Review Detail

9.1 3 10
abeautmare_front
FanFix December 23, 2023 731
(Updated: February 20, 2024)
Overall rating
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
As ArtisDead explained in his review of this reimagining and combination of the original two film cuts I did indeed preview this edit though of course it was under his supervision so fear not higher ups of this marvellous site despite me being an unbadged editor although that rank may change or may have changed depending on what point in time you are reading or rereading this review I judged Crispy's application of ideas for this edit in an honest and constructive manner and he not only took my constructive criticism like a champ but he was able to keep a cool head where he calmly and logically explained to me why some of my suggestions for improving the edit wouldn't have worked out with excellent maturity.

It was an honour for me to be assigned the role of an official previewer by an Academy Member and to ultimately help Crispy get his Faneditior Badge, when the time came Art and I were both in unanimous agreement that this edit was ready to sit among the many great fanedits in the heralded shelves of the IFDB library. Should I get an opportunity to preview another edit officially again with an Academy Members blessing than I would gladly take up the offer once again as I do a fair bit of reviewing of other fanedits on this site as a fun and constructive pastime anyway and it has the benefit of improving my own understanding and skills as a Faneditor.

Now onto our feature presentation and to start with there is some fantastic sound overlaying throughout especially in the beginning that made for efficient delivery of exposition well maintaining some of the mystery and intrigue that surrounded the main core plots premise that being the identity and moral crisis of Ronald Reagan who's true name is revealed later and Boxer Santaros particularly in relation to their little amnesia and redemption arcs as from a psychological perspective I found said story arcs to be both fascinating and terrifying as the very notion of one's memory being wiped and exploited by other people especially people who you thought were your allies but turn out to be your cruel and agenda obsessed masters and oppressors is borderline paranoia fuel and adds a heart wrenching layer of despair to the character's narratives.

When one is stripped of their memory and identity who does one turn to when that sickening void of anxiety induced paranoia envelopes them and would there be anyone one could reliably turn to in such a situation? yet ironically both characters fragmented pursuit of clarity leads to their redemption with Reagen coming to redeem himself and others around him and especially him in both a morale and biblical sense while Boxer redeems himself through gaining assertive control and ultimately undoing his oppressive masters agenda based schemes through his own ideological self sacrifice. That aspect of their amnesia arc is both heartwarming and reassuring and shows that even if one were to lose their sense of self they can either regain their former sense of self like with Reagen or fulfil there truth seeking journey that helps them to gain a new and better sense of self like Santaros.

Speaking of Boxer Santaros I felt that his actor managed to capture that level of escalating and quisitive sense of anxiety perfectly through the combination of his facial expressions and twiddling fingers, I am not sure how Richard Kelly directed him or what prompts he offered to said actor but whatever it was the end result of Santaros body language really sold the scenes that he was in, what didn't quite sell it for me was the whole USident and Neo Marxis conflict though that's more of a problem that I have with the original films rather than this edit though I do understand the satirical nature behind them thanks to my experience of watching The Simpsons.

Thankfully a lot of the cringe and gross humour associated with that conflict and the various news related scenes has been removed which makes this edit so much easier to sit through and honestly more enjoyable, in fact given how short it is I actually find the Fluid Karma car advert hilarious now as it sticks around long enough to be funny but not long enough for it to fall into cringe territory and given the guy's maybe it's the European version comment that now implies that the American version is barely even an advert which makes the joke both funnier and multilayered at the same time.

As I am not really a huge fan of the Krista Now character I found the moments where Santaros or someone else calls her out on her words and actions or shoots her down verbally to be very cathartic and the trims to her scenes are much appreciated, I'd say that maybe more of her dialogue could be cut but than that would completely destroy the satirical point of the character so ultimately her inclusion is a necessary evil in that regard though the inclusion in regards to that guys whole attempted suicide subplot on getting out of being enlisted for the Iraq War was truly heart wrenching and really made me feel for the guy.

He's probably my third favourite character in this thing with the second being Reagen and the first being Boxer and there's definitely a tragic yet poetic sense of irony that despite his unwillingness to kill millions abroad he ultimately ends up killing millions in the country that he tried to escape from though continuing on the subject of characters the manner in which you repurposed that guys drug induced vision was genius, I'll admit I wasn't a fan of it at first but than after seeing how it was used in the original cuts I began to understand why you placed it where you did as it's original placement felt very random and grinded the plot to a halt where as it's new placement now compliments the plot and makes a certain aspect of the films lore a much easier pill to swallow.

Had the film focused more on the interpersonal character stuff and less on the sociopolitical conflict I think it could have made for a pretty compelling psychological horror about inhumane mental conditioning and how one would seek to escape such inhumane mental conditioning otherwise I would definitely consider your version to be the definitively superior way of watching this movie.

The idea to have outtakes after the ending credits was a brilliant idea and they not only gave me a good chuckle but gave me a reason to stick round for the credits where as most of the time I'll usually stop watching once the credits start rolling, I wish more outtakes had been added to the end to be honest though I think the ones you used work pretty well.

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