I remember A View To a Kill being one of The James Bond movies from my teen years. I begged my mother to let me take the video disc home to watch it. I was finally allowed to after we had rented it out several times and made our money back on it. I wasn't allowed to see it in the theatre because of the rating or my mother thinking Bond was a sexist pig...or both. At any rate, I was very excited. I guess I didn't realize how cartoonish Bond was before Dalton. I didn't remember thinking it wasn't awesome. I watched Last Survivor's edit with some friends a few nights ago. We all agreed that it was an excellent movie. I didn't tell them that it was an edit. A couple of comments were made about something seeming different. One was about the missing Beach Boys song. I just commented, "Are you sure?"
After they left, I watched the original. I think it may have taken the juxtaposition of watching both versions to realize exactly how much different the movie and the edit were. I did read the description on IFDB but who remembers everything?
The pacing and narrative create a much better experience. The editing is seamless. I wouldn't have noticed the changes had I not known they were there. I think the changes in the soundtrack created much of the improved pacing. I think I may have heard an elevator music version of View to a Kill throughout but can't be sure.
The movie was over before we realized it. In my opinion after watching them back to back, Last Survivor's edit is a massive improvement over the original in almost every possible way. I anxiously hope that he edits a few more Bond movies that feature Roger Moore as 007.
This is what I think you'd call a light cut. Pretty much everything you remember about the original is still there but with most of the extra silliness taken out of it. So the infamous fire engine chase is still there, yet somehow it doesn't seem quite so silly anymore. Of course, I know what was taken out because I've read the changes / edits. But watching it, it didn't feel like I was missing anything.
I viewed this as a Bond fan, and as a viewer, not an editor so I'm not going to comment on the quality of the edits other than to say, I didn't really notice anything jumping out at me as not being quite right. Quite the opposite. It all just felt right. I remember seeing this as a teenager when seeing a Bond film was the one film each year you went to the cinema to see. It was an experience, even if, in the end, Bond wasn't what he used to be.
So what did I miss? Or rather, what did I notice wasn't there? The Beach Boys. That's all. But I also remember thinking, even back then, how silly that scene was, and thank goodness, it's been removed. Apart from that, I didn't really notice that anything in particular was missing. Of course, I noticed that some sequences somehow didn't seem quite as long as I remembered, but it actually made for a better film, because, as the editor said, the intention was just to remove the silliness, and that he's achieved admirably. A superb edit. Thoroughly recommended.
After watching this edit, I came back to review the change list and was surprised. The *impact* of the edit far outweighs the *changes* of it. It's actually a decent movie now. I recall wanting to like the movie, and never really could because of the cartoonish silliness. Now that is mostly gone and it's now a fun romp.
The biggest things I noted was the lack of constant, silly sexual innuendo, and that Mayday (Grace Jones) didn't come off as a completely over-the-top lunatic. That by itself hugely helps the movie. The chase scene cuts helped, and allowed the story to move along.
This is a very successful edit, and will be my go-to for watching in the future.