THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (PG13)
Action/142 minutes/Opens tomorrow
The story: Poor Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) can't catch a break. His on-off girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), may leave New York for England.
His guardian, Aunt May (Sally Field), hides a dark secret about his parents, who abandoned him as a child.
And his old buddy, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) aka the Green Goblin, is dying from a disease.
Parker's superhero alter-ego, Spider-Man, is also in for a world of hurt. Enter Electro (Jamie Foxx), a power-hungry freak who looks like a neon-lighted Smurf.
Then there's the Green Goblin, a madman on a hoverboard, and last, and certainly least in the intelligence department, is Rhino (Paul Giamatti), a Russian thug in a mecha suit.
If I had to pick my favourite superhero, it would be Spider-Man, a wiseguy who can fire one-liners as well as his webs.
But when he's not busy saving the world, he's Peter Parker, an average Joe with girl problems and money woes. You know, real-world concerns that don't bother Thor or Batman. And, sometimes, the people he cares about get hurt.
Sam Raimi, the director of Spider-Man 2, explored this human cost of heroism with Tobey Maguire's titular character abandoning his arachnid persona out of frustration. Those who have seen that sequel would experience deja vu with Marc Webb's sophomore effort in Sony's rebooted film series.
Andrew Garfield's Parker, like Maguire's, has a love interest who might ditch him, an adoptive mother who is suspicious of his extracurricular activities and a best friend who becomes his greatest foe.