(Note: The original review has been edited for the sake of being more abbreviated and less... absurdly harsh. If you want to read the original review in full? Please check out the following link: https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/FanEdit-Reviews-Post-Your-Reviews-Here/id/74322/page/9#1482781.)
So this is gonna be interesting. This is not my first trek into the world of Star Wars for fan-edits but it's my first trek into this for a movie I actually really love. Yes let's get this out of the way right now, I love The Last Jedi. It's my second favorite Star Wars movie of all time nestled neatly right by ESB. For a movie I was so terrified was going to turn out awfully when I first went into it back in 2017? I left that theater with nothing but love in my heart for it. It has a few problems certainly but those hardly are an issue for me as someone who loves this to death. So with that in mind, I'm not looking at this Anti-Cringe Cut from the perspective of a fan who hates this movie and wants to see what a fan-edit can do to improve upon it but rather I wanted to view this from the perspective of an unabashed lover and defender of TLJ who is wanting to see if this will just be a good movie and decide for myself if seeing this in theaters I would've been satisfied..
And overall? I'm sorry to say but this edit really didn't do it for me. It's not without its positives though and I do want to run through those now. For one the ways in which the movie is streamlined are usually handled with a great deal of care and a lot of the times surprisingly seamless. In particular I'm quite fond of the trims done to the opening battle and some of the transitions are handled very well like the screen-wipe going from Poe saying "Not what I expected." to Ahch-To. Thinking back to it, I really liked the integration of the deleted scene with Luke's third lesson as well as an extra scene with Finn and Poe, the action was very nicely preserved but trimmed in the right ways usually. There's plenty I really like here.
But there are massive issues at play that keep me from truly enjoying this. I feel like there are a good portion of ideas that are overly ambitious that the movie just does not provide enough for and as a result there are scenes where the intentions are truly admirable but in practice could've done with either reworking or just being kept stock. There are various edits that result in clunky audio cuts, jump-cuts that disrupt the flow of the movie and in one case misses the mark on an emotional beat due to a very unfitting music choice, the ending just completely derails the message and emotional moment in favor of setting up an unnecessary cliffhanger and in one case? I get the modus operandi behind the change but due to what movie it is and the timing and how it's executed it just comes across more icky than it does enjoyable which I'll admit in my original review played a part in why I was so harsh and that was overall uncalled for
That being said? This really wasn't the edit for me though I do wish DonKamillo nothing but the best on his many other endeavors. There is clear talent on display here that with more refining could lead to some truly amazing work. I also say I can see why people really liked this cut and I hope more people do check it out. They might find it's up their alley.
Tagline - "Gone, the cringe mostly is. But beware the Johnson script, for no edit can truly save this movie.."
So, let me set the tone of my initial opinion of TLJ before I watched this edit - during my only viewing of this movie at the cinema, I cringed...a lot. I physically face palmed multiple times, I constantly asked myself "am I watching a Star Wars movie??..". All of this happened within the first 10-15 minutes of the movie starting, after which I mostly sat in stunned disbelief and mouthed "WTF" many times throughout, unable to look away from the train wreck unfolding in front of my very eyes. I felt offended to be a Star Wars fan, I could nearly see Rian Johnson's middle finger coming through the cinema screen. I left the cinema extremely confused and dispirited and ultimately came to hate this movie with every fibre of my being. This was after mostly enjoying TFA and looking forward to seeing where many of the unanswered questions led in the next movie, to which Rian Johnson answered "no where".
Ok, the picture is set of where I stand on this movie. Now I am not going to turn around and say that this edit fixed everything and I now love TLJ, that will never happen though obviously through no fault of the editor as he can only work with what is to hand and rearrange, twist and stretch it so many ways. I can say however, that if Clark Zuckerberg's first fanedit of TLJ made it at least mostly watchable, then Don Kamillo's fanfix easily achieves this first step and does far more, though unfortunately still falling far short of making it a movie that I can overall enjoy and actually want to return to ever again, except to potentially evaluate any other daringly promising fan edits in the future.
I can see vestiges of a compelling story and characters I could come to actually care about throughout many parts of this edit, I actually start to get a feeling of "Star Wars" again at times but it is fleeting and unfortunately often blown away by the same scenes jogging memories of the actual movie we got at the cinemas and I think it will be like this for quite some time.
Overall though, I think DonKamillo has done an outstanding job to even get me that far and to actually watch the whole movie through again. He certainly removed nearly all of the main cringe and parts I would immediately remove myself with only a few remaining that did have the effect of reminding me of the sheer cringe factor of so much of the original movie. Many of Don's ideas to change the narrative with some clever scene rearrangement and reuse for different purposes I think were pulled of very well and worked for me when I could remain "in" the story.
On a technical level, the AV quality was excellent even though I forgot to switch from the default stereo to the surround audio track (I would have the surround as default IMHO) but a quick skip back through the movie with surround selected and I could tell the audio sounded excellent. I feel there is definite improvement needed on the editing side of things with quite a number of noticeable cuts and odd audio gaps in music, there were a lot of these in particular toward the end of the movie when on the salt planet. Having never edited or fanfixed a movie myself I can only assume how challenging it can be but I can't rate higher than a 7 on both visual and audio editing sorry.
I found the narrative much improved from the original, so much so that I don't think there is a lot of headroom left for major improvement from the material left over with what Don has done, hence the 8. Unfortunately as you may have guessed, enjoyment is where it absolutely bombs for me though if it is of any consolation, the original movie goes into the negatives here so a 3 is rather good if you think about that. In the end, there were a few moments where I smiled, maybe one laugh at some point but I think any actual enjoyment was from not being subjected again to the most offensive parts of this movie which I do profusely thank you for Don.
All things considered, where I ended up after viewing this edit I think is leagues ahead from what I expressed at the start of this review and so in that sense this is a hugely successful edit and I wish I could actually rate it higher which Don's efforts deserve but Johnson's 'The Last Fan Fiction' ultimately denies.