A Closer Look at the New 'The Amazing Spider-Man' TrailerJacob Hall |
You've probably already seen the latest trailer for 'The Amazing Spider-Man,' but have you gone through it frame by frame and thought waaay too much about it? Well, we have. Join us as we examine this thing to within an inch of its life.
We haven't seen 'The Amazing Spider-Man.' We are but humble fans. However, the process of thoroughly dissecting this trailer could lead to us stumbling across potential spoilers. So, consider this your friendly neighborhood SPOILER! warning.
The trailer for 'The Amazing Spider-Man' does everything in its power to visually distance itself from Sam Raimi's previous films. While Raimi's films were bright and slick, Marc Webb's take is darker, grittier and a little less elegant. That's definitely not a bad thing -- in fact, it makes it immediately clear that this film is going to be its own beast with no connections to what came before.
Case in point: here's Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man/Peter Parker, shot from behind and cloaked in shadow, an extremely simple yet powerful image. While Raimi loved to go big, this trailer definitely gives the impression that 'The Amazing Spider-Man' will be a bit more subtle with its character storytelling.
Here's a motif that we return to several times in this trailer (and was the main focus of the film's first teaser trailer). The camera goes into a first person perspective, literally putting us in Spider-Man's shoes. Is this the natural extension of Webb wanting to emphasize Spidey's everyman qualities? By letting us experience the world as him? Also, it's just plain cool.
Although the trailer features a lot of the Lizard (the film's Big Bad), it's always in quick, often blurry glimpses. The big question is whether they're intentionally keeping him hidden to let him be a bigger surprise for audiences or if the CGI isn't quite finished. In either case, his appearance differs significantly from his comic book counterpart. In fact, he looks more like the Batman villain Killer Croc than anything else.
Oscorp, eh? As far as we know, Norman "The Green Goblin" Osborn is not in the film, but chances are high that he'll pop up as the villain in the sequel. Christopher Nolan waited until his second Batman film to bring back the Joker and Sony/Webb will probably follow suit here, reviving the franchise's most iconic villain only after audiences are comfortable with a rebooted universe.
Here's Spider-Man saving a burning car as it plummets off a bridge. There's not much to say here outside of "Hey! Spider-Man's saving a burning car as it plummets off a bridge! That's cool!"
Like Sam Raimi (and unlike Christopher Nolan), Webb seems to be unafraid of iconic "hero shots." This trailer is chock-full of classic Spidey poses, but you don't get more classic than this.
In the comics, Peter Parker is a science wiz who uses his super-smarts to design technology to aid in his crime fighting. Raimi's films glossed over this aspect of the character, but 'The Amazing Spider-Man' seems to embrace it whole-heartedly. Here is a close up of one of Spidey's webshooters, the nifty gadgets that allow him nearly unlimited mobility across the New York skyline.
Here they are in action now! It looks like Spider-Man's webshooters flash red when they're activated.
Webb's rougher, grittier style is especially evident in the webslinging scenes. The aerial action here looks more harrowing than Raimi's, who always made Spider-Man's movement graceful and effortless. Will Webb's insistence on practical stunts pay off here?
Hey, Sony: put this shot on a poster. Sometimes, making superheroes look cool on film can be tricky. Put Marc Webb and his team on the shortlist of people who know how to do so properly.
This shot kills two birds with one stone! The return of the first person view and another look at Spider-Man's webshooters in action. How much first person will will actually be in the finished film? Too much and you'll get inevitable "It's too much like a video game!" complaints. Too few and you'll get inevitable "I wish there was more of those cool first person shots! complaints.
When you gain extraordinary spider powers, the very first thing you should do is test out your newfound skills on a skateboard.
In the comics, Spider-Man is a smartass, never missing an opportunity to crack wise and annoy his enemies with puns and bad comedy. The highlight of this trailer showcases just that, with Spidey making fun of a car thief's choice of weapon before effortlessly taking him down. A Spider-Man who's a science genius and a jokester? You can't say they didn't go back to the source material for this stab at the character.
Here's a great "Peter Parker as a scientist" moment, with his unfinished webshooter backfiring and shooting him right in the face. Although the overall tone of the trailer is pretty dour, we have a feeling that the finished film will have plenty of laughs thanks to Garfield's terrific comic timing.
What is this structure? The Oscorp labs, perhaps? That's a lot of glass...what are the chance that all of it ends up shattered in a massive set piece? 99%? 100%?
Here's a cool look at Dr. Curt Connors (pre-Lizarding) in his appropriately futuristic lab. Wacky science has always been a key part of Marvel flavor and seeing a setting like this warms the heart. As excited as we are to see Rhys Ifans in the role, we raise our glasses to Dylan Baker, who played the part in two of Raimi's films, but never got his big villain moment.
Although the Lizard's look is a departure from the norm, the film looks to have at least one nod to his traditional appearance. Here is the Lizard on the ground (Post-transformation? Unconscious?) and clad in a tattered lab coat, as he is in the comics.
The trailer features a news anchor announcing that New York has been hit with some kind of biological attack. We think it's safe to assume that this nasty green smoke the Lizard is emitting is the cause. There were rumors awhile back that the film will feature the Lizard mutating other people and forming a reptillian army. Is this our proof?
Here's the Lizard in action, complete with lab coat and green smoke. It seems that our scaly adversary doesn't take kindly to armed men.
And he doesn't take kindly to Spider-Men, either! As promised above, here's another super-blurry Spider-Man VS Lizard shot. What this shot does showcase is just how big the Lizard is...he towers over our hero!
Although we haven't seen 'The Amazing Spider-Man' yet, but we have already detected one serious flaw: JK Simmons' J. Jonah Jameson will not be in it. To be fair, how could he? This is a new universe and trying to live up to what he did with the role would be next to impossible. Dennis Leary's Captain Stacy seems to be the film's replacement, substituting a Spidey-hating newspaperman with a Spidey-hating police officer. He's definitely a bigger physical threat, but will he be as much fun?
The trailer gives us a brief glimpse of Sally Field's Aunt May but not even a peek at Martin Sheen's Uncle Ben. We already know that the film will play fast and loose with Spidey's traditional origin, but how will it handle these two, easily some of the most important characters in all of the Spider-Man mythos? If Step One is "Cast incredible actors," then they've passed Step One with flying colors.
One of the benefits of a villain like the Lizard is that he can always keep up with Spider-Man, even when the battle moves to the ceiling. There's no point in a movie were the hero isn't facing a challenge that pushes him to the limits and if the injuries we glimpse throughout the trailer are any indication, Peter Parker is in for the fight of his life.
Recognize that sleeve? If you don't, scroll up a few images. That is Captain Stacy unmasking Spider-Man! There's no way our hero's secret identity is uncovered, but we'll have to wait another two months to see how he gets out of this!
Is this the coolest Lizard-themed moment in the trailer? Yes. Yes it is.
This trailer ends with the same sequence as the last one: a mask-less Spider-Man narrowly escaping certain death at the hands of architecture. As the trailer ends, we're filled with conflicting feelings. Sure, 'The Amazing Spider-Man' looks cool, but is it necessary? Is it anything more than a cynical attempt to keep the character rights from reverting?
Are any of these questions going to keep our butts out of theater seats on opening night? Nah. 'The Amazing Spider-Man' opens on July 3. What do you think of this trailer?