Trailer: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2' - May 2
Directed by Marc Webb, written by Alex Kurtzman, Bob Orci and Jeff Pinker, starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Sally Field, Paul Giamatti, Denis Leary, Chris Cooper, BJ Novak and Felicity Jones.
What is this sensation I’m feeling? Anger? Disappointment? Indifference? And where is it coming from? (Long rant alert. Bare with me.)
I enjoyed the first Amazing Spider-Man. It had its fair share of problems, and they were big ones, but I walked out of the theater mostly satisfied. But ever since the casting news began for the sequel, I’ve felt myself become very weary of the direction they are taking this (unnecessary) reboot series. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of the Sinister Six making themselves known gets me excited from a Spidey-fan standpoint. But to see everything all splayed out on screen…
The first gripe is the obvious one: too many villains. If they’re going the Sinister Six route, it’d be kind of tedious to give every villain their own movie before joining forces to take on the web head, so that can be used as a valid argument to stick a bunch of ‘em in one flick. However, it still gives off the appearance of bloat. Too much. Too complicated. Too implausible. The idea that all of these baddies would have simultaneous origins and grudges against our hero? Sure, it’s a comic book movie and disbelief should be graciously suspended, but COME ON!
Add onto that the prominence of Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn in this trailer. DeHaan is a great actor and a great choice to be Harry. But I think a part of my unimpressed reaction to this first glimpse has to do with, well, weren’t we all told Jamie Foxx’s Electro would be the main baddie? Followed by Paul Giamatti’s Rhino as kind of a secondary baddie? So Sony pretty much lied to us, and how dare they. (Yes, I know the footage in trailers has been spliced together by companies looking to pull people in and therefore are meant to be somewhat misleading and Hollywood is built on a trash pile of lies, but with the amount of publicity Foxx received for his casting as Max Dillon, this is kind of a letdown..and I’m not even a big Jamie Foxx fan).
Harry being the primary antagonist not only inserts too much story into an already crowded affair, but the way he is portrayed in this preview seems to deny this iteration of Peter Parker something he needs: A FRIEND. Sure, he has Gwen Stacy right off the bat, but Peter’s friendship with Harry is a major cornerstone for the character, and it makes Harry’s betrayal all the more impactful. If he’s a bad guy straight out of the gate, then there’s no room for growth or any real tension. The audience is let on—Oh, don’t trust this guy—when it would be better if the evil rose fluidly—NO, now we can’t trust this guy, that makes me sad, poor Peter. Plus, him being the Goblin (Green, Hob or otherwise) before his father kind of spits in the face of the comics, but whatever, artistic license, adaptation, blah blah blah.
I think my biggest problem with this teaser, though, is that there’s nothing here to get me excited. Franchise sequels, while ultimately pointless and transparent cash grabs, are meant to be bigger, bolder and shocking. While the story details given here are limited, the look and feel of it all feels about the same as the first one, if not relatively smaller. Not to mention, this doesn’t feel like a Spider-Man movie, and come to think of it, the first one didn’t really either. I enjoyed the dark tone of the first one, as it goes in line with Peter Parker’s psyche: he’s a troubled youth, smart and capable, but orphaned and an outsider, brimming with rage against bullies, the world being the biggest bully of them all for snatching his parents away from him and surrounding his life with so much death. It fits. But there was just something off about the whole thing, and that off feeling is carried over into this trailer. For all of their flaws, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man series felt like Spider-Man (yeah, even the third one, dance numbers and all…scratch that last part). This may just be conditioning to consider those three movies as the standard, making all that follow less and unworthy, but fuck if I don’t smell the cookie-cutter mark of all things Hollywood considers action-y all wafted over these two and a half minutes.
There will be more trailers released between now and May 2, but this first one, in my eyes, does not bode well. But I’ll end up seeing it anyway because I’m a humungous hypocrite and I love going to the movies and I love Spider-Man, so oh well.