“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” Trailer Reaction

Sony released the first trailer today for Marc Webb‘s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” starring Andrew Garfield today, and it packs a web-swinging wallop.

The trailer itself was a little light on the specific story elements, which is a good thing this early in the promotional campaign. But what do we know? Despite tackling three villains in one go – a mistake that cost Spider-Man 3 (2007) dearly – this new Spidey flick seems very focused on the shady history behind Peter’s parents and all of the dark work Oscorp is pursuing, two things that were only hinted at in the first film. Here, Oscorp’s scentific research seems to be the source of all Spidey’s greatest enemies. In this case, Electro, Rhino, and Green Goblin all make an appearance in the trailer, which makes you wonder: will there be some sort of epic three vs. one showdown in the end? Or will they riff off of Spider-Man 3 once again and have Harry Osborn remorsefully fight alongside Spider-Man as a Goblin?

Jamie Foxx is positively electrifying as…Electro. It’s an entirely fresh take on the character. His origins are as a blue-collar worker that was struck by lightning that accidentally mutated him. But most iterations of the character see him as an unblemished caucasian. This new portrayal is neither of those things, with Foxx sporting an exotically blue supercharged hue that I have to admit, is really terrifying, especially when he’s flying around tossing lightning like its a lightweight spear. We saw next to nothing from Rhino, which leads me to believe that maybe he’ll just be a prominent villain in the first act of the movie before he’s captured and imprisoned before the real baddies show up. But who knows, they might just be saving him for other trailers.

We are bound to get quite a bit of character development with Peter Parker this time around, whereas in The Amazing Spider-Man he pretty much remained a petulant brat until the very end (see Film Crit Hulk’s critique of the film). This trailer brings us towards a much more serious tone for the character. Peter’s voiceover from the beginning of the trailer clarifies that much:

“Every day I wake up knowing that the more people I try to save, the more enemies I will make. And it’s just a matter of time before I face those with more power than I can overcome.”

I hate to pick apart the word choice here (I will anyway), but something that’s been talked about a lot is that Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) might die by the end of this movie. Facing those with “more power than I can overcome” is a curious word choice. He’s not particularly worried about his own well-being. Spider-Man has no need to worry about dying. But what happens when he can’t overcome his enemies? Those that he loves are going to find themselves in danger. Peter’s already proven himself reckless in getting Gwen involved in everything in the first film, and he blindly ignored her father’s dying wishes. What’s going to happen when he has three enemies to contend with at once, especially when one of them is basically Zeus?

We do know that originally, the lovely ginger Mary Jane Watson (Shailene Woodley) was supposed to be included in this movie but she got pushed out due to various constraints. It’s still unclear whether or not she’ll be recast for the third movie, but a likely storyline would be Gwen’s death in some epic final confrontation here so that in the third film, when Peter matures into a fuller version of Spider-Man, he can go on and get himself a new love interest. This might just be a necessary path for Peter to take. The problem with Spider-Man is always his silliness. Uncle Ben sort of has to die so that Peter can understand the gravity of his responsibilities and quit goofing around. That message didn’t really stick in The Amazing Spider-Man. So what’s it gonna take Parker?

For me, the one irritating thing in the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies was how long it took Peter to reveal his identity to Mary Jane. By the end of the second movie it was an absolute necessity. Having done away with that tension almost right away in The Amazing Spider-Man, this new approach gives Gwen some room to joke about the whole situation in this trailer. It’s funny to see, and the lightheartedness sets up a nice sense of foreboding for the grand scope of things.

Dan DeHaan looks great as Harry Osborn. It’s a perfect role for him. Harry is supposed to be a frustrated and unfulfilled person wallowing in the shadow of his father’s prominence. Psychologically, it’s very similar to the role DeHaan played in Chronicle, where he excelled.

Something that I really enjoyed seeing in the trailer was the simple image of Spidey lifting up an entire car like it was an end table. With such a wiry physique, Spider-Man hardly ever impresses us physically, and it’s easy to forget how powerful this character really is. “Spidey Sense” and web-slinging are a bit quirky, so it’s nice to catch a glimpse of that simplified brute strength. What can I say? Call me old fashioned!

All in all, I’m really excited for this!