Thursday, February 9, 2012

Reboot Central: "The Amazing Spiderman" and "The Bourne Legacy" Trailers

When Sony first announced that it would scrap Spiderman 4 in favor of a series reboot, I thought it was one of the dumbest big studio decisions in quite some time. Spiderman 3 wasn't exactly, er, good, but it wasn't bad enough to kill the Raimi-helmed franchise. Sony continued with the plan, and after months of on-set photos and a brief teaser (featuring some bizarre first person footage), a proper trailer has arrived, and it's pretty solid all around. I have to admit, I really like this more sarcastic, humorous Peter Parker/Spiderman; not all heroes need to brood and sulk in existential crisis 24/7. And as much as I love this cast and the inclusion of the Lizard (Rhys Ifans) as a villain, there's a certain punch that's missing from the action shots. Part of this is likely due to the fact that the film is still in post-production, where additional sound mixing and VFX work will be done. Even so, what we're given here looks like more of the same, and still brings up that initial question: why do we need to start this story over, despite the different characters? While I'm glad that the trailer doesn't focus on the origin story part of the film, part of the result is that one simply wishes that Raimi had been given the chance to make another good Spidey film, one free of the studio meddling that sank Spiderman 3 (critically/fan-wise, at least).

Trailer Grade: B

Also being given a major make over: the Bourne franchise. No, Jeremy Renner isn't the new Jason Bourne, but his character - Aaron Cross - is part of the same story. In fact, many characters, including those played by Albert Finney, David Strathairn, and Joan Allen, are all back along with new faces like Edward Norton and Rachel Weisz. Though the trailer itself doesn't have as much footage, I like how this one pulls out its reveal gradually, and builds an intriguing set up: Jason Bourne's story was only the beginning. So even though Damon and director Paul Greengrass are gone, the smart and talented Tony Gilroy (who wrote the first three Bourne films along with writing and directing Michael Clayton) is a comforting replacement in the director's chair. Renner is another plus, a strong actor who can be the character actor or the leading man (or both), as well as a convincing thinking man's action hero.

Trailer Grade: A-

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