Before I delve into the details of the Amazing Spider-Man Trailer I want to remind everyone of how far this has come since the first trailer. In that first teaser we barely saw the costume, and a lot of what we saw was from Spider-Man’s point of view. It was a motion-sickness-inducing showcase for the visual effects crew showing Spidey crawling up sky scrapers, jumping rooftops and swinging through the city. It was nice footage, but at this stage of the game, the first Spider-Man (2002) film starring Tobey Maguire blew the lid off our domes when we saw the web-slinger swinging through New York City. The shock value was already spent coming in and moving foward. The biggest question most of us had was why go all the way back and address the origin and reboot? We didn’t see how the parts would fit and we were hinted at a much darker take on the origin. We knew that there would be an exploration of Peter’s parents. That’s it. “Emo-Spider-Man” was a popular internet description at the time of the initial announcement if I recall. Wow, were we far off the target.
The new trailer not only offers us a peek into the eagerly anticipated film, it looks to start assuring fans that the reboot will correct all the wrongs from the last trio of films that Sony released. Amazing Spider-Man aims to be more faithful to the comics especially matters concerning Peter Parker’s mind and personality. Maguire is a great actor and he played some parts of Peter very well, but was more of a dorky Spider-Man than a savvy nerd with quick wit. I remember when they were casting that film I always wanted Wes Bentley (American Beauty) for the role at the time. After seeing Maguire in Cider House Rules I knew that he’d be convincing, at least for the Peter Parker half of the character. Spider-Man would be a much harder sell. Andrew Garfield has already shown his chops in The Social Network but like Bentley has a mysterious look to him. Garfield on a cosmetic level, allows me to believe he can be this larger-than-life character who can juggle every chaotic thing happening in his world. That’s something Maguire could never do for me despite my enjoyment of the first two films.
Watch the New Trailer Now:
Rarely did director Sam Raimi touch on Peter Parker’s genius mind, how he used to make gadgets and perform elaborate chemistry experiments to make his web fluid. He didn’t have to because he bypassed all of that with organic web shooters. So much focus was put on Peter’s relationships with Mary Jane Watson, Aunt May, Norman Osborn and his son Harry instead. The franchise started well but by the third film, they had to tie up all of these relationships and threads that they had too much going on, too many villains and then there was the fiasco of which actors were signed on to do additional movies. We got to know Ben Parker more and that helped empathize with Peter when he was murdered. For the most part, Macguire was… sufficient, but Garfield has at least the look to tackle all sides of Peter Parker: the snark, the nerd, the New Yorker, the wise-cracker and yes, the hero.
We get the return of the genius, Peter Parker. We have the triumphant return of the web shooters (and spidey tracer?) as we’re given a close-up of Peter modifying them for the types of webs he’s spinning. We hear the click every time he shoots a web to swing! Cool! And again, no more organic web shooters! I’m guess we won’t have any more dancing numbers either. Huzzah!
In Amazing, we’ll have a scene or maybe several scenes of Peter and Dr. Curt Connors AKA The Lizard (Rhys Ifans, Notting Hill) working together and comparing each other’s knowledge. Connors also has a relationship with Peter’s father and thus we get a link between the Parkers and the main villain. Speaking of villains we get some faint glimpses (and extreme close-ups) of what The Lizard looks like in full motion.
Many have speculated that the film will be darker in tone and they would be right. Several scenes are shot in near darkness, and Spider-Man has a bit of mean streak in him. Everyone outside of Gwen Stacy, Uncle Ben and Aunt May seem to be capable of some real dark moments. We will not see J. Jonah Jameson but the role of the anti-Spidey campaigner will be played by Denis Leary as George Stacy of the New York Police Department. Emma Stone (The Help) plays his lovely daughter, and Peter’s love interest Gwen Stacy, looking like a John Romita Sr. drawing come to life.
Pay attention to how much director Marc Webb is playing up Spider-Man as a vigilante and embracing that role. Gwen even reminds Peter that it’s not his job to avenge what I will assume is Uncle Ben’s death. George Stacy calls the rest of the NYPD to track the spider down and squash him and Peter takes a jab at the NYPD at the Stacys making for an awkward moment.
One major event that is exaggerated for this retelling, is the radioactive spider. Rather than being some type of freak occurrence that a single spider would hold enough radiation (and not die), the all-important spider looks to be a part of a much bigger, more elaborate study or experiment that’s being run. That takes away from the simple Stan Lee and Steve Ditko tale, but perhaps it makes more sense in a modern context. We’ll find out.
So for an origin story we will see Peter’s relationship with his parents as a boy, dealing with their disappearance (whatever the cause). Peter will wander into a full scale experiment on spiders of some sort and get bit. We can assume that Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) will be murdered, setting off a chain of events that will strain his relationship with the Stacys because of the NYPD’s inability to catch the murderer and that puts Peter on offense. He’ll tackle the Lizard, George Stacy, and the entire NYPD. Whoooo. That’s a lot for an origin movie and there’s no attempt to cram moonlighting at The Daily Bugle or J. Jonah Jameson either–thankfully because that would be too much. I would like to see a proper attempt at explaining the construction or manufacturing of the costume though. That’s my only small request. There will be plenty of differences to draw in the big crowds and more left to look forward to in sequels. Personally, I’m most eager to see how the story of Peter’s parents is explained and related to Peter’s purpose in becoming a hero.
After watching the trailer several times, I’m still unconvinced that it’s a film that warrants the 3D treatment. Yes the scenes high atop the city will pop, but the gimmick is overkill on slower, more dramatic scenes, which this films looks to have a lot of. I’m fine with that to be honest, but as always I’m looking for a well-balanced, taut story, and superb acting with effective and seamless special effects. An IMAX screen would be nice, but 2D might be just as satisfying as 3D, if not more. (This isn’t Hugo or The Adventures of Tintin.) But after seeing this latest trailer, I am no longer suffering from a lack of faith that Amazing Spider-Man, regardless of how you see it, will be anything short of spectacular.
So what do you think of the trailer? Are you as impressed as I am or not at all? Think this will be better than 2002 version of the Spider-Man origin or are you delusional in thinking that organic web shooters was still the right way to go? Share your thoughts below and make sure you reserve your ticket for the July 3 opening.