Review Detail

8.0 8 10
FanFix August 15, 2012 1832
Overall rating
 
8.9
Audio/Video Quality
 
7.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Was finally able to get ahold of this classic edit after, no lie, YEARS of searching. Boy am I glad I did, because it's a shelf-replacer. The standard T4 dvd is dead. Long live the T4 fanedit.

The problems with the theatrical version of T4 are threefold:
1. We finally get the badass future war with John Connor the badass soldier that was glimpsed back in the original film. And then McG pushes John to the background and focuses more of the movie on this Marcus dude and a zit-popping Kyle Reese.
2. The logic in this movie is dumb, dumb, DUMB. It's constantly undermining the intelligence and capabilities of both the Terminators and the soldiers in favor of making everything connected in a neat little package for a theater audience.
3. It goes overboard with trying to show the cyclical nature of the connection between John and the Terminators. What everyone knows in this film just breaks the time travel of the other films because it creates paradoxes.

What this edit does:
1. Makes lots of artful trims to the Director's Cut of mostly Marcus and Kyle scenes. The result is the remaining footage is far more John's movie, which is great because Christian Bale is doing a killer job (I don't care how many lighting guys he had to tear a new one.)
2. Cuts so many small lines and small moments of stupidity. The Terminators are smart, the soldiers act quickly (except for the scene where they light up their whole secret base to chase one guy.) The Arnold cameo is trimmed down too, which I actually really liked, but in this state only the very best shots are kept and it looks phenomenal. Also rearranges scenes to make plot developments more surprising.
3. References to what Skynet knows are cut so that this film is not some future-past worm eating its own tail. John knows who Kyle Reese is, and unfortunately him trying to save the life of his own dad is a central plot point in the movie. No avoiding that. But at least most other people aren't aware of the significance of all these time travel events and the story just plays more straight. The original ending did have a certain poetry to it that built on T2, but it was also so convenient it was cringey. This is probably better.

Downsides of this edit:
The extensive added footage to the beginning is an impressive and cool way to start, but the video quality on it differs wildly. The music levels are also way off there and in the ending. The ending video quality also differs a bit, as do several deleted scenes that were added in. (Maybe it was like that in the Director's Cut, too?) The beginning in particular has a very noticeable stuttering effect as the video plays. There are also a number of noticeable hard cuts where scenes were moved or deleted, and the filter applied to the flashbacks is distracting... perhaps it was used to cover poor video quality of the original source, but it can't have looked worse than here.

Overall, despite the technical issues, the narrative restructuring and edits make this a FAR superior film to the theatrical cut. The bad news is... it's unnecessary at this point. Terminator: Dark Fate works as a direct sequel to the first two films, and it's a much better movie than even this fanedit. For me, that's the trilogy, and no need for any other Terminator films. But if you wanted to watch Salvation, then this is definitely the cut to watch!

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DVD
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