Continuing my Bond reviews of LastSurvivor, I'd like to recommend Icarus to anyone who thinks the cgi and bad jokes on Brosnan are too much to bare. If you really go for it, at least include Jaws so we know this is meant to be campy!
The faneditor did a very good job at removing the most obnoxious or forced anniversary parts, while refraining from cutting the movie so much that there's nothing left. But in comparison to the "post Casino Royale" age, the action is still somewhat artificial even with a lot of the cgi cut. Still, it's an ok movie like this as you don't get thrown out of the story by awkward moments.
One thing that strikes me as odd are the torture scenes: Knowing what the CIA does to torture information out of captives, the North Korean methods displayed in the movie seem like a walk in the park. In retrospect, they should have been less visual so the torture doesn't seem so Hollywood-style in comparison to the real deal.
For the record: I think Brosnan's Bond already jumped the shark in the universally liked Goldeneye when he skydived after a falling plane, climbed into it and escaped into safety :-}
Edit: I nearly forgot to mention - the best thing again is the audio commentary, please do continue do do these in upcoming fanedits! I with more faneditors are inspired by the value this adds to their work.
This fanedit is FANTASTIC! LS has taken a turd of a film and turned it into a great Bond flick. I thoroughly enjoyed my 110 minutes with Mr Bond.
There's also a great commentary track which is worth a listen.
Read on for minor gripes / suggestions:
Audio was in 2.0 instead of 5.1, so I docked a few points on quality. But other than that sounded great throughout.
Video was flawless, though a couple of slightly bitty shots during the ice palace escape and in a few of the "witty" exchanges it was clear something had been cut.
I think LS went a little overboard with cutting ALL the quips (like "saved by the bell" - that's very Bond after a big set piece), which made Bond a little too serious all the time. But it's better than the buffoon he became in the original.
Q is sorely missed. I think it was a mistake to cut this sequence - the film is overly serious, and this was a natural point of levity (and call out to the 40 year anniversary).
I also personally liked the invisible car, especially as they explained how it was done in a reasonably believable way. But its removal was handled well (and reminded me what I *didn't* like in the original - sneaking in the car behind the guards. What- did the car become silent as well? And there's snow on the ground. A car on snow makes a hang of a racket, crunch, crunch, even without a engine!)
My only real gripe was keeping in the bit with everyone being sucked out the window and the plane going out of control. Gaaah! Hollywood always does this but 1. the pressure equalises extremely quickly, so there's only a few *seconds* of air rush (during which people, chairs, etc CAN be sucked out, yes), 2. the plane does *not* start to crash because of air equalisation!! Planes go down because PILOTS put them into a dive. Why? Oxygen. There's no oxygen at high levels, and that's far more dangerous than the rushing wind.
Anyway, I thought you could have put Jinx steering the plane towards Icarus earlier and Icarus makes the plane go into a dive.
I also agreed with you - the helicopter CGI was not great. You could have trimmed a bit more of the exploding plane (especially the part where it's hitting the helicopter like hail. You could also make the helicopter autorotate - that is, that it starts up because of the speed of the air over its blades. That's actually what I thought Bond's plan was originally. And yes, the cars are a bit daft - but its a great visual gag and worth keeping. His dreams really did meet gravity!
This review may seem negative but it actually isn't: I've only mentioned where I thought there was another option (like a few more quips and Q) - only one gripe (booo Hollywood aeroplane physics). If there's every a v2 or an alternate cut, I'd love to see it, but for now Icarus is THE go-to version of DAD.
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.