The pReview Re-viewing of..
The Amazing Spider-Man
(CLICK BELOW TO VIEW THE TRAILER)
(warning: contains profanity)
by Jeff Finck
Release Date: July 3, 2012
The premise: Uhmm.. well.. it's fucking Spider-Man! You have Peter Parker-- a mild-mannered teenager / twenty something / middle-aged - student / scientist / teacher, who fights crime after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Not much else to it. Oh! Except that absolutely nothing ever goes his way. He's just a terrible-magnet.. and I don't mean that in the way that Peter Parker is terrible at being a magnet.. In fact, he's actually pretty good at it. I mean it in the way that he attracts terrible the way Sarah Palin attracts crazy white women.
In a transition that I hope they use in the movie, there's a reflection in the window of little Parker staring at nothing in particular, but then the reflection turns into that guy who didn't know how to use Facebook, but was co-responsible for Facebook in that Facebook movie about Facebook (Andrew Garfield). He seems like he's going to be a fish out of water, but he looks just like the coolest kid in the whole damn school. If this is Peter Parker, I assume Flash Thompson is going to be played by a pro wrestler, or I'm just not buying Andrew Garfield as the bookish, super-smart Peter Parker.
The trailer then takes us to the Gwen Stacy's place. I like pretending that Gwen Stacy is actually named Gwendolyn Gwendy Gwenstacy, and that "Gwenstacy" is her last name and people call her that because it's more chummy and familial. Good ol' G.S. is played by Emma Stone, who is back to natural blonde instead of Superbad red, but that's more than OK because she still looks good. (I assume that if you don't mention how good Emma Stone looks in a review mentioning her, that a team of Navy SEALs breaks into your house and beats you with your own intestines.)
There seems to be some importance placed on a dusty old doctor-looking bag, as they show it off in the trailer as a kind of flimsy way to bring up Peter's father.. but Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) forgot he had it! Which seems kind of like a gross oversight as they kind of make it seem like Pete's been parent-less for ten years and you'd think a memoir of his father would have come up at some point in the past decade. Uncle Ben's last words in the comics should have been, "With great power comes great responsibility.. and with your brother-in-law's duffel bag comes 'Fuck Peter Parker.'"
On a school field trip, Peter runs into Gwenstacy at a lab that she is apparently interning at instead of being in school. Which lab, you ask? Only THE lab. Only the lab with all the genetically enhanced super animals.. rhinos, scorpions, vultures, sand men, electricians.. oh and Rhys Fucking Ifans (probably his real middle name.. further investigation needed) as Curt Connors. Sorry, I mean DOCTOR Curt Connors. Gwenstacy tells Peter to not get her into trouble, but the first thing this guy does is run around like a mo' (as in moron), going into labs like he's got boundary issues, and poking around in rooms covered in cobwebs.. Which, of course, leads to getting himself all bit up by a mutant spider with super powers for venom. But not Venom, the bad guy.. A spider with Venom for fangs would be terrifying.
As the venom takes effect, Peter looks like he's having a bad day. He becomes a freak in every sense of the word: He's got spiderwebs growing out of his neck. He hangs out in dark alleys. He climbs and bounces off of walls like he's a couple of whacky Frenchmen in District B13. He catches flies and blows off questions from his lovely Aunt May (Norma Rae herself, Sally Field). Oh and in a final shot of his tomfoolery, he's chillaxing on the ceiling in a subway car. Which is probably fine, though, because that is actually the most inconspicuous place to be a freak in. (I lived in the Bronx for a week, I think that makes me an expert.) There is a quick cut to Gwen Stacy in a "Truffaut-ian" (Yeah, I make up words, what of it?) shot holding an umbrella, staring into the sky. Cut equally quick to a shot of Peter and Dr. Connors getting ready to "play god." At this point, I get chills because I know how awesome Rhys Ifans is at being crazy. (see: Formula 51)
There is a hint at the blossoming romance between Gwen and Peter, but it's only a split second of what looks to be one of them consoling the other. She's probably consoling Peter, though, because he likes to whine. And then we see a relatively ripped Peter Parker sewing up what we can only assume is going to be the iconic suit. Oh, by the way, he must be a master of blind-hem stitching because that thing we see in the trailers and promo shoots is tight as fuck in regards to its craftsmanship. So, I'm adding sewing to the list of things Spider-man can do well: he can jump, react to danger, have super strength, and is a pin-tucking genius. (Look it up, it's a thing)
After the sewing bee, we are treated to cars flying through the air on a freeway. I assume The Lizard is at play here. Yeah, if the Lizard knows one thing.. It's probably how to regrow body parts. But if he knows two things, he knows how to throw a damn car.
We are then given a sneak peak at Mirror's Edge 2: Spider-man. If this isn't footage from the upcoming parkour based Spider-man game, I am extremely disappointed. Based entirely on the footage in the trailer, it's either that, or another "attempt" at pleasing the 3D loving masses. Did I say "pleasing"? I meant "pandering." Either way, I've seen good and bad first person in movies, and I've seen good and bad first person in video games. This looks like a combo of good from video games and bad from movies. This is also the only part of the trailer that made me cringe. The rest of it was AMAZING! (pun intended) It felt like they built up the trailer for this moment with the goose-bump-promising final line, "We all have secrets, the ones we keep.. and the ones that are kept from us."
And oh my God, if Garfield's delivery doesn't give you goosebumps, you are either dead or you may have accidentally had your eyes open during that first-person running sequence that led up to it. Go ahead, go back and watch that part again with your eyes closed. I'll wait.
I know, right?! Goosebumps!
Is The Amazing Spider-man a necessary reboot? Not at all. But hey, they did it. It's done. I mean, Hulk was so god-awfully slow, and filled with so many WTF?! moments (Monster poodle? Really? And I know there was a story arc about hulk dogs in the comics, but that doesn't mean use it!) that people couldn't praise Jennifer Connolly for being great as Betty. So, it got an unnecessarily hasty remake with The Incredible Hulk and ended up being a nice example of how to do it.
Or, and I'm saying it, I don't care if Hugh Jackman was in it as Wolverine, I'm still calling it a reboot.. But the X-Men got an unnecessary reboot as well with Saved by the Bell: the New Class almost right after Wolverine: Origins and less than five years after X3. This time, despite the amazing efforts of Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, this unnecessary reboot was just a complete letdown.
So this Spider-man business has the possibility of going either way. I'm willing to bet my ten to thirteen dollars on it being pretty spectacular. Fingers crossed!