After almost a year of trailers, toys, product tie-ins, and promotional events, most people can’t help but know that your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is returning to theaters in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. While many moviegoers may be experiencing super hero fatigue, keep in mind that the wall crawler’s latest installment is from Sony Pictures, not Marvel Studios, and is fundamentally different from films like Marvel’s The Avengers and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
The first difference is that, unlike The Amazing Spider-Man, the sequel will be filmed on actual 35mm film instead of digital. This means that you’ll get grittier, more realistic action when watching the movie. Secondly, the sequel will feature three; count ‘em THREE of Spider-Man’s most notorious villains, albeit in drastically varying degrees of importance. Jamie Foxx is joining the cast as the unstable Electro, and Dane DeHaan is taking on the iconic role of Peter Parker’s best frenemy Harry Osborn, aka the Green Goblin. Paul Giamatti will have a small amount of screen time as The Rhino before returning in the third film (slated for 2016). Scenes were shot featuring Shailene Woodley as Mary Jane Watson but were eventually cut, meaning fans will have to wait another few years to see the red-headed girl next door on film. And look out for a short appearance by Felicity Jones as Black Cat’s alter ego Felicia Hardy, and B.J. Novak as future Spider-Slayer Alistair Smythe.
Probably the most noticeable difference between The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and other superhero films is its focus. While many movies emphasize the relationship between the hero and his villain (and the ensuing action), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 focuses on the relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, and how Peter’s crime-fighting career affects their young love. To add to the strain, Peter and Gwen must face a terrifying ordeal that will shake the foundation of their relationship and the very security of their lives: high school graduation. While there are many terrifically choreographed and executed action sequences, the story of Peter and Gwen has always been the purest tale of young love and devastating heartbreak in the history of comics. Never before has Peter’s credo, “With great power comes great responsibility,” been tested so thoroughly, nor have his roles as superhero and love-struck high school student collided so violently. He is also still grappling with his family history; the origins of his dual life. While many superhero films rely on tension from all the explosive action, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 compels audiences with depth and genuine emotion. Not to give too much away, but consider bringing some tissues with you to the theater.
Find showtimes and tickets to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 here, and be sure to stick around after the credits for an exclusive scene featuring Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique from X-Men: Days of Future Past.