This is the first of the Indy 4 edits that I’ve watched, and I must say I was very impressed. (Possible minor spoilers ahead.)
This version of the film flows much better. The original theatrical cut was two hours, and while 2 hours shouldn’t be too long for an Indy film (that was the length of the first three films, after all), Wraith’s lean 99-minute cut removes a lot of extraneous stuff that weighed down the theatrical release.
The new opening, using 1950s atomic bomb footage, is fantastic and really helps to set the era and the mood better than the “Hound Dog” sequence did in the original film.
Indy’s talk with the FBI is mercifully much shorter.
The chase is reworked so that it has a more natural stopping point than the scene in the library. The library scene was funny, but it was an awkward place to *end* the chase. With a bit of trimming and some rearranged music, the chase flows much better now.
The chase in the forest is also reworked significantly to avoid dumb CGI monkeys and such.
There were a few things that I would have cut that Wraith chose to leave in. Irina Spalko’s attempts to use psychic powers on Indy are silly, as is Indy’s clunky dialogue at the end about “Knowledge was their gift.” But these are relatively minor things. Overall, I was satisfied.
Since this was the first Indy 4 edit I watched, I can’t really compare it with the others, but compared to the theatrical version, this is a vast improvement.
I enjoyed several aspects of this edit. The alternate opening works well, the handling of Spalko's introduction and the warehouse scene is great, improvements to pacing, character moments and story points throughout are handled well. I was almost surprised while watching this that I wasn't hating this film anymore! And i love that you removed the alien ship at the end.
Some issues I had:
- Doomtown and Shia/Monkeys remain in this edit. They are ultimately deal breakers for me.
- The colour correction is not great in my opinion - The reds were quite oversaturated in the version I watched.
Overall, a great effort that proved to me that Indy 4 was worth another go.
I felt a bit let down by this edit. The technical aspects were fine (well I wasn’t too crazy about the new opening scene). But as a film this edit is still terrible. I didn’t feel this was a classic Indiana Jones adventure, as was part of the intention for this edit. And sorry if I’m a total downer here and being unfair, but I’m surprised this beat out The Ugly West for FEOTM.