The Neglify M.O. to date has been to take on a film which is by all accounts, a good film and try something different.
The Departed Recut continues this trend and overall, with great results.
The theatrical cut of the Departed is a great film which I enjoyed tremendously in the theaters. Is Recut an improvement? Not in so many words, no. I will be hanging on to my BD of this edit, but Recut is a highly enjoyable alternate “What if?” viewing of the film which I would recommend to any fan of the original.
Let’s get the standard stuff out of the way. My review is based on downloaded the DL DVD
Image quality is great. I’m spoiled by the BD and cannot say exactly how this stands up against the retail DVD, but there is no obvious compression or blocking. Likewise the editing is smooth and flawless. In fact in my opinion Neglify has created some transitions/cuts which are actually handled better than in the original (I actually feel that the editing on the theatrical is one of it’s biggest flaws, there is an over-use of hard cuts, both visual and audio).
Audio is also great. No stray channels, transitions work well and he blends scenes together with overlapping audio with skill.
On my copy of the DL DVD the chapter markers are somehow screwed up. Played on multiple players and even my computer’s DVD program, the film cannot be paused and cannot be fast forwarded or reversed, this causes the entire picture to lock, whereas the audio continues. I don’t know if this is due to a bad burn or a problem with the build.
Overall I really enjoyed this version of the film. While there is no way to create that moment of OMG when the identity of the Rat is revealed, that is no fault of the editor because once you’ve seen the theatrical, the suspense/surprise cannot be created, but then again, after the first viewing of Empire Strikes Back, there is no way to recapture the surprise of Vader’s revelation.
Neglify’s goal of creating a version where the Rat is unknown works even better than I had expected and overall the narrative loses nothing in terms of story or character development. It is a shame that a viewer cannot go into this film without already knowing Sullivan’s link to Frank, because the moment of the reveal would be a lot of fun.
If there is one area on this edit that left me a little lacking, it would be pacing. This isn’t to say that the pacing is bad, it’s not, but because so much has to be cut out in order to hide Sullivan’s link to Frank, Bill’s timeline and experience feels a bit rushed. I can’t recommend a better way of approaching this, and overall this didn’t prevent me from enjoying the film and new approach.
Additionally, I have to concur with Gatos, the new ending is awesome. In fact as small a thing as it is, it ‘makes’ the edit because it is in keeping with the tone of the entire film. If I were to make a one-cut edit of the original, this would be it.
Because this is not an improvement on the original I cannot score this higher than I’d score the theatrical film, so I can only give this a 9/10, but I highly recommend it for any fan of the original, it’s an enjoyable and interesting alternate view on the same story, which is really what fanediting is all about.