This tightens up Iron Man 2, which was plagued by a rambling story, and a not terribly exciting plot i.e. bad guys want to get Stark-tech, failing which they copy it; bad guys wear armoured suits. This edit is a lot tighter, things move faster, and Vanko is less cartoonish.
This is definitely better than the original, although there is only so much that can be done with the bland plot (see earlier), and the inexplicable gaps in the story (doesn't anyone want to talk about how criminal it was for Stark Sr., genius and SHIELD co-founder, to have Vanko Sr., a Soviet political exile, framed and deported back to Stalinist Russia because of a disagreement? How about the US military using armoured suits, and Stark effectively going back into the arms industry by handing over the War Machine suit? Surely it would be interesting to think about how Vanko Jr.'s (clearly valid) claims that Stark Industry was built on lies, theft, and war profiteering complicate the narrative of bad Whiplash vs good Iron Man?) No fanedit can fix these sorts of issues.
So thanks gain for the work, its a better film than it was, and probably the best version that is possible.
Some of the changes were great. For example removing the scene where Tony kicks his driver out so he can race, making it seem as though Whiplash logically would have expected him to be racing, and Pepper kissing his helmet before throwing it (taken from the trailer). Removing "that is not my bird" was also nice since the scene was just a time wasting distraction originally.
I appreciate trimming of unnecessary dialog and overall reduced runtime. With that said, some of the changes seemed strange, including a couple of instances where a setup to a joke is trimmed yet the payoff remains, or vice versa.
The relatively large file size was great as it means the video had a high bitrate therefore higher quality, and the inclusion of a 5.1 surround mix (along with optional subtitles) was greatly appreciated.
This is a great edit. I watched this edit with my little cousin: I am showing her the MCU before we go to see Endgame. I decided to show her this edit Iron Man 2, and I was not disappointed.
The film becomes much more focused. Lapis molari does his best to restructure and tighten a messy plot, and man does it work better. Deleted scenes are added to emphasize certain things, anything that distracts from the main story is trimmed, and the theme of legacy is allowed to finally shine. I also loved little changes like adding "That was easy" after they beat Vanko.
I do have some issues with it, though. First of all, some deleted scenes don't visually match the normal movie. Color correction was needed here. Maybe there was some made by lapis molari but wasn't enough, but I don't know. Also, the "Nanoball" deleted scene I felt was completely unnecessary and has very bad incomplete CGI. But despite our objection to a certain wipe in the discussion thread, I didn't mind the other wipes in the film at all, save for one at the end where it transitions from Pepper to the SHIELD building.
I also think some cuts are very rough and abrupt, and it really takes you out of the movie. Off the top of my head two examples are: the transition from Tony, Hammer and Christine Everhart to Tony looking at his blood toxicity in front of the mirror. The second one, as I referenced before, was the last scene with Tony and Pepper. Pepper is throwing a temper tantrum but then it cuts to Tony suddenly calming down and saying she deserves better, and Pepper smiling, and suddenly they're kissing... It's clear quite a bit is cut, and it feels extremely rushed and choppy.
Finally, my last issue is a narrative one. It's not a plot-hole or anything, but I really missed the rest of the dialogue between Tony and Ivan in the prison room. "If you can make God bleed, people will cease to believe in him." These lines, and that scene which I firmly believe is the best scene in the movie, are connected to the theme of legacy and explains Ivan Vanko's motivation, adding depth to his revenge plot. Removing it just makes Ivan, who was a Marvel villain with potential to be really great, even lesser in my eyes.
As I side note, I would like to mention that my little cousin thought this film was the weakest of the MCU films because it was slow paced and, in her words, boring, in the first two acts (especially in the slllooow, complicated-for-a-child senate meeting, and overly long dialogue scenes). I agree that the pacing in the first two acts still remains slow, even kind of amplified with the added deleted scenes. However she got much more hooked and excited in the third act, which she thought had great action. Also, she really loved Black Widow!
I apologize that my criticisms are more than my praises, because the edit really triumphs in improving the film and making a focused narrative, something the original film really fell short on. I highly recommend it.