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8.3 3 10
FanFix November 23, 2012 2188
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This is a good and entertaining little edit.

I have a soft spot for the original MISSION TO MARS, as I will watch anything directed by Brian Depalma, no matter how bad or awful. And while I would not call MISSION TO MARS awful, it does suffer in many areas -- too much melodrama and soapy romance, too much terrible comic relief from Jerry O'Connell, too many 2001-type homage moments, and a last act that really delivers no true surprises. In other words, it is a movie that tries too hard to be too many things for too many people, and has no clear voice.

Well, I am happy to report Jet has for the most part corrected this problem. His approach is to treat the mission as the priority, and the astronauts as trained professionals reacting to a crisis. Their personal lives and histories are only revealed sparingly, and only through natural conversation during the mission. By doing this, we the audience are immediately engaged and the story gets to Mars much faster. The romance between Woody and Terri is thankfully diluted, but still powerful during their key scenes. But the downside of this story approach for me was the Maggie character has almost been eliminated, thus weakening the story arc for Jim. I mean, it still works, but for me, the relationship between Maggie and Jim was the heart of the original movie and what I actually enjoyed most.

Jet has trimmed and/or removed most of Phil's stupid comments and humor, and it works great. He is still clearly the comic relief character, but now it feels more natural, less in your face. My only suggestion, I would have cut out a bit more, specifically his over reaction/fear to the EVA. He is a trained astronaut, picked to go to Mars, I just find it unbelievable he would react in such a manner.

Jet has also moved the big opening Mars Sandstorm to later in the movie as a flashback. This both worked and didn't for me. I liked the concept, but the execution I thought could have been longer, as it felt a bit too brief and confusing. Also, it seemed, but I may be wrong, Jet used both hard cut hards to the black and white flashbacks and then later used colour transitions. I would have just chosen either one or the other and stuck with it.

The final act is still slow and unsurprising, but this is mostly due to the source material not Jet's editing. Though I wonder if more Maggie scenes had been retained, Jim's final fate might have had more impact?

An edit change I love that Jet made was the moving of the typical opening credits from the beginning to the end of the movie. This is smart and works fantastically in concept. I think the new title cards both at the beginning and the ending could have been polished slightly more.

But at the end of the day, this was an enjoyable viewing experience. I see a lot of talent in Mr. Jetsetwilly, and I look forward to his future fan edit works with great anticipation and excitement!
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