Earlier this week, Sony brought us a four-minute super preview of “The Amazing Spider-Man” during the season premiere of "America’s Got Talent." For the most part, the preview was just the last trailer, with a complete scene tacked on to the beginning. Not that I’m complaining – this is the first real look we’ve gotten at an action sequence in the upcoming flick, and its not too shabby.
In the scene, we see Spider-Man involved in a Manhattan bridge rescue (one of Spidey’s classic action scenarios, right up there with rescuing children from a burning building). In fact, I can't help but think that the reason the filmmakers decided to show this sequence is to immediately set-up how different this version of Spider-Man will be from Sam Raimi’s 2002 version. Most people will remember that the climax of that earlier film showed Spider-Man battling Green Goblin on the Queensboro Bridge. During that fight, Green Goblin drops a tram full of kids off the bridge and Spider-Man is barely able to catch them in time… but he is left stranded mid-air, one arm holding his web attached to the bridge, the other holding on to the falling vehicle.
Sound familiar? It should – it’s the same position Andrew Garfield finds himself in during his bridge rescue in the new Spider-Man film.
So what are the differences? Well, most significantly, Green Goblin actively drops the kids off the side of the bridge in an over-the-top villainous move (if he had a moustache, he would’ve been twirling it for sure). In the newer version, cars are knocked off the bridge by The Lizard, but it seems incidental. It's hard to tell from what we can see in this scene if The Lizard is even aware that Spider-Man is there. If this is truly the case, it tells us that The Lizard has larger concerns than just fighting Spider-Man.
Second, Raimi’s Spider-Man ends up getting an assist from some helpful New Yorkers. A boat below catches the tram, and citizens on the bridge pelt Green Goblin with random objects to distract him from Spidey. It’s a little cheesy and ham-fisted, but fits in the colorful comic-book world that Sam Raimi established for his films. Marc Webb’s new version sees Spider-Man working solo. The child Spidey rescues has to be carefully convinced to climb out of the car (a nice slow moment during a huge action scene), but beyond that, it's all in Spider-Man’s sticky hands.
What's most appealing about the whole scene is how intimate and slow the sequence gets while Spider-Man/Peter Parker convinces the kid to climb out of the car. Action sequences in comic book movies keep getting bigger and bigger, and sometimes it's important to get a focused look at the real life consequences of all this chaos.
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