We’ve Seen the First 15 Minutes of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2; Recap and Thoughts on the Footage

by     Posted 219 days ago

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Early Monday morning, Sony gathered select press for a preview of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  The first fifteen minutes of the sequel was shown, in addition to two other sequences from the film: an early Times Square fight between Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) & Electro (Jamie Foxx) and a later scene involving Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) and Electro.  For a recap and thoughts on the footage screened, hit the jump.  (Of note: there are, of course, spoilers in the following article).

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There’s a strange trepidation surrounding the release of the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  While the latest Marvel superhero films are wont to provoke overwhelming enthusiasm from rabid fans, their DC, Sony and Fox counterparts often are awaited with indifference, if not outright scorn (see the whole nonsensical hoopla over the recent Fantastic Four casting for proof).  There’s a perception that Marvel caters to the hardcore fans with its vast interlocking mythology and increasingly byzantine comic-friendly universe; while all other comic owned properties cater cravenly to “the all mighty dollar” (of course this seems rather silly – as ALL multi-billion dollar franchises are made for your hard earned bucks.)  Sony did itself no favors though to its perceived miserliness when it reneged on a proposed Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man 4, opting instead for an indie (read: cheaper) reboot of the franchise scarcely five years after Spidey 3’s release.

Of course this supposed ‘cheaper’ Spider-Man film ballooned to an estimated 230 million dollars, not much under Spider-Man 3’s reported 250-mil budget.  There were rumors of script changes, last minute editing, excised storylines, un-happy executives…  Pretty much everything and anything negative sounding you can think of.  So when The Amazing Spider-Man was finally released, the deck was suitably stacked against it.  Even so, the film was generously if mildly received.  There were the expected complaints: 1) what was the point of a step-by-step remake to a film made not even a decade prior? 2) It wasn’t as good as the Raimi films 3) A muddled and obviously truncated-in-editing storyline (what the hell was the deal with Peter’s parents?); but still the film had a lot going for it – everyone seems to agree Andrew Garfield made for an excellent Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Emma Stone was delightfully winsome as his paramour Gwen Stacy.  In between the competent (if somewhat obligatory-feeling) multi-million $$$ set pieces, the film took its time to stop and give its leads actual scenes to talk, flirt, argue, emote…  It was as if you could see the supposed ‘indie’ smaller version of Spider-Man battling the archetype of the huge SUPERHERO film.  It made for an interesting (if not 100% successful) dichotomy.  But in this increasingly polarized film-critique landscape of BEST THING EVER or WORST THING EVER, being pretty decent doesn’t really register on the spectrum.

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And so still the whispers persist.  Before the preview screening of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I overheard the journalist to my left remark how he ‘couldn’t explain it, but [he] was sort of dreading the film.’ and the journalist directly behind me opining that she ‘just kind of yearned for the old Sam Raimi films’.  This thought-line seems to be pervasive amongst most comic film friendly audiences.  There’s no way a movie that cost north of 200 million could ever be considered an underdog – but The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is about as close as you could theoretically get.

The footage screened of the forthcoming sequel seemed mostly to focus on spectacle, eschewing the smaller scale “indie” stuff.  There’s a gunfight on an airplane, an airplane crash, over a dozen police car crashes, a shootout, and a rush to contain multiple canisters of plutonium all within the first fifteen minutes of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (AS2).

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AS2 opens with the same flashback that opened AS1 as Peter Parker is abandoned by his parents — except here: the perspective is switched from Peter Parker to his father Richard (Campbell Scott).  It’s fun to watch the posh Scott of The Spanish Prisoner and Rodger Dodger fame in what is ostensibly his own little action film for the first five or so minutes.  Richard discovers some mysterious classified secret at Oscorp.  He juggles a series of vials, looks contemplatively at a computer screen, discovers his entry code has now been locked out and then rushes home only to discover its been broken into and his office ransacked.  He and his wife (Embeth Davidtz) immediately whisk their boy Peter off and drop him at the Aunt & Uncle’s. They then rush onto a private plane to hide away from whatever far-reaching malevolent corporate force Richard has seemingly gotten onto the bad side of.  On the plane they have the standard heart-to-heart of how difficult it is to abandon their child but they don’t want Peter to live a life on the run and that it’s a necessary sacrifice for his better good.  It’s pretty rote stuff – but Davidtz and Campbell sell it like the pros they are.  Plus about five seconds later, an assassin posing as a co-pilot attempts to off Richard as he frantically tries to upload some important file – so there’s not much time to think about the stuff that doesn’t quite work.

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There’s a propulsive energy to the first fifteen minutes.  Whereas AS1 opened on a much more somber and contemplative note, the sequel opens BIGGER and more action-focused.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Filmmaker Marc Webb seems to have taken a huge stride in staging the action of the sequel.  Too often the Lizard-centric action beats of The Amazing Spider-Man felt muddled and unclear, perhaps due to the shoddiness of the CGI or the inherent difficulties in shooting a fight scene between one character and another not yet created. But here in the opening of the sequel and later in the Times Square fight (which I’ll get to in a bit), Webb seems to relish in the opportunity to craft as much mayhem as possible. The aforementioned fight on the plane featuring one gun, a seatbelt, a dead pilot, a free falling aircraft, a man, his wife, an assassin and only one parachute culminates with a surprisingly powerful emotional beat.  It’s such a good little bit that when the movie jumps forward afterward to a grown up Peter Parker/Spider-Man in-action set piece, it’s a bit of a let down.

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There’s an odd tonal discrepancy cutting from the somber finality of the airplane sequence to Spider-Man pantsing criminals and cracking wise – but any misgivings had are soon drowned out by the sheer joy and clarity Webb injects into the Spidey set piece.  Most of this scene has already been spoiled via the trailers and online photos — but basically Spider-Man is called into action to stop a pre-Rhino Aleksei Sytsevich (Paul Giamatti going as broad as possible) from robbing an Oscorp van full of plutonium.  A seemingly endless number of car crashes and Spider-Man one-liners follow. The scene is intercut with Gwen and Peter’s high school graduation, which Peter is in danger of missing given his preoccupation with the ongoing robbery.  At the graduation, Gwen Stacy, as valedictorian, gives a fairly on-the-nose speech about living life to its fullest because you never know when it’s going to end (HINT! HINT!). But yet again any eye-rolls are immediately quashed by a sequence minutes later where Spider-Man must juggle a dozen canisters of plutonium in a Keaton-esque bit of physical comedy.  Any time The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems like it’s about to go off the rails and prove the naysayers true, it finds some little action bit or inspired Andrew Garfield one-liner to bring you back into its good graces.  It’s quite a tight rope even for just fifteen minutes – but Webb, Garfield and co. are able to maintain the balancing act at least for these opening scenes.

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The footage then jumped to a later scene in AS2 where Peter and Gwen, who have seemingly broken up at some point earlier in the picture, try to rekindle their relationship.  It’s an oddly written scene – at one point, Peter admits to following Gwen around at least once a day to make sure she’s all right. It’s supposed to read as romantic and charming, but instead comes across as a tad stalker’ish’. It’s only through the sheer chemistry of leads Garfield and Stone, all batty eyes and wayward glances, that the scene works in any sort of capacity.  And the final emotional beat wherein Gwen tells Peter she’s thinking of moving to England feels like it was borrowed from any number of high-school melodramas.  However the two wayward lover’s rendezvous is soon cut short when the newly formed Electro stumbles into Times Square causing all kinds of havoc.

Jamie Foxx plays Electro as wounded pride incarnate, a guy prone to exclaiming ‘I’m a nobody’ and quick to offense when Spider-Man can’t remember his pre-trans name Max.  So imagine Electro’s sudden sense of accomplishment when he sees his blue face projected onto every single news outlet screen in Times Square – and then imagine his displeasure at seeing Spider-Man’s face take his place on all those screens once the web-slinger shows up.  It’s a bit of an obvious visual; but effective nevertheless in getting at the mad need for self-acknowledgement that drives Electro and ultimately provokes the fight scene at Times Square.

The Times Square scene, like the previous action set pieces preceding it, is well staged and captured.  Webb plays a lot here with speeding the footage up and then slowing it down at crucial points.  For instance: Electro charges the metallic rails of an entire bleacher stand.  In slow motion, the camera pauses as a number of citizens (unaware of the electricity running through the bannisters) reach their hands out about to touch, grab hold of these railings.  The camera then speeds up again as Spider-Man shoots his webbings, stopping the various citizens from touching the railings, thereby saving their lives.  Sure it seems de-rigueur for action films nowadays to employ the ol’ slow to fast motion one-two punch, but still it’s used effectively here to convey the seeming impossibility of saving all these lives and than the skill and ease in which Spider-Man does exactly that.

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There’s a vividity in the color schematic to much of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – from the bright red and blue outfit Spidey wears to the shiny baby blue of Electro and his circuit vision (in a POV of Electro’s, we see that the entire world looks like nothing more than a computer circuit).  The action beats really pop in no small part due to the comic-panel nature of the footage.  This isn’t the dark griminess of Nolan’s Batman films, instead opting for a look much more at place with the lively saturated tones of Marvel’s Captain America: First Avenger and Ang Lee’s Hulk.

In the final scene screened to press, Electro is locked up in prison, hooked up onto some board that negates his electrical charges.  Enter Harry Osborn, sporting a fresh black eye and a nasty cut to his neck, intent on releasing Electro from his confines. Osborn seems to be on the verge of tears in the scene, wounded not just physically but emotionally.  Dane DeHaan, so good in films ranging from Chronicle to Lawless, gives it his all in the brief scene.  It’s a variation on the old “villain tries to convince the other villain to join up with him” routine, pretty much the same scene actually from Spider-Man 3 where Venom convinces Sandman to team up.  But DeHaan almost makes you forget the tropes of the convention by sheer force of will. There’s a deep-seeded insecurity and desperation to DeHaan’s Osborn here.  It feels raw in a way you wouldn’t expect to get from a comic book sequel where so often villains are played arch and mannered.  It’s only a brief clip – but if there’s reason to be excited about the prospects of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it’s the thought of DeHaan sharing screen-time opposite the stellar Garfield and Stone.

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The scene, of course, concludes with Osborn releasing Electro – who now seems to be able to materialize at will wherever he pleases.  There’s something very “Dr. Manhattan” about Electro in the scene, this big blue man floating off the ground capable of imparting so much damage with no effort exerted.  In one particular nasty bit of business, Electro throws an electrical charge so intense, it blows a hole clear through a poor guard’s chest.  Freed, Electro and Osborn set their sites on defeating their common enemy: Spider-Man.

And there ended the footage shown. All in all, I would say it ran for about 25 minutes.

Afterwards, director Marc Webb took to the stage to offer a couple choice sound bites in a brief Q&A.  On the final runtime for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he offered up that it would most likely be over two hours.  On whether or not the sequel would provide answers to the mystery surrounding Peter’s parents and the identity of the man speaking with The Lizard in the post credit scene of The Amazing Spider-Man, Webb answered affirmatively ‘Yes’.  On the cut Mary Jane Watson scene, Webb stated that ‘it was a separate tiny tease’ that didn’t serve any purpose for the larger story of the sequel and was thus omitted.  Finally despite the recent news that Webb will not be directing The Amazing Spider-Man 4, he still seemed keen on ‘being involved in any way possible’ with The Sinister Six and all upcoming Spider-Man related films.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens everywhere May 2nd. I, for one, can’t wait.

Here’s the new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 if you missed it.




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  • Lance

    And yet another film where the press gushes after a pre-release screening! How can that be? Are we really supposed to think all these films are that awesome?

    I have my doubts. ASM 2 may not be outright terrible, but I bet it has problems.

    • Grayden

      “Are we really supposed to think all these films are that awesome?”

      Not really. I mean, Frosty loves summer blockbusters, he’s that kind of movie guy. He loves every movie regardless if it looks like shit or not. He seems to be the kind that goes to the movies for the spectacle of it, the experience. Goldberg on the other hand goes to the movies to pick them apart and tell us why they didn’t measure up to his standards.

      Two different kinds of moviegoers. Not all of the press are created equally, and thank the gods for it.

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    • Eli

      This wasn’t gushing. Tommy gave pretty clear indication that he thought the action was fun but he wasn’t too keen on a lot of the other things about it. That’s not gushing. It’s his pretty frank/honest opinion.

  • Carlos

    Yeah… and it’ll be online by next week.

  • dysy

    Totally missed it on why everybody loves Marvel and scorns Sony/Fox. Marvel’s movies are for the most part better while Fox and Sony just put these movies out for sole reason that they know we are compelled to see anything with a superhero in it without considering making a quality flick.

    • 97point6

      Exactly. Every director, cinematographer, writer, actor, etc., on the Sony/Fox side is trying to suck the money from your wallet, while Marvel is simply raising you to a higher level of consciousness. Makes perfect sense drawing this distinction between mega corporations.

      • Lance

        Stop trying to suggest Marvel and the rest are all the same!

        When Marvel puts on a show (film-wise, at least — not counting AoS here) they put on a real production that makes you laugh, smile, and cheer, and by the end you willingly throw your money into their hat or guitar case.

        Some of these other movies… they’re not earning your cheers. They’re basically luring you into a dark alley under false pretenses and then mugging you.

        Nolan, of course, creates masterpieces on a whole other level.

      • 97point6

        You might want to re-watch some of those Marvelous movies. Not sure you can ask for your money back at this point.

      • The Flobbit

        The Incredible Hulk, in particular, made me want to show Kevin Feige how my baseball bat feels.

      • Frank

        Really, it didn’t me. And why are you threatening violence against someone you don’t know over a freaking movie? Are you insane?

      • The Flobbit

        I am in perfect mental health. Can the same be said for you?

      • X-Men – Marvels #1 Team

        Marvel has had around 3 good movies out of 7. the rest are just formulaic filler drivel.

      • Frank

        You are comparing seeing Amazing Spider-Man 2 and going to see a movie you didn’t like in a movie theater to robbery and mugging? That’s kind of crazy and stupid. I may not like the movie and all, but to compare this to Sony taking someone out and robbing and mugging them is nonsense pure and simple.

      • cruzzercruz

        Marvel understand their characters and universe, what makes the characters special, and how to best adapt the material to film without losing much in the translation. Their movies are accurate portrayals of their characters with heart, enthusiasm, and are aimed to please fans and general audiences alike. And they understand genre, creating each film with a different tone and pairing the creative talent to films that actually suit them.

        Fox and Sony are very much about scratching the surface of their source material, cherry picking things that sound cool and having people who really aren’t geared for these movies doing work-for-hire. Having people like Orci and Kurtzman penning a script to a character that’s supposed to be intelligent and have depth is indicative of this. Bryan Singer claims to be a fan, but he has butchered the X-Men’s characters and created in-name-only versions of them. They’re not awful movies, they just really, really aren’t on the same wavelength as Marvel in so far as adaptations are concerned.

      • Strong Enough

        …while Marvel is simply raising you to a higher level of consciousness”

        LMAOO

      • eternalozzie

        he was serious when he typed that line? I hope not … my brain processed it as kind of tongue in cheek.

      • Frank

        Raising you to a higher level of consciousness? This is pure laughable material here, people. What a load of delusional hogwash. I dont think Joss Whedon’s raising anyone to any consciousness with hipster humor. But find yeah I guess maybe when we watch Avengers 2 we can all become star children like Dave Bowman and attain a higher level of humanity beyond all the others or some other crazy crap like that. Maybe lord Xenu will come back too.

        I really have to laugh at this, this is pure delusional talk from some intellectual egghead who’s gone nuts over time, obviously. WE’LL ALL BE STAR CHILDREN WHEN AVENGERS 2 COMES OUT, THE MONOLITH WILL COME OUT OF THE MOVIE!

      • cruzzercruz

        People are really abusing the term “hipster” these days. Just because a movie has clever in-jokes and doesn’t go totally broad with all of its humor, it’s suddenly for hipsters.

      • Frank

        It thinks it’s in-jokes are clever, but there not. There’s the difference, hipster’s not really the right word I admit, more like smug and self-servicing and annoying. There’s a reason why Lego Movie sucked to me, it was a pop culture gag fest for kids, it was basically Robot Chicken (a really deplorable and shitty show as it is) made for kids without the really graphic and adult jokes. All it can do is act KOOL and then pop a joke about culture and Batman and whatever and act clever.

        That’s the problem more, it’s not hipster, it’s just smug comedy that annoys me and insults me.

      • 97point6

        Silly, silly, Frank. The original “higher level of consciousness” remark (mine) was made with tongue firmly planted in cheek. As any non-delusional, and certainly, non-egghead could read. Now who’s laughing?

      • Frank

        Not me, it wasn’t funny. I can’t tell the tone of your voice when you’re writing it out. There’s a problem in your little tongue and cheek. So no, you really aren’t funny and you earn my derision and laughter. You’re just covering for yourself now. HAAAAAHAAHAHAHA!

      • 97point6

        Actually “Frank”, you can’t tell the difference between your ass and a hole in the ground. Plain enough?

      • Frank

        No I can’t tell you being funny because you weren’t, and also because when you are tongue and cheek usually you are saying something tongue and cheek or sarcastically. You’re not you’re writing it out and sounds dead serious and I probably wouldn’t put it pass some of the delusional people in this world to type it up and post it. So you still earn my laughter you really are a lame covering person.

      • the king of comedy

        Marvel is clearly at the vanguard of super heroe movies, they know their characters and most important of wall they know what to do with them, they had planned the avengers movie long time ago and it paid off. Meanwhile the other studios used to take one story at the time, and now are trying to replicate Marvel succes without being willing to follow the same route in constructing their universe movie by movie, instead they are trying to put together as many characters as they can in each movie. Batman movies were great ( with the exception of The Dark Knight Rises), but the closest Nolan has been at making a masterpiece was Memento.

    • Frank

      Actually Fox has been putting out rather quality superhero flicks since 2000, X-Men, you know Bryan Singer. He actually set off another superhero movie boom with that movie, though you could also count the success of Blade in 1998. But after X-Men, the superhero movie market went up and we had a brief period of quality movies from him and Raimi. Then it all got bogged down in botched Daredevil, Electra, X-Men 3, Blade 3, Spider-Man 3 to a lesser extent and it all stopped again for the most part (Batman Begins and Superman Returns not withstanding) til The Dark Knight kind of started it up again. The Superhero market is an up and down rollercoaster and Marvel isn’t exactly perfect in it’s quality either, or have not seen 1990′s Captain America where Marvel couldn’t afford jack shit.

      New Line Cinema produced Blade and Blade 2.

      Sony had Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2.

  • Pop My Vinyard

    What a terribly written article. I forced myself to keep reading the pretentious drivel until the end, hoping to learn something of substance, but alas, I was disappointed in my endeavors. What a shallow, pointless life you must live if you expend so much energy writing the junior college equivalent of a dissertation about 25 minutes of pre-screened footage from a movie nobody cares about or is excited to see.

    • Matt1

      Kudos to you for making it to the end of the article.

    • CarlSE

      Why would you read this article if you say your not remotely interested in the movie?

      • JBug

        Don’t you know by now? We’re compelled to read anything and everything remotely related to comic book movies.

      • CarlSE

        Lol! Well, I personally read this because, while I love Spider-Man, I really hated the reboot and was curious how this would be received. This sounds much better but also problematic in its own right. Sounds about what I figured it would be like.

    • 97point6

      Haters just got to write.

  • http://www.reviewsfromabed.net/ Vandy Price

    I thought it was a nicely written article that summed up the initial reaction to the seen footage and how it may play into the larger pre-conceived status of this over-sold Spidey sequel. I’m rooting for this to actually turn out to be a good film and am happy to hear Mr. Cook thinks it has potential. That final trailer released today was truly full of energy and amazing.

  • Tod

    Sounds like an Orci and Kurtzman script all right. Lots of cliches, tropes and lame plot mechanizations that happen to have a lot of cool action and fun moments peppered throughout them.

    This basically sounds like Star Trek Into Darkness only with Spider-Man characters.

    • The Flobbit

      Looking forward to the scene where Electro turns out to be Vulture, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

    • Frank

      Well hopefully it’s not as awkward as that shitty script to the last Spider-Man movie. Some of the humor won’t be as lame, and the love lines won’t be I want to throw you out a building.
      Mother Hubbard! also.
      Dialogue concerning eggs, chocolate, and meat loaf.

  • brNdon

    Collider,
    Please hire proofreaders!

  • EIi

    Sounds like what I expected this to be: a mixed bag.

  • Seannie5

    I thought Garfield was a huge let down and Emma Stone is just a boring screen presence. I saw TAS on DVD at a friend’s house and I won’t be wasting money on ti this time either. A reboot so soon was a joke. Such a money grab.

    • 97point6

      Cool. More leg room for me.

  • Rendar

    Pretty annoying that film reviews here are only half as long as a review for 10-25 minutes worth of footage.

    • lordjim

      really???so you want to read the whole movie in a review, are you serious?there are leaked scripts around the net for people like you…

  • DPW

    Not interested in this reboot, but thought the article was a good read. Nice assessment of the post-Raimi trepidation for this series.

  • mattinacan

    sounds bigger and more awful than the first movie

    • Frank

      “Peter Parker you’re a wanted man” I hope this kind of dialogue isn’t in the movie or “mother hubbard”.

  • Davis

    So it’s going to suck balls then?

    • The Flobbit

      Electrified green rhino balls.

  • Picard

    The comments that I’m reading on this page are full of shit. Shame on all of you.

    • Arthur Dent

      Your mom’s a man.

  • It’s me!

    The only reason I’m going to watch ASM2 is cause one of my best friends is the manager of a Cinemark, I watch this kind of movies for free so, if it’s good I’ll pay to watch it again, if its not, well …

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    • ʝoe ßloggs

      Can I be best friends with your best friend too?
      Please?????

    • Arthur Dent

      Yeah, well, my sister’s best friend’s mom made $742/hr on the computer getting a check for $1000293448 last month just working at home on the computer. Granted she had to perform fellatio 12 hrs a day on a webcam, but she made a lot of $$$. Go to http://www.fuck-these-ads .com

  • Faptain America

    Tommy, it’s “deep-seated”, not “deep-seeded”.

  • ʝoe ßloggs

    WARNING.
    This trailer may induce epilepsy if you are photosensitive.
    Viewer discretion is advised.

  • Seanpb

    All you sad sacks are going to be positively inconsolable when this film does $800m + at the worldwide box office.

    “How? No one was interested” you’ll all be saying.

  • Seanpb

    I reckon if this film was made/marketed in the exact same way but coming out of Marvel Studios, this talkback – and every other talkback on this film – would be very much looking forward to it.
    Its this sort of blind love that would explain the fairly positive response to most other Marvel films which are average but adequate. Thor, I’m looking at you.

  • eternalozzie

    I have determined we (including me) take our superhero movies WAY to seriously :)

  • dzyg

    Spider Manga

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