Review Detail

8.8 9 10
FanFix June 30, 2012 3522
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
A good buddy and I went to see The Abyss when we were in high school and I'll never forget our driving around after the film in complete bewilderment at the contradicting nature of film; how could a movie that was so enthralling, so exciting and so tense have, quite literally, such an unbelievable (in a very shitty way) ending? This was the same guy who made The Terminator and Aliens?

Seciors' edit is remarkable in that it takes the best parts of The Abyss and improves on them. Unfortunately, it's still the Abyss, and short of re-shooting/creating new footage for the ending, the conclusion of the film is (yes, pun intended) Abysmal.

Audio/Visual
As the editor himself warns, there is no fixing the fact that Cameron has yet to release a decent quality version of this movie. I watched this on a 50" plasma and the image holds up as best as you can hope given the poor quality of the commercial release. Hopefully Cameron will release an anamorphic BD of this movie, and when he does, I hope seciors will revisit this project. Audio quality comes across fine. Comparing apples to apples (edit against original source) the quality is a 10, although against other edits, it's obviously not as good. No strike against the editor for this, he did his job in maintaining best possible quality.

Technical:
From the opening frame, right until Bud is on the floor in the alien city, this is A+ editing. Audio and video work are invisible. If you were to show this film to someone who'd never seen the original, there is no way they'd know this was a fanedit. Seamless, invisible and professional grade work. 10/10

Narrative
Seciors had a specific and concise vision for this story and he executed on his intentions spectacularly. Relieved of the Cold War sub-plot, the underlying story shines brilliantly, and the film's pacing is consistent and enjoyable. The tension is actually more palpable with both the cold war, and top-side elements removed. I already enjoyed the film (minus the ending) and this takes something that was good, and makes it great.

Excluding the ending, I would make only 2 recommendations:
1) I would recommend cutting ALL topside footage. In the end it adds very little and I think that keeping the entire film from their perspective underwater would be all the more claustrophobic and add even more to the sense of isolation that this edit already has dialed to 11. Additionally this would exclude some pretty laughable model work. Even back in the 80s I never thought I was looking at anything other than models during the crane sequence.
2) I would strongly recommend cutting Lindsey's line explaining they'll need to spend 3 weeks decompressing. With the new modified ending this line becomes red herring with no resolution and only servers to increase the WTF level of the ending.

Overall this is a 10/10 for me. Seciors has done a fantastic job with making the body of the film even better, and I never considered the main body of the film to be flawed, so to make something already good, better deserves a 10 in my book.

Enjoyment.
As greatly improved as the bulk of the film is, the ending is still the ending. Seciors does an admirable job of trying to clean-it up, make it as palatable as possible, but in the end it's still a wtf Deus-Ex-Machina ending which left me incredibly disgruntled. This is not his fault in anyway, he does an impressive job of trying to salvage the mess that will always be the killer of this film.

This is a tough call, ordinarily improving an already solid movie as much as he did should earn a full 10 on overall enjoyment, but the ending still kills everything that comes before it so I can't give a full 10, but a very enthusiastic 9.

This edit is L8wrtr Recommended :)

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