'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Promotes Individual Choice, Hope Over Fear

Peter Parker didn't choose to get bitten by a radioactive spider. It just happened in true Marvel Comics fashion, and a friendly neighborhood web slinger was born.

The new superhero sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2, in theaters this weekend, embraces a more direct look at individual responsibility.

The film features everything you'd expect in a blockbuster franchise entry--a crush of villains, big stars and CGI wizardry. Yet the sequel also shows how the power of choice motivates both Spider-Man (Andrew Garfied) and his galpal Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).

The adventure begins with Peter and Gwen prepping for their high school graduation. Gwen, the cheery valedictorian, gives an impressive speech detailing the need to overcome what we suffer and never give up hope.

It's more than just potentially empty words.

Throughout the film Gwen lives out that speech, opting to risk her personal safety in order to be near the young man she adores.

It's her choice, and that's not simply a nod to a more three dimensional love interest.

Today's superhero films offer more than just spandex-clad heroics. The original Iron Man feature explored the impact of arms sales, while the Dark Knight trilogy delved into the War on Terror as well as Occupy Wall Street.

The recent Captain America: The Winter Soldier criticizes both the NSA and the use of drones to keep the peace.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 carries on thoughtful tradition, even if we're about to be bludgeoned by Spider-Man merchandise over the next few weeks.


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