By the time that the very expensive The Abyss arrived in theaters in August, there was a feeling of “been there, seen that” about underwater genre pictures. Sometimes, going first clearly has financial advantages. Indeed, The Abyss was only considered a "modest" hit commercially-speaking.
Restored to the film in this edition is a tense subplot that reveals more fully the international tensions between Russia and The United States over a downed nuclear submarine, as well as the catastrophic extra-terrestrial response to those global tensions.
These substantial alterations give the film some aspects in common with a similar plot in 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984), it's undeniable, but they also more fully reveal The Abyss's thematic aspiration to reflect a 1980s "The Day The Earth Stood Still message of peace and love."