The Korean action flick has a ridiculous premise — one that actually makes SHARKNADO sound rather plausible: in the future, the last remnants of the human race ride a train on an endless around a world gripped in a new ice age. The rich ride upfront, while the poor are in the rear. But there’s a revolution brewing, one led by Chris Evans‘
Captain America Curtis.
Not that that is precisely the movie American audiences are likely to see. At least, not in mainstream cinemas, since The Weinstein Company — which owns the U.S. distribution rights — has ordered massive reediting to dumb-down the story for the U.S. market. On the plus side, TWC is letting director Bong supervise the cuts.
One might think that if Harvey Weinstein could look past the film’s premise he wouldn’t nitpick the details, but reports have him demanding over 20 minutes be chopped to make the film easier for American audiences to swallow. However, according to Xin MSN, Bong this week played down the editing (without specifying how much is being cut):
“I came here after editing for the American version. I’ve never produced a new version for overseas premieres, and this is the first time I’m making a new version. Weinstein is actually being pretty soft toward editing, probably because it’s noticed how critics have praised the film and know how angry movie fans get over new edits. They even asked me which parts I want to include in the film.”
In the end, I don’t think the cuts are going to make one tiny bit of difference, because I don’t believe a mass audience is going to be interested in this. Face it, if audiences couldn’t be bothered to show up for something as exciting and accessible as Pacific Rim, they’re not going to watch a train go ’round and ’round while its passengers argue politics. (And, sadly, the fact that the film is a massive hit in Korea will definitely work against it in parts of this country that are suspicious of “furrin” films.) Also, we here in the USA are already dangerously close to the movie’s extreme two-class system here — the superrich and everyone else — so perhaps TWC wants the class warfare aspects softened.
But will science-fiction fans declare war on TWC’s version of the film by skipping the theatrical release and turning to bootlegs or imported DVD versions from other countries?