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Is 'The Amazing Spider-Man' kid-friendly?

Updated on July 7, 2012

The character of Spider-Man is a kid, relative to other well-known super heroes. He gains his powers while in high school, and essentially becomes a student-hero.

Since his daily non-hero struggles are familiar to kids, and being a hero is their fantasy, would the new movie, The Amazing Spider-Man, be appropriate for them to watch?

On this one, the PG-13 rating is pretty close.

This version of Spider-Man is a little darker. There is also no change in his personality when he discovers his powers or discovers what he was meant to do with his powers. He is a confident boy with or without powers.

Between all the not-so-happy things that happen to the web-slinger, there is plenty of humor to keep young ones happy. However, for a movie franchise rebooting only ten years after the previous origin story, there is quite a bit of set up before a radioactive spider finds its way on Peter Parker's neck.

The fight scenes are, well, amazing, but also show Spidey violently thrown into walls multiple times. He comes home to Aunt May with all kinds on contusions on his face.

Dr. Connors' transformation into the Lizard should be another concern for parents. The initial arm regrowth can be too shockingly disturbing for children who haven't gone through middle school biological science classes.

While my 8-year-old survived and is not scarred for life, he did admit that scene was a little too much for him.

It also seems that if he didn't see the movie, he wouldn't have missed much. At one point he uttered, "I feel like I've seen this movie before." While this movie strived to be different from 2002's Spider-Man, there's only so much you can change about an origin story. Plus, there are some similarities they created, which they didn't have to, in relation to the villains.

Some of the more meaningful moments illustrating underlying themes may have also been missed by his young mind.

Personally, I loved Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. I also think Andrew Garfield did a great job with the character he was given to play. Still, a part of me wishes Tobey Maguire had at least a few gray hairs before the story was rebooted.

Overall for adults, this movie was better than Superman Returns, but is nowhere near as epic as Batman Begins. For kids, well, there was little imitation of the hero after the movie and no requests for Spidey Halloween costumes. (FYI- There were requests to be the Avengers again after seeing that movie in May.)

I would recommend this movie for kids ages 10 and older.

4 stars for The Amazing Spider-Man


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