When GotG2 was announced I was apprehensive, but cautiously optimistic. I think the first Guardians might be the best movie Marvel has put out, and one of the best action adventure films in the last decade. With the sequel I think they built on the characters very well, but the movie still felt bloated. The filmmakers wanted make you feel the struggles of the characters, but it's like they had a specific ratio of jokes that they had to adhere to. Plus they had to include a lot of baby groot, the cute mascot of the film.
RB's edit fixes pretty much all of my problems with the film. He delivered on all his promises in the change list. Plus this edit is incredibly smooth! I never felt like a scene was too long, or too short. The deletion of few longer jokes and gags really helped sell the more dramatic moments. It's nothing too drastic but it made me take certain situations a bit more seriously. My only complaint is the audio. Fight scenes would be noticeably louder than dialogue or musical scenes. I wasn't turning the volume up and down constantly, so it wasn't that bad. Overall, the 'Pruned Edition' of GotG2 turns a fine sequel into leaner, meaner, more emotionally resonant sequel. As of right now, I prefer this version to the original. But I'll have to compare the two in depth to know for sure.
Ever since I walked out of the theater after watching Guardians of the Galaxy 2, I knew it was a good film that would be great with some editing. I knew it didn't need an intense regrade or reordering of the scenes, moreso just a good trim to cut out some excess. Come a few months after the films release, and rb has taken that style of editing and applied it to the film with great effectiveness.
Every cut that is made here runs smoothly, and creates no feeling of a lost scene or newly formed plot inconsistency. What is removed takes a strong "less is more" approach towards pruning the movie of jokes or other moments that went on too long, making the movie run at a stronger pace that the theatrical version. Also, the removal of some key lines helped this fanedit to stay away from undercutting the tone or importance of what was going on, something the official cut struggled on in moments.
What we have left with the removal of these lines and scenes is a Guardians film that runs about the same length as the first one and recaptures that great pace of strong emotional beats and laugh out loud moments. The film no longer feels that it is trying too hard to recapture the humor of the first one. Rather, it just proves itself as a strong sequel that now has tighter editing that allows you to appreciate the big picture and more sharply feel the intended emotions of some scenes and character interactions. I can't recommend this cut enough if you loved Guardians 2, were disappointed in it, or are just looking to see what a different cut of the movie would feel like.
GOTG2 felt too long and was full of "the jokes worked well in part 1, let's cram as many as we can into the sequel." The Pruned Edition removes the lamer jokes and tightens the pacing, making the remaining ones stronger. In the process it reduces the runtime enough that the film no longer feels overly long.
The editing is flawless. The stereo mix is adequate, though high-bitrate surround would have been nice (as rb already acknowledged in the forum).
I’m pretty new to this review thing, so yeah. I have to say, at first I thought the jokes I loved were going to be mostly cut. But after I watched this brilliant edit, I realised that was not true. rb has successfully streamlined the movie, cut the most obnoxious overused jokes, but leaves some of the best in. Unfortunately, I let one star off the enjoyment tab as a few of my favourite jokes/things were cut, but it wasn’t much gone, and rb substitutes that with many improvements to the GotG2.
And seriously, rb has done a really amazing job. Much of my problems with his movie are the overused jokes which gave me an “uh…” feeling. The emotional and beautiful moments now feel amazing and no longer get crushed with jokes. Overall, this pruned edition is stellar and definitely replaces my copy. Great job, rb!
The technical elements of this edit are flawless. Seriously, great work. They help to move the narrative along at a quicker pace, and you really don't notice a single issue with the cuts A/V wise.
However, as a big Guardians of the Galaxy fan, Vol. 2 being my favourite, I did not enjoy this edit as much as the original. I have an echoic memory (audiographic memory - like photographic memory but for sound), and thus I remember things like song lyrics, sound effects, soundtrack queues and, most importantly, film dialogue very well. So, having seen this movie a number of times, I did notice what was cut a lot of the time.
And, while I do feel MCU humour does tend to 'break' the moments a bit, I actually think they generally work perfectly in the Guardians films. So, the cutting of that kind of stuff did throw me off a bit (not a problem if you don't have the same connection to the franchise, or an echoic memory).
Additionally, a more valid criticism then my hyper-awareness, is that I felt cutting out a lot of 'banter' or even just normal dialogue that got removed made for some strange moments. For example, when Quill and Gamora are arguing, I'm pretty sure some of the dialogue got cut, and it made them get aggressive way too fast. Instead of their voices getting progressively hostile, they just kind of go from chit-chat to yelling down each others' throats. There were also some moments where I think the soundtrack was replaced due to cuts made, which also stuck out to me.
Essentially, the editors' technical elements are flawless, but sometimes these technical elements ignore other elements of filmmaking such as pacing and dialogue, which stuck out to me very much.
Take this all with a grain of salt, as other reviews don't really express my criticisms, and maybe a lot of these issues were already present in the original and I just never noticed because I wasn't looking for them. Again, a lot of this stuff won't be a problem if you don't have the same hyper-awareness to this sort of thing as I do. I will be sticking to the original on a rewatch of Guardians 2, so I can't recommend this edit for people like me. However, it does have great merit and there's no reason you shouldn't watch it for yourself.