematic resonance that was related to Spider-Man in that idea of an outcast. You get a little tease of it in this information, but it was really that villains and heroes often are foils for each other, and there are layers between layers of that. Thematically, and it had a lot to do with Max Dillon and a lot to do with Electro who is an incredibly visual villain—he needs to be seen—which is at the heart of his character.”
The interesting thing is that not only is the action amped up in this Spider-Man, the comedy is also, to which Webb tells us that is “something fundamental about Spider-Man is his wit and his quips. It’s also part of his character. It’s how he provokes villains, in particular; it’s how he puts them on their heels.” In order to get this comedy right, “We did something that sometimes big comedy movies do, which is you get a round table of comedians, and you just have them spit jokes out. We would use that, and try them out with Andrew, and see what worked. So at the beginning of the process, we got some of the best comedians—and it’s sort of like a private thing, they can’t tell anybody—and we got these amazing, really funny comedians (many of whom are comic book fans) come in and help us with coming up with jokes and whatnot, as a part of Spider-Man’s universe.” Says Webb.
Audiences don’t just have the second Spider-man to look forward to, but there will be a third and fourth spider-man as well! Excitedly, Webb says “it’s sort of a dream come true. We’ve kind of had fantasies about what we could do, and they’re slowly coming to reality.”