Review Detail

9.2 46 10
FanFix January 19, 2014 46724
(Updated: March 28, 2019)
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First of all I'd like to say that TPM was always my least favorite Star Wars movie, so it was the one I was looking for a fanedit the most. Lukcily it's probably the most fanedited movie of all time so that wasn't too hard. What WAS hard, however, was finding the right cut. And Hal's "Cloak Of Deception" fills those shoes nicely.

Most prequel fanedits end up taking away too much for my taste, which hurts them both narratively and technically. Hal's V5 doesn't suffer with said problems: nothing is taken out of the movie without a purpose, and 99% of the cuts were incredibly seamless, not giving away that you're watching a fanedit. Therefore, technically it's an almost perfect fanedit.

Most of what was cut here is what originally was the first act of TPM. That way, the trip to Naboo serves only to kickstart the journey of our heroes in a somewhat similar way to the first sequence in the original Star Wars, or the first sequence in a James Bond movie. It also gets us to Anakin much faster, but the edit doesn't go out of its way to make him the protagonist. The film's still much tighter and more focused though, so there's definitely a lot of improvement to his character and to how he relates to others. Qui-Gon's still the main protagonist I'd say, but the movie's not as convoluted and complicated like it was originally, which in other words mean the plot was vastly improved.

However, two moments that still take me out of the movie come to mind, but they're extremely minor: the exclusion of Gunga City, and the added deleted scene "Dawn Before the Race". The deleted scene's issue is quality, as it's clearly SD quality alongside a very high quality 1080p video for the rest of the edit, but it's not that big of a deal. It's probably not as much of an issue with the more compressed versions too. I would, however, prefer something like L8wrtr's version of the scene that this deleted scene is substituting. But it's fine. The exclusion of Gunga City doesn't hurt the narrative in any way, mind you, the only very minor complaint I have of it is that it's the only time where something was cut and I was able to notice. Maybe it's becasue I knew what was going to happen beforehand, but there's still room from improvement there.

Overall though, Cloak Of Deception clocks in at 1h49min, which is appropriate to me. Many fanedits end at something below 1h40, and I feel like pace in those cuts is just too fast. Hal's never gets boring at any moment, cuts out everything cheesy and stupid, while still maintaining the TPM spirit, but only the good stuff. I'd change almost nothing from this, and it's definitely replaced the original when I rewatch the PT. Strongly recommend.

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