Today The Amazing Spider-Man launched an international press day, with cast members and director Marc Webb. And not only did they premiere a brand new trailer, but we saw a giant sizzle reel. What did we think of Hollywood's new Peter Parker, and what did we see? We describe our first impressions for you, below!
High School Hell:
Peter Parker pulls up to his high school, camera in hand (so we remember he's a future photographer for the Daily Bugle). A group of bullies, so handsome they could only exist in the OC, are forcing a skinny nerd to keg stand a plate of spaghetti. "Take a picture, Parker" the squarest jawed brute orders. "No," Peter responds. They then proceed to beat the ever loving shit out of him. "I'm still not going to take the picture," Peter wails after one fella kicks him in the gut.
Fast forward a few days (and clearly after he's been bitten by that radioactive spider) a bully throws a basketball at Peter's noggin. In return, Peter thrusts him against a row of lockers. BY THE THROAT. Cut to an empty hallway, with Uncle Ben (played by the charming Martin Sheen). He's scolding Peter about the pointlessness of revenge. This is where Andrew Garfield shines. He's very good at channeling angsty/angry teen without going full-blown brat.
Uncle Ben sees Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) over Peter's shoulder, "You're the girl on his computer!" he exclaims. Peter is mortified — and it's adorable. The two then proceed to have a supremely (500) Days of Summer-esque conversation, complete with a heavy-handed Mumford & Sons "Little Lion Man" soundtrack (not sure if that was the actual song — it might have been Coldplay's "Kingdom Come," but you get the gist). While I'm almost certain that couldn't have been the final soundtrack, the whole thing just smacks of the Starbucks music reel. And while I will certainly purchase a soundtrack like that, I worry about the Breaking Dawn Part 1 effect where the music interrupts the dialog. This was my only concern throughout the entire sizzle reel, and that's a very good thing.
So Gwen and Peter make a date. Meanwhile Peter discovers his scientist dad's old briefcase, kept hidden by Uncle Ben and Aunt May (Sally Field, who doesn't speak once in this footage, sadly). This is where we realize that Peter is also a bit of a whiz kid. He unloads his father's briefcase and finds an old clipping of Dr. Curt Connors. Cut to Oscorp, where Connors is escorting a bunch of students around and saying, "Before you ask, yes. I'm a southpaw, not a cripple." He then reveals his plans to fix his arm. He and Peter meet, and Peter scribbles some nonsensical math equation on a blackboard, thus solving the problem to Doc Connors' secret serum.
Connors injects himself, and later you see his new hand sprouting out of his stub. Little bits of skin are peeling around his new limb. Naturally, he goes completely mad. Why? Not sure. There's a scene with a collection of stopped cars on giant bridge. A lizard creature starts throwing cars left and right, and then claws through the hood of one man's car. The hands are all scaled. You can hear Peter screaming, "Doctor Connors, this isn't you," and the camera cuts to a bird's eye view of the bridge, each car The Lizard threw is bobbing up and down, held by a single piece of web.
How Andrew is Different Than Tobey
Perhaps the most striking difference between Toby and Andrew's versions of Spider-Man was in the scene where Andrew ruthlessly teases a car thief with his new powers. It was hilarious, and cruel as only a snotty teen can be. But who cares, the guy is a robber. At some point the thief pulls out a knife and Andrew falls to the ground screaming, "is that a REAL knife? My one weakness, argh" — only to jump up and web the guy to the wall. He's being a total dick, and it's great. By the way "Street Fighting Man" by the Rolling Stones was playing throughout this, which was fairly on the nose, but still: It's the Stones.
Also the obvious difference is also that Andrew uses web shooters that he makes himself, presumably from the contents he finds in his father's briefcase.
As far as their aerobatic work, Andrew's is infinitely different. In fact, Andrew does the bulk of his superhero work kicking ass on the ground, flipping around and avoiding the eye of Capt. Stacy, who UNMASKS HIM! But it looks like Andrew manages to flip and karate kick his way out before getting recognized. Lots and lots of flipping.
Perhaps the biggest reveal of the sizzle reel was some sort of odd climactic show down between Peter and The Lizard. There appears to be a massive showdown on top of the OSCORP Tower. And Peter just rips down the whole tower. In another scene this odd blue cloud appears over the OSCORP Tower (pre-destruction). I wonder if this has something to do with — SPOILER ALERT — all the Lizard minions and Lizard toys we've seen. Is Dr. Connors trying to populate the world with Lizard people, just like Magneto in the first X-Men movie? Naturally this is a big maybe.
The biggest takeaway from this footage was that it looked good. The 3D looked great, the action was intense and thank goodness for adorable skinny Brit boys who know how to brood. We're very excited.