June 02, 2015
Keeping in mind I'm a tougher critic than most, I'm going start by stating that the FanEditor himself admits in his description to doing this in between other edits, and that's where he erred.
It shows in the final product that this was a project he didn't care too much about. Aside from a number of hard cuts and awkward music cues, the story simply doesn't work.
To fit the story he wanted to tell into a decent time-span, he cut out a lot of the wonderful moments from Donner's first Superman film and, oddly, included a lot of the goofy and comedic moments from replacement director Richard Lester's Superman II. If you're aiming for a "darker" Superman, the Three Stooges-like comedy of Lester's Phantom Zone villains should've -- just like in the Superman II Richard Donner Cut -- been left on the editing room floor.
It takes more than 90 minutes to get us to the point where the FanEditor's story kicks in, and by that time he's sliced and diced so much -- with skill in most cases, admittedly -- it's hard to care.
As a story, the movie ends up not having a 3rd act or even a climax. With that in mind, it would've been a FAR superior experiment in Superman's dark side if the editor had made it a 30-minute short: By putting this into a serialized form and simply recapping the information the audience would need to understand (i.e., some sort of re-cap of the first movie and intro of the villains -- all things we should theoretically be familiar with going into this Fan Edit), it would've sped up the pace and made this a more satisfying edit. And, with such an experimental format (my suggestion I mean, not the actual Fan Edit), it would've been easier to accept the sudden fade to credits at the end of the movie, since there really isn't any sort of ending (well, there is, but it ends on 2 moments of comedy that are trying to be played as drama).
Beyond the concept of "dark Superman" at the end, the only narrative change is an edit that takes Superman's and Lois' first meeting and rolls it into the date from the Superman II wherein they sleep together. Which means the entire premise only works if you can buy that Superman and Lois Lane slept together on the first date and fell in love.
Since these characters don't seem to be that promiscuous, it's hard to buy.
Overall: It's too similar to the source materials for the most part, the couple of changes to story just don't quite track. Editing is mostly top notch, but there are a number of poor cuts, a few bad music cues, and the sounds varies quite a bit.