Unquestionably a tighter, better edited version of the GOTG2 than the one we got in theatres. The emotional stakes (and stunning FX that I'd forgotten were so impressive, looking at you, arcade game space fleet shootout) are front-and-center here with a lot of the self-indulgent banter chopped down. My only negative criticism is that the extreme editing on Ego's plan, while mostly done incredibly well, seems to rob the climax of some of its far-reaching power and stakes since we never see for ourselves the scope of his plan. But a change I'm happy to live with if it makes the film feel more personal. I hope we see more from "rb" before long, this edit shows a lot of potential.
I'm going to try to be specific in offering points that are not in many of the other reviews here. Essentially, what everyone echoes again and again is that a lot of the longer humorous scenes are cut down. True. Perhaps because a specific cutlist was not published, people seem not to have realized a lot of other things that were cut alongside this, but they stood out for me:
-Peter and Gamora's relationship is altered to be more aggressive, less romantic
-explanation of Ego leaving eggs all over the universe is missing, now we're just suddenly watching a random Dairy Queen blow up for no reason
-the seeds of jokes and comments are removed, making other lines come from nowhere and seem random and/or mean, such as: Drax telling Mantis his impression of her, Peter being called "pathetic" as a thread, seeding Yondu's Mary Poppins rescue moment, there being a limited number of spacesuits and packs, and many more
As well as the things that are missing, there are still beats included which don't let the serious moments breathe and instead immediately undercut them with a joke. Nebula taking over the pirates and then eating a too-bitter radish, Yondu's funeral being immediately followed with Kraglin playing with his arrow, his burial having MULTIPLE shots of silly objects being placed around him, etc. Yes, it's a funny film, but it's also a film with heart, and there's still a lot more room to let those moments have their spotlight.
And on the other hand, there are still more cuts that would help the edit. Sure, you probably need to leave the giant Pac-Man in, but can't the game sound be removed? Do you need so many jokes of Baby Groot bringing random objects to the cell? Such a long, oblivious argument between Rocket and Quill while their friends get sucked out the back of the ship and Nebula crawls around trying to eat a radish??
In the end, this edit is six of one and half a dozen of the other for me. I think it comes down to if you just want a version of GotG V2 that's 15 minutes shorter. There are points for and against watching this version instead of the theatrical, but I suspect most people will end up being forgiving because the story moves faster. On a rewatch, the jagged edges and tonal imbalances that result from that might not be very consequential. For me though, they were.
To preface this review, I couldn't stand to watch the theatrical cut of GOTG 2 for more than 20ish minutes when it was first released. The jokes present in the film not only failed to land but choose to linger, killing the overall pace of the film. It was a letdown compared to the first in the series, failing to capture the manic energy the original had.
With all that said, I am happy to report that this edit vastly improves the quality of the film. The most noticable improvement was the pacing of scenes, with jokes being truncated to make them snappier. This had two effects: a) Jokes that were ruined by overemphasis were given room to breathe, with jokes that fell flat given less screen time; b) it grounded the film and made it feel less like a medicore sitcom.
The video editing was crisp with no obvious flaws and the same holds true for the audio. While the edit is not particularly focused on narrative adjustment, the removal of the opening intro which gives away the primary plot twist is a welcome change to the film.
Overall, this edit improves GotG 2 to a point where it is an decent MCU film. I wouldn't say it's as good as the original, but that has to do with the writing rather than the edit. Also the short behind the scenes video included is an amazing touch. Thanks for the edit rb!
GotG 2 was one of those films in the MCU that was not flat out bad, but it just wasn't my cup of tea, especially after the excellent first one. The humor was too much and silly, and it also dragged too long. My enjoyment factor was around 5. Thankfully there weren't any highly important moments, just Mantis' introduction and the death of Yondu (spoiler alert), so I could easily skip it in any MCU marathons. Still, when I found this edit I thought I should give it a shot, why not try and salvage one more movie?
The audio and visual editing was pretty much excellent, I didn't notice or "felt" any tampering in any scene. The only thing I found out of place, is when Drax has a chat with Mantis and calls her hideous etc. That part is cut out, and when Mantis feels his past with his daughter she calls her disgusting, because of the missing dialogue before with Drax, and now it seems completely out of place and uncalled for. Also, at the beginning, originally Drax tells Peter to find a woman who is pathetic like him, but now the line "like you" is cut out. I mean, if you leave the "pathetic joke", why cut it in half?
Narrative wise it was pretty great! I did not miss any of the edited content. Most of the silly jokes where cut out, plus other scenes, so it was more streamlined. Unfortunately, this still didn't save the movie for me. I feel I needed the movie to be even shorter, especially towards the last act that drags sooo long.
That being said, I definitely recommend this to anyone who found the movie 'ok' and above. I believe this will be your go-to version! To anyone who disliked it, I don't think it will work for you, it's not That aggressive edit.
Thank you rb and thanks to anyone who read my review!
I don't remember hating this movie when I first watched it, but I was definitely underwhelmed. This edit breathes life into it and lets it shine as a fantastic sequel. Cutting down just the over the top jokes that go on too long really helped the tone of the movie. I couldn't really tell what was edited other than the intro, but I was much more invested this time around. Definitely recommend!