I took my 9 year old daughter and my 12 year old son to the new Spiderman movie after work today. Most of my older kids have already seen it and they really enjoyed it, so we were looking forward to it, too.
We were not disappointed.
The movie tells the story of how young, awkward, geeky, bullied Peter Parker becomes Spiderman, mans up, gets the girl, and saves New York City.
His reaction to Uncle Ben’s death evolves from anger and arrogance born of immaturity into responsible heroism trying to right the wrong he helps create. Despite a David and Goliath scenario, serious injuries and misunderstandings from the world at large, Spiderman perseveres and eventually wins the day.
Other characters in the movie rise to heroic virtue as well. The bully learns compassion and respect. A construction worker whose son was saved by Spiderman pays it forward as he and his buddies help out our injured hero. Even the police force, once intent on capturing him, recognize the heart of a lion and come to his aid. His girlfriend, Gwen, the keeper of his secret, finds the necessary courage within herself after being inspired by Peter/Spidey. Uncle Ben and Aunt May are paragons of unconditional love. Even the bad guy, driven by his God-like vision of creating perfection, eventually learns repentance. And Spiderman himself figures out that life is all about using his talents and abilities in the service of others.
These days, it’s hard to find a movie that I’m comfortable taking my kids to but I think we found a winner today. Not only is this movie free of gratuitous everything, but it also portrays selfless, honourable, heroic self-giving that we so need to aspire to in real life. Virtues as lived by an unlikely, ordinary person. I’m all for giving my kids role models and inspiration taken from saints and other heroes as well as worthwhile examples taken from fiction.
And there’s so much web-spinning action!
My only advice is this: if, like me, a ferris wheel nauseates you, and you wouldn’t get on a roller coaster not even for a million bucks, DON’T go to the 3D version. There are a lot of scenes of Spidey swinging and plunging from tall buildings and the camera follows him; therefore, you follow him; therefore, you may regret getting the popcorn combo………..just sayin’.