Saturday, February 11, 2012

Trailer Wars: The Avengers -v- The Amazing Spider-Man

During the recent Super Bowl (which surprisingly has nothing to do with any kind of crimefighting cereal), they showed a trailer for The Avengers and frankly, I think it's the first time the film has looked truly top-notch, as though it might actually live up to the impossible expectations people have.

It's interesting that the filmmakers have decided to go with what seems to be an alien invasion, particularly given the fairly down-to-Earth nature of most of the films (minus Thor). I just hope that the aliens have a presence that amounts to more than just providing the Avengers an appropriate amount of thugs for them to bash; given that they have an actual God and a green behemoth at their disposal, there would have to be a large amount of grunts for it to be fun on a superficial level. Nobody wants to see a movie where the Avengers have to use their mind to THINK of a way to defeat one big villain, for two hours. We want to see them pound some skulls. And what rhymes with skull?

For decades, the Skrulls have been the go-to alien army antagonist of the entire Marvel Universe. Given their shape-shifting abilities, they've also been incredibly useful at explaining away character deaths as well as giving writers the ability to instantly redeem characters who have seemingly gone rogue. If it is the Skrulls, we're probably going to see some kind of altercation between what would appear to be two of the Avengers, but later turns out to just be a mean old alien in disguise. ORIGINALITY!!

The other big trailer this week was for The Amazing Spider-Man, which also succeeded in making its film look interesting for the first time, pretty much ever.

Despite the fact that I still really don't dig Spider-Man's new threads (by which I mean his new suit; not his webs), I think this is shaping up to be a better film than what I had initially expected. Visually, I find Spider-Man's mechanical webshooters (which is the most immediately recognisable difference from the other movies, where web-slinging was actually one of his powers), really cool. It's awesome the way they light up every time I use them, even if that might be the greatest example of toyeticism (putting stuff in a movie so that you can sell toys based on them) in recent times. Andrew Garfield looks like he's going to be a really good Peter Parker and is already more in line with the Peter with whom I'm familiar from reading the comics for so many years. The only complaint I'd have about him is that he's far too pretty to be credible as a social outcast. However, in a lot of early Spider-Man, Pete is described to be quite good-looking, it's just that he's so removed from everything that's going on around him (because he's so busy worrying about his life as Spider-Man and his poorly Aunt May) that nobody has any time for him.

The only thing I'm not interested in, where the new Spidey is concerned, is the whole plot regarding the Lizard . He's one of the least interesting Spider-Man villains and he generally works better as an ally, or as a sub-plot than a real villain. I'm interested to see how Rhys Ifans approaches the character, but it will always remain a sore-spot that the actor from the Sam Raimi movies, Dylan Baker (he appeared in all three) never actually got to play him transforming into his villainous antithesis.

If I had to choose my favourite of the two trailers, I would probably go with the Spider-Man one, as it has completely revitalised my interest in the film; whereas I was always casually excited about The Avengers. Either way, I'm glad these movies seemed to be saving their best trailers for later on in their promotional run, as the earlier glimpses we got at the movies weren't nearly as enticing as these latest tastes.

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