Face/Off: Operation Terror
But then I remembered how much a fan I actually was and am of the original movie and that most of these reality-stretching scenes were actually awesome for me, when I am in the right mood. Just some scenes did and do really bother me and prevent it from being what I would call a true masterpiece of its own kind.
And there I had my next fanediting mission. Get rid of what was not fitting or just too much to take or believe. My main concern was to get rid of the stupid speedboat race, as this did always seem to be totally out of place. But again I had to realize: not possible. It is essential that the heroes get from point A to point B to continue the plot.
What I did is to correct as many crazy scenes as possible, starting with the Hallelujah dance of Castor, continuing with Archer playing “chicken” with the jet to hundreds of bullets that hit no one. I tried to get rid of some of the superhero invulnerability of the heroes and make them more human and also tried to reduce moments that were meant to be emotional, but were actually more annoying, like “date night” with Archer (Castor) and his wife or Sasha telling Castor (Archer) about their son or the way too sweet family reunion finale.
And this worked really well.
The toughest decision was to cut the entire “mirror room” scene, where Archer and Castor shoot at each other through a mirror. It is in the original movie one of the most important scenes, yet it is so unbelievable in everything that it just gets in the way. I for one don’t miss it at all and to me it makes perfect sense that Castor (Archer) flees from a place that is surrounded with cops and special ops rather than taking the risk of a 5 minutes duel with his nemesis.
Cage over the top (15 minutes)
Travolta over the top (13 minutes)
CBB Overview for all 30 fanedits
With about 20 minutes gone the movie is condensed, yet still complete in both its mood and flow.
- Castor singing Hallelujah and joining the choir (overacting)
- cut Castor tying Pollux’s shoe laces (makes Pollux just too dumb)
- Castor kissing the stewardess agent (over-the-top)
- cut Archer approaching the jet from the front (over-the-top)
- cut Castor shrugging
- Castor pulls in the jet’s breaks earlier (so the jet might really be slower,when it hits the gate)
- shortened hangar shootout scene by 30 seconds (over-the-top)
- cut Miller burning Castor’s body with a cigarette (no cigarettes in a clinic, not even in 1997)
- Cut Archer(Castor)’s FBI show (over-the-top)
- cut Archer(Castor) seducing Archer’s wife (dragging)
- cut some parts of the Castor(Archer) escape with Dubov (all over the top)
- cut Castor(Archer) trying to save Dubov from falling (this guy is a mad killer, so why should Archer-Castor really care?)
- cut Sasha revealing to Castor(Archer) that Adam is their son and Castor(archer)hugging him and calling him “Michael” (makes Archer too soft)
- cut most of the FACE-OFF speech (artificial)
- cut Sasha kicking the agent (over-the-top)
- cut the entire shoot-through-the-mirror scene (totally over the top)
- cut Archer(Castor) tying the shoelaces of dead Pollux.
- heavily shortened the speedboat scene (way over the top)
- less strikes with the iron bar (that really does a bit too much damage)
- cut the entire overlong happy ending (“sorry I shot you, dad” “this is Adam” etc) (too much)
I love Face/Off. Awesome Woo action. Travolta at the height of his career in full-on Nic Cage mode. Nic Cage. What more do you want?
A/V Quality - Bad by today's standards, still totally watchable.
Visual Editing - Some cuts looked a little odd but was good.
Audio Editing - Good amount of hard cuts in this one.
Narrative - 20 less minutes doesn't harm the story, improves characters.
Enjoyment - Still prefer the original, but this was really good too.