Review Detail

8.0 7 10
FanFix December 11, 2013 3066
(Updated: January 13, 2014)
Overall rating
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Visual Editing
Audio Editing
I decided for a change, that I'd wait and watch this awesome sounding fanedit before I watched my copy of the original. It made for a very interesting experience.

First off, my impressions of the material.

It's not a terrible movie and is quite fun at points but what let's it down is that Verbinski has ripped off other movies to a ludicrous degree. I found his little Western nods in 'Rango' a lot of fun but here it becomes irritating. The main film he plunders is Leone's 'Once Upon A Time In The West'. I consider that to be in the top 2 or 3 greatest films ever made (It's certainly the best directed film ever) so Verbinski was foolhardy to lazily copy it wholesale. He steals the entire plot structure, has many similar characters, copies music, rehashes absolutely iconic scenes, uses the same locations, uses very similar sets (A strong influence anyway), replicates shots, matches edits and reuses plot devices. While he's at that he copies elements from 'The Two Towers', 'Duck You Sucker', 'Last Crusade', 'Back to the Future 3' and the entire Dollars trilogy. Sadly in each and every case the reused elements are employed with one tenth of the style and wit of the originals. But that's enough on Verbinski's follies and on to how Modernknife has gone about trying to improve it...

It goes without saying that the decision to make the Lone Ranger the dumb sidekick of Tonto was insane so Modernknife has done his very best to reverse this. On one hand he's succesfully made him less of an idiot but he doesn't do all that much heroic either... until the end! Oh boy the train chase complete with theme tune is frickin' amazing! Tonto doesn't feel like an overpowering presence and was mostly a silent and mysterious support to The Ranger which I liked. Going by the cutlist I'd imagine the removal of the framing device was spot on as we jump almost straight into the action and the opening reel of Ranger history gets you right into the mood. I got goose bumps when the curtain rolled back, a very nice job! A few ugly CGI shots still remain that I'd like to have seen cut but mostly this looks great. The flashback was very well executed and I liked the 'on to the next adventure' ending. At 102 minutes the film/edit doesn't overstay it's welcome and is great way to spend a free evening.

But on to the bad... plot is the biggest problem as I felt that at far too many points something hadn't been explained or that scene A cuts to scene C with scene B missing along with any explanation of how and why we got between A and C. I'll have to guess this is down to Modernknife's removals as from my experience Verbinski has never been one to shy away from lengthy and boring exposition so having no exposition at all seemed odd. A few examples... What was with the scarf thing, it seemed like a plot point? Did Tonto have magic powers or something because I missed how he got out of jail? Why did the LR turn up at the train on his own without Tonto, did they fall out? etc etc. The visual editting is solid but a lot of the sound edits are quite noticeable, although never to the point that they became annoying. Also it says in the cutlist that Helena Bonham Carter "Could not be removed" but she looked easily removable to my eyes?

Overall, I think Modernknife has shown that "there be gold in these hills" (Or should it be silver) but I get the feeling that there is potential for another edit in this material. One with less of the overly heavy handed drama and more of the humour and fun.

Do I reccomend it?

Yes... you won't be bowled over by the experience but you won't be bored either. As I said above, the train chase is worth the watch alone, so simply giving that thrilling sequence a new handsome streamlined frame was well worth the edit!

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