Superman Returns: Always Around
- Scenes rearranged, which includes inserting the last scene of the movie into a much earlier point, meaning Clark is aware right from the outset that Jason is his son. Instead of learning who he is on the boat, we learn it from Clark as he watches Jason in bed at Lois' home (yes, I retained Stalkerman for narrative purposes), and Lois and Kal's first meeting is after he visits Jason's bedroom.
- Superman's return to public service occurs with taking out the bank robber
- Lois' bitchier moments trimmed and lessened so she comes off as more emotionally conflicted...she's not mad at Superman, just dissapointed, and often wrestles with publishing a new piece about why the world needs him, it was important to place the scene where she can't type up that piece before she meets Clark outside her home to demonstrate how conflicted she is on her opinion.
- Lois and Richard laughing at Clark cut
- Lex reading the paper skips over the Superman headline for reasons that'll become clear as you read this cut list
- Clark and Lois' rooftop meeting trimmed so the tension is lessened, at least until the moment they almost kiss. Lois is accepting of Clarks' presence and they go for a flyby.
- Clark's conversation with Martha moved along to just before he heads over to the Fortress to find the crystals missing
- Film proceeds as normal until Clark is hospitalised. Lois visiting him cut because...
- After Clark awakens, we cut to the new ending...the shuttle rescue
- Flyby over the earth trimmed significantly to properly synchronise with the music after Clark takes off from the stadium. Lois fainting cut.
First off, I want to start by saying that I enjoyed this edit. After reading through the cutlist, I knew that Zarius approached this edit in a radically different way than I would, but that's okay. I was interested to see his take on this tale. So no points off for things like keeping the kid as Clark's son (or, for that matter, keeping him in the film at all), as I knew that those things would be in place going into it.
I loved the opening of this edit. Starting it off with Lex's story was a great approach. Kevin Spacey's performance as Lex Luthor was a highlight of this film, so I liked the narrative choice to use his story here as the driving narrative.
The main issue I have with this edit is that Superman seems to have no driving narrative. My wife and I both agreed that the movie felt more like a collection of scenes than a cohesive story. It was a bold choice to rearrange scenes so drastically, and I appreciate the effort, but I feel like the film just didn't flow well. If Superman has been away for quite a while (long enough to not know that Lois even has a child), then why are Lois and Richard discussing Superman right now? Why is she contemplating writing an article about Why the World Needs Superman right now? Superman being heavily on everyone's minds before he even shows up again is weird. And the first interaction between Lois and Clark (their last interaction in the theatrical release) just feels off. It feels more like a good-bye than a hello. Additionally, it's weird that there's talk about this "blackout" throughout the whole film without ever seeing it. It's a huge part of Lois' arc; it's even what gets her on Lex's boat. So it's very strange that we never see it or hear what it was. And finally, the lack of backstory for Clark (almost all scenes from the farm are gone) take away from his development as a character. Without all of that, Clark really has no character development in this film. He's just kinda...there--without even an explanation for why he wasn't there for so long.
While the plane crash at the end did seem to take a while to get going and kinda felt tacked on as the scene was starting out, it made for one heck of an ending. It was a VERY heroic and worthy end to the film. I would never have thought to end the film with the plane crash, but I have to say, it worked really well. Definitely ended the film on a very high note.
I think Zarius said it best when he called this "a highlight reel for the man of steel". Superman shows up and he does some very heroic things. If that's all you're looking for, you'll enjoy this edit. If you're just interested in seeing a fresh take on this narrative, as I was, it's definitely worth the watch. But if you're looking for a strong narrative about Clark as an individual and the loneliness of being a god among men, you'll need to look elsewhere for these deeper themes.