‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Footage Review: Time to Raise Your Expectations

Published 5 months ago by , Updated March 24th, 2014 at 8:38 am,

The Amazing Spider Man 2 Previews Trailers Amazing Spider Man 2 Footage Review: Time to Raise Your Expectations

A special Amazing Spider-Man 2 extended preview event was held for NYC film journalists today, in coordination with the release of a new Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer (which you can watch below). In addition to the new 3D trailer, we were treated to additional 3D footage from the film – including the first 15 minutes, which revealed quite a bit about how this sequel will be very different from its predecessor.

Below you’ll find a general, SPOILER-FREE impression of the footage that was screened, detailing what is in store for both fans, casual moviegoers and those not-yet-converted naysayers, once Amazing Spider-Man 2 hits theaters on May 2nd. For those who want the full breakdown of what we saw and learned about ASM2, check out the link below, explaining the footage in all its spoiler glory.

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Footage Review (Spoiler-Free)

amazing spider man 2 trailer3 Amazing Spider Man 2 Footage Review: Time to Raise Your Expectations

LET’S BE CLEAR: This is the most advanced and visually accomplished Spider-Man film to date; there’s no denying it, and it looks pretty amazing in 3D (no pun). Anyone who watched previous Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailers and thought that they looked cartoony, or like a video game, or that the suit didn’t look right – have no fear. Fully rendered, in 3D, this CGI Spidey holds up better than ever – down to the immaculately rendered creases in his uniform, which flap in the wind with convincing realism. He moves, fights and banters like the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book character truly come to fluid life – though that last part can be attributed to the sharp wit of actor Andrew Garfield behind the mask.

It’s almost like director Marc Webb (who was in attendance for a Q&A) took every criticism of the first film to heart and went into this sequel determined to best his critics. By his own admission, Batman Begins realism maybe wasn’t the best approach for Amazing Spider-Man, and embracing the fantastical elements of the character has allowed him to do things technically and cinematically that are creative and effective for creating some impressive comic book action sequences. He also brings back some of the more artistic flourishes that DID work in the first film: namely those first-person perspective shots of wall-crawling and web-slinging that make 3D totally worthwhile.

The Amazing Spider Man 2 Truck Heist Sequence Amazing Spider Man 2 Footage Review: Time to Raise Your Expectations

Some Classic Spidey Slapstick

We saw one major set piece (a previously released Times Square clip, now played out in full) and a few minor ones – and all of the sequences were impressive in their total comprehension of the Spider-Man character and universe. Webb even incorporates visual gags you might expect from the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series, without going all Joel Schumacher campy.

We only got a small dose of the slapstick Spidey humor, but it was needed; this is definitely a darker and more serious Spider-Man film than we’ve ever seen. Right from the opening sequence, it’s clear that a larger narrative is now driving things – and on the whole, this feels like a more confident and prepared sophomore effort from Webb and Co., who clearly want to erase the memory of their freshman failings.  The story that was revealed was also more streamlined and focused than the first movie – it’s going to have a lot of moving parts, but there seems to be a solid command of narrative direction, and an understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

Gwen and Peter in The Amazing Spider Man 2 Amazing Spider Man 2 Footage Review: Time to Raise Your Expectations

One thing that still works is the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone as the principal leads. We got to see a scene with them, and they’re pretty much as adorable as ever, with both actors (a real life offscreen couple) now settled into the iconic roles, having (largely) proven themselves the first go-around. Garfield is definitely Spider-Man now, if there was any doubt; from the physicality to the attitude he is Peter Parker, and a lot of the NYC hipster stuff seems to have been toned down in favor of just nailing the character.

As for the villains: Paul Giamatti hams it up good, and Dane DeHaan’s Harry Osborn (only briefly teased) will seemingly deliver something worthwhile – but for all the controversy, it’s Jamie Foxx’s Electro who is the most surprisingly effective. Starting as a slightly unhinged engineer and devolving into a frazzled (no pun) freak with ego issues, movie Electro is probably the most intriguing, powerful (and scary) version of the character we’ve seen yet. The changes to canon seem to be worth it, in this case. A battle between Spider-Man and Electro is pretty epic to behold – as are Electro’s powers in general.

The Amazing Spider Man 2 Electro Times Square Sequence Amazing Spider Man 2 Footage Review: Time to Raise Your Expectations

Finally, the soundtrack: Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight Trilogy) rounded up Pharrell Williams, Johnny Marr from The Smiths and others to create something very unique in terms of a blockbuster superhero movie soundtrack. It’s probably going to be slightly contentious amongst viewers, but it is interesting. For example: elements of the soundtrack are used to echo a character’s crazy inner monologue. Interesting stuff indeed…

VERDICT: Amazing Spider-Man 2 is definitely a contender standing on level with those other big comic book movies coming out in 2014. The marketing may have cemented a low expectation in mind, but the actual product is (yep, going for it) pretty amazing.

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MORE: ASM2 Extended Footage SPOILERS

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FINAL TRAILER

TAGS: spider-man, the amazing spider-man 2

33 Comments

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  1. I went into the first Amazing Spider-Man movie with fairly medium-to-low expectations, and as a direct result of that I was really pleasantly surprised. Take it as you will, but I preferred it to any of the Raimi films in terms of how the characters, world and action were portrayed.

    Really glad to hear that this new instalment is poised to outdo the first one in every department. I’ll definitely go see it during the first week of screening (starting on April 23rd over here) and let you know what my opinion was.

    • I couldn’t echo that sentiment more.
      After I got past the retelling of Peter’s origin it was fascinating to see how far comic book movies had really come.
      Roger Ebert said in a review (I think Watchmen but I can’t remember), “My how the super hero movies have grown up.” Or something to that effect. It seems to me that comparing Raimi’s with Webb’s (perfect name for the franchise, no?) versions really shows the difference between panel-to-screen literalism and actual character filmmaking.
      I find none of them perfect but I’m hoping this ambitious new set of films continues the quality it began with.

  2. This film will undoubtedly be gorgeous in every sense of the word. Can’t wait to see it in 3D.

  3. This movie seems to have stepped it up with the action. I thought the action sequences in the first trilogy were awesome and the Spider-Man vs Doc Ock train battle is still one of my favorite fights in any comic book movie. I hope this film has a fight similar to that or better.

    • You know for all the action Spiderman 3 had, the train sequence from part outshined all of them, in my opinion among the best fight scenes to take place on a train.

  4. Ugh I think I’m going to explode with anticipation after this article. The first few trailers looked great but this final one looked absolutely fantastic and now the positive buzz surrounding the first part of the film really has my expectations going wild, something I’ve been trying not to have happen aha. First day watch for me!

  5. Great Big Gobs of greasy Russki Rhino Gears!

  6. And props to Webb. This film looks to be a wonderful rendition of the Spidey world. Embracing the fantastical; what character but Spider – Man better deserves this treatment. From comics and cartoons to seeing that bright red & blue costume swinging through a live and bustling New York. It’s very fun and exhilarating to watch and it should remind all fans why we love comic book films.

  7. That trailer music is from Battleship, though, isn’t it?

  8. Cool. Now we’ve seen the whole film.

    *waits for incoming SR review*

  9. I’m sorry but Rhino looks awesome! That said i do hope we get a bit more of a traditional look for him in later films.

    I’m fully aboard!

    • Totally agree. I’ve never really cared for Rhino in the first place, so when I saw the new design, I just kind of thought, “ok, whatever”. But then in this new and final trailer, when I saw him kind of galloping, I thought to myself… “F*** YEAH!”

      • +1

  10. I prefer the TAS over the Raimi’s Spiderman TBQH, I think i will say the same about TAS2 over Spiderman 2 as well.

    The only thing that really missed it’s mark though was the OST or Main Theme. Raimi’s and Danny Elfman score was just so damn memorable and great. Probably why Tim Burton’s Batman still hold up well today alongside Nolans.

    A great score can just give goosebumps and make any decent flick in my opinion to a awesome one. Look at The Good The Bad, The Ugly. Alot of the movie is silence, not much talking or real story to it. It’s all atmosphere, cinematography and amazing music, that build to some tense scenes. Like the mexican showdown at the end. Without the music it would be like 7 minutes of 3 guys staring at each other. Music is everything IMO and The Amazing Spiderman was a great superhero flic that lacked it. =(

    • I couldn’t agree more on the soundtrack aspect. The original Elfman theme is memorable and inspiring. Really gets you pumped up to see Spider-Man. TASM definitely lacked in the soundtrack department. I remember purchasing it and really trying to force myself to like it. I mean, it’s not terrible, let’s be honest. There’s definitely worse out there. But it doesn’t live up to the Elfman stuff at all. Like seemingly everyone else in the world, Zimmer is one of my all-time favorites, so I’m hoping he can give us a theme to remember. And from everything i’ve heard so far… things are looking up :D

      • Yeah I don’t think Zimmer has ever composed a soundtrack that I didn’t love to death.

  11. Glad to hear the Electro fight is looking great. It’s what caught my eye from the first trailer.

  12. Ok, official OVER my Spidey Overload (see earlier article)

    Can’t wait, can’t wait…. I CAN’T WAIT.

    Winter Solider next week then this a month later… happy, happy, happy, joy, joy, joy

  13. Looks epic, I can’t wait, this seems the be the Spidey movie I’ve been waiting to see for years

  14. I’m so glad to hear that reactions are coming in positive on this. With a storm of pessimistic comments on how the marketing has shown too much (which I can somewhat understand), I haven’t quite understood the hate that this movie seems to be getting. We might feel like too much has been shown, but then again, it’s somewhat out of context until we actual watch the full movie from start to finish, right?. I say get excited! And this bit of positive feedback is definitely helping! Here’s to hoping for an amazing movie!

    • I think studios show too much in trailers because they’re afraid of being out-spoilered by some busybody yahoo on Ain’t We Fools News.

  15. Okay, I’m a LITTLE excited now. The last trailer also made the film look pretty damn awesome.

  16. It certainly does look incredible visually. However, I have yet to be persuaded that Electro is going to be a compelling character. He looks cool for sure, but beyond that?

    I still do not know that I will be seeing this in the theater. The first one was great-looking for the most part, teased a lot of things and the cast is fantastic…but the story disappointed me.

    Dane Dehaan as Harry looks intriguing, though…

  17. So…who decided to use Sony’s “Infamous” character as the template for THIS Electro?

  18. The new Goblin suit doesn’t look that bad and Electro looks CRAZY!!!!

  19. This is why I love coming here. You expand my writing mind. I wrote about the trailer and stories in the trailer but overlooked how beautifully rendered the movie is. The little things, like that twirl. Or swinging low to the ground to match building height.

    Here is mines.

  20. I’ve personally felt like the trailers so far have looked pretty cheesy, so this is good to hear.

  21. So Sony finally learned how to do the special/visual effects right? They’ve never, ever been able to do them well enough to make things look seamless or really real all the time. Even in Chronicles of Narnia, where many different companies did the visual effects, I was able to detect where Sony had done its work, as it was the worst of any other part of the movie. But good to see that’s no longer the case, and I’m definitely raising my expectations from meh to bring it on! :D

  22. Holy crap this movie looks ten times better than the first Amazing Spiderman in every way possible!!!

    This movie is now my most favored movie next to Guardians of the Galaxy and I will definitely be watching opening weekend. I wish the dates were different. This movie makes it very hard for me to go to X-Men Days of Future Past, though I’ve been waiting for that one for forever so I will definitely still see both.

  23. What it sounds like to me is that Marc Webb made his own spider-man film rather than take inspiration from others and that is great. I am looking forward to this film.

  24. OH My GOD!!!!

  25. Really waiting for this movie

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