I am a massive Spider-Man fan, he was my first superhero and I have a very significant connection to the character as a result, and yet I really have no idea what this movie is trying to achieve. Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies were not perfect, they made some pretty fundamental failures in the writing and casting of key characters, but the tone was perfect. It aimed to recreate that mix of goofy escapism and heightened melodrama that typified the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko era of the comic. On that front, they were nailed it.
Spider-Man 3's problem was it attempted to marry that classical approach to something closer to the '90s Spider-Man where things got dark and ugly for the sheer sake of being dark and ugly. Seeing Peter Parker bust a move in a jazz bar and flash the finger-guns was a little corny but it was exactly the tone that Raimi had established in previous films, that's what his Peter Parker would do with an abundance of confidence. Honestly, people need to let that stuff go.
The real issues with Spider-Man 3 were more numerous than just two silly but harmless scenes and the unnecessary violence and shoe-horning Venom (the most '90s of all comic book villains) into a movie universe that could not sustain him. Yet, despite all that, as a fan of the material I could still see those tones and eras that Raimi and co were attempting to evoke. They were clear as day.
Here, I have no idea what era they are trying to replicate. It doesn't even feel like the Ultimate (modernised) Spider-Man comics. It honestly feels more like the pilot to a TV series that is forced to mute all the colour and excess that we like in our superhero movies.
Look at The Avengers, it embraced the wild and colourful nature of the source material and it worked. I never get that sense with these Amazing Spider-Man trailers, I am reminded of Bryan Singer's X-Men movies where the "comic book" elements are toned down to lure in hesitant audience members. I see a movie that looks a little embarrassed of its roots.
I hope that is just a failure of marketing. I hope there is a recognisable Spider-Man buried in the movie, I like that Andrew Garfield's take on the character gets to break out more wise cracks (funny ones, at that) but everything else has me concerned.
I like the cast, I like Marc Webb's previous work in both film and music videos, I love Spider-Man. I'm more than willing to like/love this, I just need more to go on.
You can see the trailer here.