Being quite familiar with Bobson’s work, several of his edits replacing the theatrical cuts in my collection, I came into this edit expecting a miraculous make-over. And even though I can testify that The Spark of Life is a vastly better viewing experience than the mess that the original film was, it would be a lie if I didn’t confess that by the end of it I felt a little disappointed. For even the most talented of editors need the right ingredients to work with, and TASM2 simply does not deliver.
To begin with, the story here is tighter and much more focused. I was never a fan of the Parkers’ disappearance mystery, right from the start, so I was pleased to see it cut in Bobson’s editing room. That also comes with a price, though, taking down too much of Sally Field’s solid presence along with it. I actually forgot there was an Aunt May somewhere in the middle of the film. The mismatching, goofy or over-the-top elements seemingly coming out of Schumacher’s Batman era are also toned down to a palatable degree; Jaime Fox’s Max Dillon feels now less of a caricature and the same goes for Dr. Kafka at Ravencroft. Dane DeHaan’s Harry Osborn is also greatly benefited by the addition of the deleted scenes as well as his introduction in the very first scene of the film. In the original cut he seemed more like an afterthought to me, never really selling out his friendship with Peter and his personal drama, his character strangled in the web of plot threads. In The Spark of Life, with so much of the unnecessary subplots cut out, he has the chance to shine more as the main plot revolves around his quest to save his life. Unfortunately, though, it all crashes down during the final act of the film. Harry’s transformation still feels uneventful; his Goblin still as cringeworthy as he ever was. There’s no way for any editor to fix that, and inevitably this spoils (at least for me) everything that’s following down to the end.
Technically, while the edit mostly meets Bobson’s high standards, as other reviewers have pointed out, there are some audio issues here and there, most notably when the sound mutes for a few seconds during Gwen’s and Harry’s elevator scene. And I could also spot a quick flash frame as well.
Final verdict: A better experience than my original viewing altogether, but still missing those qualities that would transform it into a great film.
After witnessing Bobson's miraculous salvation of Raimi's final Spider-film, I was eager to see what could be made of Marc Webb's terrible final outing with the Webhead. Unfortunately, despite lots of visual and narrative clean-up, the raw materials just aren't there. Despite Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone's natural likeability, their characters are self-involved, grating and unsure what they want, which just muddles the entire arc of the film, despite the excision of entire pointless subplots and villains. There's no clear throughline for anything in the movie, and with the ASM franchise's ambitions to simultaneously ape the somber heroic motivations of the Nolan Batman films, the over-the-top villains of the Schumacher Batman films, and the expansive world-building of the MCU, ASM2 just tries to do to much with too little.
Definitely an improvement on all fronts, and anyone wishing to revisit the Garfield/Webb movies should definitely seek out this edit, but at the end of the day, watching the trailer might suffice for the curious.
In general, I do think this edit is an improvement over the theatrical cut, but unfortunately I don't think it's enough to make this movie work. The characterization of Harry Osborn and Max Dillon is still a mess, and the broad, campy approach to both characters contrasts unfavorably with the naturalistic approach taken in scenes involving Gwen and Peter's romance. I was hoping this would be the edit that would really make me feel the impact of Gwen's death, but I still felt the moment was obfuscated by Harry's poor character work.
To be fair, none of this is the fault of the editor, I just wish more could have been done to remedy it. Additionally, I encountered a few audio abnormalities, including a severe issue where audio completely cut out for a few seconds.
The edit is presented as a 6GB 1080p file with stereo sound. It's adequate, and looks good considering the file size, but is still noticeably compressed. The lack of a surround sound option is also dissappointing, as I don't feel the edit has enough custom audio work to necessitate the downmix.
In short, if you already liked The Amazing Spider-Man 2, you will probably like this edit, but for detractors, I'm not sure if it goes far enough.
Surprisingly this fan edit is a great companion piece to Masirimso17's fan edit The amazing spider-man: The untold extended edition where it uses all of the footage regarding peter's parents including footage from the amazing spider-man 2 and this one removes those but both make it all feel like a standalone and complete movie without any sequel-baiting or any ongoing subplots though I do share the same sentiment that peter's father should have been in the ending of this fan edit to give this movie a more hopeful and complete ending. One of the biggest and more obvious complaints that I have of this fan edit is the sound quality of the movie where it sometimes fades in and out a few times and even just goes on mute for a few seconds which noticeably happened around the rhino's scene at the beginning of the movie which I just assumed it was intentional at first in order to tone-down or even silence the rhino's over-the-top acting and screaming in the movie which to be fair was very annoying. Does this fan edit make it the best spider-man movie? No, but it's a simple, fun, and more focused movie despite the obvious signs of creative differences between the director who wanted a more grounded superhero drama and the producers who wanted to be the next MCU or another Sam Raimi movie.