Our Thoughts On New “The Amazing Spider-Man” Trailer
So for those who don’t know, Sony Pictures released the official trailer for their upcoming reboot of the Spider-Man film franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man, recently, and it has made quite a splash online since its unveiling. Before we delve deeper into the trailer itself, you can watch it below:
I figured I’d spice things up a bit and add my personal two cents on the trailer, and following my reaction will be the thoughts of fellow writer Chris Wood. Let’s start it off, shall we?
Aldo’s Thoughts: Now, let me start off by saying that I’ve fallen off the comic world for quite a few years, and as such have never invested any time into Marvel’s Ultimate universe, which is what I gather this reboot seems to be taking its storyline from; as such, my lack of familiarity with the source material perhaps leaves me at a disadvantage here. It’s nice to see Peter Parker’s parents touched on for a change, which is a nice addition to the usual Aunt May/Uncle Ben dynamic we’ve seen in past movies. One thing that I’m sure fans will enjoy about this iteration of Spider-Man is that he seems to have his famous witty wisecracks with him this time, as well as his web shooters, things that Spider-Man purists will be happy about.
On the flip side though, I found a few things wrong with this trailer; for one, the movie’s lead, Andrew Garfield, didn’t seem to have any screen presence, and did not sell me whatsoever in his role as Peter Parker. Say what you will about Tobey Maguire, but at least he genuinely looked and acted the part of a nerdy kid who was extremely awkward in social situations. Here, Garfield looks too much like a pretty boy and appears as if he just walked off the set of an Abercrombie & Fitch photoshoot, and nothing like Peter Parker. In addition to this, Emma Stone appears to be flat as ever in her role of love interest Gwen Stacy, and appears to serve solely as eye candy, and not the somewhat-mythical first girlfriend of Peter Parker. Sorry folks, but I just never understood the appeal of Emma Stone to the mainstream audience. Worst yet, the shots of the film’s villain, The Lizard, show off some fairly shoddy CGI that doesn’t sell you on the fact that he should be a menacing threat; instead, he looks more like a fanmade rendition of the creature from the Black Lagoon. For a trailer that was widely hyped and released to a worldwide audience, one would imagine that the powers that be would have some better effects set in place; they’re asking for criticisms here.
Overall, the trailer is certainly an improvement over the original teaser trailer that hit last year, although I’m still not sold on the concept of a reboot happening so soon, and the combination of bad casting and poor effects work doesn’t do anything to help change my feelings. I may still end up watching the film once it’s released, although as of this time I am definitely not in any rush to go see it.
Chris’ Thoughts: Like Aldo, I haven’t been keeping up with the comics recently – Peter Parker is dead in one universe and testing out a shiny new costume in another – but I know enough to weigh in on the new interpretation on Peter Parker/Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man. For a film that shares the longest-running title of Spidey’s comic book career, this movie (admittedly, might I add) has more in common with the “Ultimate Spider-Man” series than the one everyone knows and loves. Not only that, but I think Marc Webb is taking his cues directly from Tim Burton’s Batman. Think about it: mostly dark color scheme, hero with parental abandonment issues, police-officer character who publicly denounces hero as a “vigilante,” and a villain that the hero thinks that he’s responsible for creating. If The Lizard says “Wait ‘till they get a load of me” anywhere in the movie, I’m calling shenanigans!
But I will admit, this trailer makes me kind of excited to see the movie. The action looks nice and, even though Andrew Garfield fits Hollywood’s definition of a geek more than the rest of the world’s, I want to see what he can do with the character. Judging by the trailer, he is missing the one attribute about Peter Parker that no filmed adaptation has yet gotten quite right: he’s supposed to be awkward. Parker is not a trained athlete and, because of his lifestyle and interests, doesn’t have the social skills to make it in high school. That has to be balanced with what we see in the trailer, which is Spider-Man’s wittiness and preternatural movements. If we follow this line of thought to its natural conclusions, then Spider-Man will represent the cool kids in high school, not the faceless everyboy/girl who don’t fare as well. But revamping a franchise means trying new things and seeing how they work, and maybe Garfield with his natural charm will make us like the slightly new Peter Parker.
As for the rest of the cast, I’m with Aldo for the most part. Emma Stone is great to look at and can be funny and charming, but she has to make Gwen Stacy stand out from what she is to most comic book fans: Peter’s first girlfriend who is memorable only because of the way she dies. I want to know what makes her tick, what does she see inside Peter, and can she be more than the damsel in distress that Mary Jane Watson usually is. The Lizard, on the other hand, needs a lot more than this trailer can give us. First of all, the effects are in their early stages, so I won’t comment on how absolutely piss-poor they are. Plus, and I say this while loving Rhys Ifans in just about everything he does (even Little Nicky), we all know what The Lizard is: a placeholder villain, the opening act. He’s Ra’s al Ghul or Parallax. He’s biding us time until the headliner shows up. If you want good cast, I’d say keep your eyes on Dennis Leary. You normally wouldn’t associate the chain-smoking bad boy comedian with this nerdy stuff, but I think he’ll be the sleeper star of the show, especially if his character follows the same path it did in the comics.
For me, the trailer just confirms what I already know: I want to see this movie. In a summer that is already choc-a-bloc full of superheroes, there will always be room for your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.
So those are our collective thoughts on the popular trailer. Regardless of our views, the film has enough widespread appeal that it will undoubtedly be a major success at the box office, so it’s all an inevitability in the end. What say you, readers: will you be lining up to see The Amazing Spider-Man when it hits theaters on July 3, 2012? Sound off in the comments section below!