Review Detail

8.9 24 10
FanMix June 20, 2012 5470
(Updated: September 15, 2012)
Enjoyment
 
8.0
Review by Brumous — January 18, 2011 @ 2:58 am

This is an audacious but uneven fan edit that is reasonably entertaining. The basic idea is to merge the first half of Superman I to the second half of Superman II, The Donner Cut. Remarkably, this turns out to be a logically sound idea and it successfully refocuses the story arc on Kal-El and his self-identity and purpose. Other Superman II edits have wrestled with the ending: how Superman fixes his bad choices and redeems himself. This version has the most satisfying and convincing resolution of them all and is the new gold standard.

This edit weaves together different sources made by different directors. Technically the edit is fine and mostly seamless. But the seams do show in the way the acting, direction, and emotional tone shift gears in abrupt and confusing ways, even where the storyline makes logical sense. For instance, the Clark-Lois romance, where Lois starts off being starstruck, then familiar and jokey in the newsroom, then distracted and sarcastic in the newlywed suite. There are also noticeable and probably unavoidable shifts in picture quality from the different sources.

In this edit, Lex Luthor is a sneaky but endearing con man with no sense of menace. I agree with the other reviewers that his introduction too abrupt, but I can overlook it because Hackman is entertaining to watch. It's less easy to overlook the Kryptonian villains, who are cardboard cliches. Their approach to Earth and their takeover is dragged out too much, slowing down the pacing of this edit. The climactic fight plays out like a bombastic pro wrestling match and could use even more trimming. Various other sequences could also use trimming or deleting to improve the overall pacing.

The editors’ choice for the ending scene is right on the money, IMO. It suits very well the focus of the edit, which is Kal-El discovering how to be true to himself and deciding what’s important in his life. Lois is saying goodbye to her dreams of married bliss, so why wouldn’t she cry? And it’s not just self pity; you could see her tears as being for Clark also, for his sacrifice and for his heroism.

I liked the “extra” scene (Clark’s return to the diner) a lot too. It lightened up the heavy mood of the ending and made Clark more human and likable in a way. I like it so much in that position, I would have put it right after the ending as a real coda, instead of in the credits.

Anyhow, this edit succeeds at its main goal, and I was really drawn into the story of Kal-El's moral challenge. I also liked how this edit was made collaboratively, a great example of the fan edit forum opening new doors to creative possibilities.
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