It is, after all, Super Bowl Sunday, so it makes sense that studios are pulling out all the stops to try and stake their claim on the 2014 box-office today, and so far, I think they’ve done an excellent job with these big giant trailers.
For example, I was not the biggest fan of Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man.” I liked the chemistry with his cast, and I thought there were elements of it that worked, but as a film, it felt disjointed, like they’d shoved three or four different scripts together. I don’t think it’s ever a problem to have multiple villains as long as you can tell a story that works as a coherent thematic whole, using all of the various foes to strengthen the overall film.
That appears to be the case this time with “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” While Electro seems to be the main bad guy that Spider-Man will have to face, it also looks like Webb has found a way to tie everything in to the main story, which he scaled back in the first film. While it is definitely an adjustment from the traditional take on Spider-Man, the notion that Oscorp has been watching him for his entire life makes sense if Peter was the subject of some sort of lifelong test, a theory which the first film strongly hints at from its opening frames.
I’m curious to see how they etch the characters of Harry and Norman Osborn in this film, especially with Chris Cooper and Dane DeHaan onboard to play the roles. We get a pretty solid idea of how they’re approaching Max Dillon aka Electro aka Nerdy Jamie Foxx. I like the two moments they show in the trailer, one establishing why Max is fixated on Spider-Man, the other showing the eventual payoff to that. There’s something great about playing a villain as the creation of the hero, the inevitable result of some action. I just wrote a bit about why I liked the character Philip Seymour Hoffman played in “Mission: Impossible III,” and it looks like they’ve found an interesting tension to play between Electro and Spider-Man in this film.
There are other highlights here as well. I love how bad Peter is at making excuses to Aunt May. I also think they’re laying it on thick to make fans think they know what’s going to happen to Gwen Stacy in this one. I have a feeling they’re playing you, but they’re doing it very well, complete with a glimpse of Peter screaming in what appears to be grief. And can we talk about that creepy Electro’s coming rap theme?
Will Webb pull it all together and make “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” a better overall movie than the first? I certainly hope so, and we’ll find out when it arrives in theaters May 2, 2014.