I have been watching a lot of 007 fanedits lately because I consider myself a huge James Bond fan. Yet, every time I watch one, I find myself remembering how truly awful some of the movies in the franchise have been. It is hard to choose the very worst James Bond movie, but this (not your edit, but the original) has absolutely got to be very close to being the most absolutely terrible entry. A lot of the Roger Moore Bonds kinda blend together for me because he did so many. Sean Connery remains the ultimate James Bond. Timothy Dalton was very underrated and I think Living Daylights is one of the better Bond films. And then there is Pierce Brosnon. I loved Remington Steele and thought he would make a perfect James Bond. But the scripts or the directors or someone mishandled the movies, and none was worse than this. From the opening where James Bond is captured, held and tortured fro an indeterminate amount of time (could there be a WORSE way to start a Bond movie!?!). And does our brilliant hero secret agent finally escape? Nope. He gets exchanged for a guy walking around with diamonds in his face. And about that: what the hell? I get that maybe right after the explosion some diamonds got lodged in his face, but there is just no logical reason for them to remain there. I cannot think of any Bond movie with such a ridiculous cartoonish villain. Even Jaws was more plausible---at least those teeth could be used as kind of a weapon. And then, he checks into the Hong Kong Yacht Club where they send up a masseuse with a gun. Why? They're going to kill him? While filming it behind a 2-way mirror? What for? This movie is so screwed up. Okay, I have yet to talk about the edit, but I needed to vent about what a dreadful movie this was to begin with, and seeing this made me realize how fully I managed to block it from my mind entirely.
The editing, sound, picture...everything was done flawlessly. I can't point to a single thing, major or minor to complain about. But it is just such a terrible movie, I think no amount of editing can save it. Certainly this is a vast improvement over the original, but "vast" is not enough in this case. There isn't enough vastness in the universe that could make this movie any good. Such a shame! I'm sure the budget was huge; Halle Berry looks amazing (and is the best thing about the whole movie), cool cars--although the green jaguar that the enemy is driving on the ice is cooler that James Bond's car, but what a misguided movie. This one makes me appreciate the Daniel Craig era quite a lot more. It even makes me feel like I could write a better James Bond script. It's amazing how all the elements can be there--good actors, good locales, the cars, gadgets---everything that you would assume makes a great James Bond movie, and yet fail so spectacularly. It almost makes Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull seem like a good movie.
Well that sure is a lot of negative comments for a movie I am ultimately giving a good review of. The positive numbers and the recommendation are entirely for your edit, which, as I said, is flawless. But it's like getting a bunch of Dr Frankenstein's together to try to recreate the ideal re-animated Hitler; even the best most perfect one is still...you know---Hitler. So this is an excellent, excellent edit of an irredeemably bad movie. Anyone who saw the original should at least give this a watch. It is still, probably the very worst 007 movie, but this version makes it a somewhat better worst 007 movie.
I was so excited to watch this, and Last survivor didn't let me down.
The tweaks were amazingly done and make this a true bond movie, they don't prevent the flow of the story at all, in fact if Last Survivor hadn't teased us with his trailer which essentially danced around the majority of elements that were bad with the original film, i probably would have only noticed the invisible car and intro song were missing.
as all reviews have to 'critique' in one way or another my only gripe was the surfing intro, i know its required to show bond getting the c4, but to me some kind of establishing shot of the plane landing before bond switches places with the diamond seller would have been more than ample.
also jinx's use of the word 'bitch' on the plane seems out of place, i might have omitted it to prevent it from sounding like an audio hard cut.
Fantastic job Last Survivor!, This is definitely my 'go to' version of the film.
I think the editor did an admirable job of cutting out some of the material that is silly and ridiculous, while preserving the plot, which is a difficult balance to strike when you are dealing with a 007 edit. Lately I have been re-watching a lot of the Bond films and so many of them are cluttered with annoying material that they risk being hacked to pieces by faneditors to the point that the plot is not longer understandable. Some examples of silliness that had to be left in this film for the sake of the plot are as follows:
- Bond and Company infilitrate an enemy foreign country by surfing the big waves. (gnarly dude)
- Bond meets Gustav for the first time and for some reason they get into an all out brawl of a swordfight.
- Bond and Jinx are able to get within 300 meters of their target in North Korea, yet they couldn't get a shot. That distance would be a "gimme" for a trained sniper. (Ok maybe this one is a little nitpicky, but it did take me out of the movie for a bit.)
Of course the list could go on and on, but the point is that the Bond movies are full of silliness and you definitely can't take them too serious. These are not the fault of the editor. He has to play the cards he is dealt as best he can. He really did do the best that I think can be done with such material by concentrating on the really bad dialog and some of the worst CGI stunts.
I have the 50th anniversary 007 collection and have been working my way slowly through the 60s, but having seen this makes me want to skip forward to re-watch some of the other Pierce Brosnan films to see if they contain as much silliness as Die Another Day. I think they probably do.
I also have not listened to the commentary, but look forward to it.
Who could have imagined? The abominable Die Another Day had a fun, entertaining Bond movie hidden behind it!
This edit is a revelation. After removing the stupid humor, the awful CGI, and the reference overload, the result is more than watchable. In this form it's no more the worst Bond film ever, which it used to be for me. I agree with all the choices Last Survivor has made here, including the Q scene, which is about right and nothing seemed missing or abrupt to me, so redoing it doesn't justify a version 2 for my tastes (and if "Saved by the bell" is put back as another reviewer sort-of requested, I'll quit watching LS edits forever ;) The only thing that felt off to me was Jinx's "Bitch!" after stabbing Miranda, which felt edited and incomplete because of the delivery. Everything else was perfectly done. And the audio commentary was, as usual, a more than welcome addition. It's just as entertaining as professionally released ones.
All in all, at last Brosnan's Bond has a non-embarrassing exit from the saga. Highly recommended to all Bond fans.