Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox, respectively, intend to keep their Spider-Man and X-Men franchises moving vertically with additional sequels, but each also have plans for a horizontal expansion (e.g. building shared universes), which means there’s a lot riding on this year’s installments’ success at the box office. The heavy marketing campaigns for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past are now heading down their final stretch, meaning its time for each studio to finish up their pre-release hype generating bids with a bang.
The above Days of Future Past clip is an except from the film’s opening battle, which was shown very recently to the members of the press who attended the 2014 CinemaCon in Las Vegas. A final trailer for Bryan Singer’s next X-Men movie (his third as director to date) releases tomorrow, but in the meantime this MTV clip highlights the film’s refined mutant effects (see: Iceman creating ice waves that outshine Frozone’s in The Incredibles, Blink and Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde’s using their special abilities to navigate close-quarters, etc.), in addition to better illustrating what the sleeker and more agile futuristic Sentinels (a.k.a. mutant-hunting robots) are like in motion.
Meanwhile, the above Amazing Spider-Man 2 footage is taken from the Times Square showdown between Spidey and Jamie Foxx as the newborn Electro. Sony rang in 2014 by unveiling a chopped-up excerpt from this sequence in Marc Webb’s film. However, this new clip packs a much harder punch thanks to the finished visual effects (see: fully-rendered versions of the character’s super-powers) in addition to it being accompanied by a complete soundtrack – one which received a fair amount of attention, in early pre-release reviews for the comic book movie blockbuster.
Singer and Webb are showing vast improvements with their abilities to stage effects-heavy action here, both in terms of their pure technical construction and how the combat is used to illuminate the superhero characters’ personal attributes through their fighting styles; meaning, these directors appear to have gotten better at using the spectacle as a storytelling device, which makes it significant instead of just flashy, yet empty. That’s encouraging to see, given that the action in these films is, in many respects, as essential to them being good as are their intricate plots – ones which, in part, will setup even larger events to come (see: potential X-Men solo spinoffs and the Venom/Sinister Six movies, respectively).
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in U.S. theaters on May 2nd, 2014, followed by X-Men: Days of Future Past on May 23rd, 2014.