2 Spider-Man 2 questions (non-spoilers)

While hanging out at casa rjung the other night, the topic of “Whatcha wanna do this weekend?” came up. Along with a little barbecue for the fourth, we’ve tentatively pencilled in plans to catch Spider-Man 2, especially after all the rave reviews it’s been getting.

Two questions come to mind, for those who’ve seen it:

(1) How (in)appropriate is this movie for a four-year-old? My son wants to see it, but I’m keeping an eye on that PG-13 rating and want to know if there’s anything that I should be concerned about. As a comparison point, I thought the first Spider-Man movie was relatively tyke-safe, with the possible exception of what happens to the Goblin near the end of the film. How does Spider-Man 2 stack up for young kids?

(2) How approachable is the film for someone who hasn’t seen the first movie? My wife is completely clueless w/r/t the Spider-Man mythos, and doesn’t know anything other than “It’s a guy in a weird suit doing weird things.” Would I need to brief her on the Peter/Mary Jane relationship? How about Peter v. Harry Osborne? Jolly Jonah Jameson, the Daily Bugle, and Pete’s freelance photography job? How much pre-knowledge do you need for the film?

Thanks, all.

  1. I guess it depends on what your 4 year old normally watches. There is one pretty intense violent (yet bloodless) scene involving Ocks arms flailing around, with bodies flying. People are killed but most of it happens off camera. Lots of screams and noises though. Then of course there are the normal bits of “comic bok violence” with fist fights between Ock and Spidey. Would I take MY 4-yr old…maybe but I don’t have a 4-yr old. If I did, he’d have already seen the first one and possibly X-Men. Again, depends on his previous exposure I’d say.

  2. You definitely want to explain the Harry/Peter/Norman stuff to her. It plays a huge part in this movie. The Peter/MJ stuff is pretty well recapped, but you should show here the upside down kiss :slight_smile: Make sure she also knows about Uncle Ben and the circumstances regarding Pete’s decision to become Spidey.

Depending on how visually inclined your wife is, it’s worth noting that the plot of the first movie essentially plays out via comic book illustrations during the opening credits - upside-down kiss and all.

  1. I’d worry a bit about taking a small child to see it; the computer-generated special effects are pretty realistic, and people spend a lot of time falling off buildings, plummeting from heights, and being flung through the air. It could be considered pretty scary stuff.

Doctor Octopus’ arms are pretty creepy, too.

The violence, however, is pretty bloodless; not like the end of the last movie, where Tobey Maguire looked like he was about to start spitting out chunks of his own teeth after his beating at the hands of the Green Goblin.

Lastly, there are some remarkably talky bits in this film; grownups call it “character development,” but the kids would be remarkably bored unless they were old enough to take their superheroes with a bit of soap opera.

  1. You gotta know:

  2. Peter, Harry, and MJ all went to high school together. Peter has had a crush on MJ since forever.

  3. Harry’s dad was the Green Goblin in the last movie. The Goblin died when his plan to kill Spider-Man went wonky, but Harry doesn’t know this, or that his old man was the Goblin. He thinks Spider-Man killed his dad.

  4. Peter got his powers by being bitten by a radioactive spider during a science demonstration.

  5. Aunt May’s husband, Ben, Peter’s uncle, was murdered by a carjacker in the last movie; it’s what made Peter dress up and fight crime.

  6. To make money to help Aunt May, Peter takes pictures for the Daily Bugle. He got his start by selling JJJ pictures of Spider-Man.

…and I think that’s about it, really…

There were a lot of 6-and-under kids at the screening I went to. A few of them had to leave during some of the more scary bits (yay, parents, for taking them out!), and most of them got pretty fidgety during the “boring” expositional or romantic bits. I personally would not take my 4-year-old, if I had one. The scene Max Carnage mentioned is not especially bloody, but is extremely creepy and scary; it plays without any background music, so it comes across less cartoony than some of the other violence.

Thanks for the replies so far, folks.

I’ll try to leave my son at home, to spare him the “boring” parts, though the violence seems bearable if he insists on going. I’ve already taught him that movies and television are all pretend anyway, that Godzilla is just a guy in a green lizard suit stomping around toy cities, and that Doc Ock’s tentacles are all blue-screen effects. :wink: As long as Toby isn’t spitting bloody teeth again, I think it’ll be okay.

As for the missus, it sounds like a quick rundown of the MJ/Peter relationship and the death of Uncle Ben would be useful.

FWIW, Roger Ebert specifically called this movie “a superhero movie for people who don’t go to superhero movies.”

Not to nitpick, but in the movie version it’s a transgenic spider, not a radioactive one.

Since I’m here, I have some questions. I’ve seen both movies and have been a comics nerd all my life, but mostly read DC comics, not Marvel, so most of what I know about Spider-Man has been through osmosis.

  1. Jameson’s secretary in the movie is “Miss Brant.” Is she meant to be Betty Brant, and wasn’t Betty Peter’s first love in the comics? And was she JJJ’s secretary in the comics?

  2. In the comics, didn’t Aunt May have a crush on Doc Ock?

3. In the comics, is JJJ’s son an astronaut? And did Mary Jane ever date him?

…the directors take on violence in Spiderman 2

I haven’t seen the movie yet-how violent was the scene? Who died?


Yes, JJJ Jr. is an astronaut in the comics, and no, I don’t think he ever went out with MJ. Spider-Man saved his life once, and 4J never had a problem with Spidey, although his old man hated superheroes in general, and Spidey in particular.

Aunt May was romantically involved with Doc Ock, yes, and nearly married him at one point (because he wanted to get his hands on something she’d inherited.

Betty Brant was Peter Parker’s first girlfriend, although the relationship cooled after she developed a case of the creeps about Spider-Man (although she never knew that Parker was Spider-Man).

Banquet Bear:

After the accident that fuses Octavius’ arms to his spine, the arms themselves (controlled by four separate AI-driven computers) slaughter the surgical team that’s trying to remove them from the unconscious Octavius. Not gory, but little doubt is left that at least SOME of the doctors and nurses died. Later, Octavius tries to derail an elevated train, just to get a free throw at Spider-Man as he saves the train.

Fiver: Betty was JJJ’s secretary and Peter’s first girlfriend in the comics. A short time into their relationship, Betty’s brother is shot and killed during a gunfight involving Spider-Man. Even though Spidey wasn’t involved, Betty blamed him, and this drove Betty and Peter apart.

Why was he given so much time in Spiderman2 :stuck_out_tongue: ?