Review Detail

9.5 5 10
FanFix July 25, 2020 2316
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First off, thanks to Last Impressions for the work put into this edit and for sharing it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Overall this edit is a substantial improvement over the official release. While I enjoyed the original theatrical cut, it failed for me once Roy McBride (Brad Pitt's character) is alone on the ship traveling from Mars to Neptune. The director, editor, and sound designers' attempt to manufacture phycological tension here never worked for me. What Last Impressions does to refine this scene is a minor miracle, and the rest of the movie is better for it!

Constructive criticism:
The overall theme/thesis of the film is that what we have: Earth, humanity, our solar system, our relationships are all there is, and we should appreciate them instead of looking for more. I'd like to see Roy starting to appreciate the world around him. The character journey the film wants is the evolution of a man so focused on his work he loses sight, like his father, of all the beauty around him. If his change is more apparent and gradual then Roy verbalizing this realization at the end of his journey will land with greater resonance. The film does a decent job with this already, and Last Impressions improves upon it, but there is room for further refinement.

When Roy travels across the lunar surface, there could be a few additional or extended moments of wonder. i.e. A CU of the earth when they turn to admire it. Let the moon dust scene last a little longer. Tightening those moments to Roy seeing them.

Another opportunity would be letting there be more space, both time and visually, during the travel from the Moon to Mars; this is also a global note for me. I found that a touch too much 'breathing room' has been cut from the film throughout. We don't get to sit with the aftermath of events as much as I think the character needs. A lot of what is happening in the film is internal to Roy's character, and we need time for him to absorb and slowly change. To me, everything on Mars felt rushed. Roy's change from calm to frazzled overall. Not hearing him trying to communicate with his father multiple times resulted in me not buy Roy going against orders and changing his tactics.

Two cuts that didn't work for me.

The first cut that didn't work for me is from arriving at the rocket to leave the moon to Tomas Pruitt (Donald Sutherland) having a heart attack. I don't immediately have a solution though several thoughts have crossed my mind. On the other hand, going from three rovers to one did work as there felt like a passage of time.

The second is the shot of Roy giving Donald Stanford (Loren Dean) oxygen on the ship after leaving Mars. (Spoiler) I think simply cutting from the ship taking off and the astronauts slamming into the back of the ship to the ship in space and three dead astronauts being released into it would work a lot better.

I love the ending!

To anyone who reads this, I highly recommend this cut of the film. The plot, character development, pace (for the most part), and score are significantly improved.

Thanks again to Last Impressions for creating this edit. It will be my go-to version of the movie and unlike the original already leaves me with a desire to watch it again!

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