April 13, 2013
I really, really, really wanted to enjoy myself with this edit, to experience the magic of T1 & T2 all over again, or the magic of watching Uncanny Antman's sublime version of T3.
And Agent9 did a great job of hosing away tons of crap—needless scenes, useless dialogue. The addition of classic terminator tunes also improved the tone of the film, though the volume was a bit high in some places.
Unhappily, the theatrical version has so many issues that it would be difficult to hose them all away. It's like the movie has a core crap holding chamber, ginormous and sealed and possibly impervious to fanediting. A monstrous terminator appears silently out of nowhere to snatch resistance fighters in the desert, apparently in the mere service of a surprise moment and a cartoony action sequence (which made me yearn for the brilliance and natural flow of action in the first three terminator films); John Connor throws caution to the wind and mentions the names of his mother and father to a machine he suspects is a terminator, for the sake of dumb exposition (but without Connor's indiscretion, the whole rescue-Kyle-Reese plot cannot be set in motion); terminator worms are swimming not far from Connor's base, even though such machines should have alerted their heavier-duty brethren long before the movie started; resistance air bases are out in the open where any aerial survey could find them. And why aren't terminators continually syncing their data with the network, i.e., why isn't any contact with a terminator shortly followed by a wave of killing machines coming down on a human's ass? Is it wise to detonate nuclear devices while hovering in a helicopter over prime mushroom cloud territory? And how much of this silliness could be removed without disrupting storytelling coherence?
I applaud Agent9 for doing a tremendous job salvaging what he could from a serious mess of a movie. Terminator Salvation gave me a headache; The T4 Cut was very watchable. I'd rank the theatrical release a 2/10 on the enjoyjoy scale and Agent9's version considerably higher, which has me very much looking forward to his future fanediting projects, especially if they're based on better substrate.
Enjoyjoy: 7.5 pelvic aerothrusts, rounded up.