The editor's stated intention is to bring this in line with other Bond films and essentially make it feel 'more Bond'. I think the result here is a really mixed bag in that respect, and also not any more enjoyable for me than the original (not very good) film...so I unfortunately can't recommend it.
I won't go into the many, many issues with the original movie (you can read a review I wrote here if you'd like to know: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/never-say-never-again/) but I was hoping they'd be fixed in this film, at least somewhat. This movie could honestly do with a radical edit, and this isn't it. The main things changed here are the music choices... now some of the score replacements DO feel more 'Bond'...because they're from other Bond films. But many feel wildly wrong, and they almost all stick out like a sore thumb, whether matching Bond or not. All the Bond song remixes just scream "fanedit" to me, whereas I was looking for more subtle changes that would make me FORGET I wasn't watching a non-canon Bond film.
There are also some scenes which are edited with little tweaks here and there, and some of them (notably the beginning) actually make the scene less clear and slightly confusing. Some scenes are zoomed in on, pan & scan style, which is obvious and looks pretty bad. In fact, the quality of the video is really pretty bad throughout much of this, and the audio isn't blended in that well at many points.
I see that this worked for some people, and they got their Bond jollies, but sadly it was a chore for me. I felt every minute of the last 30 minutes of the film, and was kicking myself for not just rewatching Thunderball instead. I don't blame the editor for this just not being a very good movie to start, but I think there is room to cut this down a lot more, render the video better, and make more nuanced music replacements. I appreciate the effort here, but it just didn't work for me.
Not remembering Never Say Never Again at all, I watched this edit without any idea what to expect. Afterwards I skimmed through the original and I'm so happy Never Say McClory Again exists. What a tremendous difference! And almost entirely thanks to the fitting score appropriately placed throughout (Where Has Everybody Gone? from The Living Daylights is particularly well-placed!). It does indeed feel and sound like a Bond movie now. The M character is still a bit odd but difficult to do anything about. Atkinson's part is, as anarchemist touched upon in their review, not out of place and works as a comic element.
Having neglected to re-watch NSNA for many years due to its non-Bondness, NSMA suddenly makes it one of the better movies in the series. This is my preferred version now, that's certain. Great work, Blofelds cat!
I love a good Bond adventure! This FE of Never Say Never Again takes one of the more infamous films in Bond's history and turns it into a movie worthy of the character, fitting in perfectly alongside the EON Bond films. Thrilling, fun, funny, and just an all-around treat! Watching this was like discovering a long-lost entry in the series for the first time.
The A/V Quality was decent for what it was, though I really hope Blofelds Cat plans to release an HD version eventually. No problems that I could see with the video editing - the pre-credit sequence is a bit quick but was done really well considering the material. I love the audio editing! Replacing the soundtrack with classic Bond tunes was the right call, it never distracted and always helped. The selection is great and utilized in all the right places. The narrative was clear, never confusing, and as well-paced as any other Connery Bond film.
And, of course, I really REALLY enjoyed it!
Definitely recommended for any James Bond fan! If you weren't a fan of Never Say Never Again before, give this version a try - it might change your mind!
I grew up watching Bond on ABC Saturday night movies. So when I heard Connery was coming back as Bond I was incredibly excited, and me and my friends went to see it the first weekend. It was...Ok. Over the years the flaws of "Never Say Never Again" have become much more clear to me, not the least of which is it never SOUNDED like a bond movie. The cheesy theme song and odd jazz-riffs were out of place. And the director clearly had some cheeky moments he was WAY too attached to.
Yet within is a real Bond movie, and this edit brings it out in force. From the first PROPER through-the-barrel shot I was back in Bond-land. All the music hit perfectly. Fight scenes that inexplicably had NO music before now have tunes I recognize. The fight and chase scenes are tightened, and the overall pacing is much improved.
Never Say Never Again is now a movie I can enjoy on its own merits, without apologizing for it! My only request is could we get a better quality video? A couple of the scenes darken quite a bit.
I've been trying to figure out how to begin this review. I suppose I can start by saying Diamonds Are Forever might be my least favorite Bond movie, certainly my least favorite of the Connery Bonds and it always bothered me that it was Connery's last time in the role, officially. When Never Say Never Again came out, it just didn't feel right and that was mostly due to the music. But even as it was, it featured a great villain in Largo and two very very hot and memorable Bond Girls. To say that this version of the film is better than the original and easily replaces it in my collection is a huge huge understatement. You have raised this to the level, for me, of the very best of the Sean Connery 007 movies. It is far better than Thunderball, whose plot hinged greatly on the coincidence of Bond being at the same hospital as the pilot. It is much better than Diamonds Are Forever whose ridiculousness annoys the Hell out of me. I think it is better than You Only Live Twice and maybe even Dr No. I would honestly rank this version of this movie up among Goldfinger and From Russia With Love.
The music choices throughout are so damned perfect. "History Repeating" was such a brilliant choice for the opening. I always liked the song, but it fits so well with Connery repeating his most famous role. And though it doesn't entirely sound like a Bond theme.....it is Shirley Bassey. And then throughout the movie we are treated to something of a greatest hits discretely in the background, even including a very short snippet of one of my personal favorites "If There Was A Man" --not the Pretenders' vocal, but the instrumental. If I were to search for something to complain about, it would be very difficult. I might have to go all the way to the ending credits and say Aimee Mann's version of "Nobody Does It Better" does not segue quite perfectly with Carly Simon's, but that would be such a stupid thing to nitpick at. I suppose the picture in the very beginning is not perfect at times, I assume because you are cropping out credits by zooming in. Again, hardly worth mentioning.
Overall, fantastic. It is one of the most memorable Bond films. Kim Bassinger....OMG. I forgot how hot she was. And Fatima Blush was clearly ripped off entirely later in the Brosnon GoldenEye. Even the presence of Mr Bean didn't hurt this, as the humor was minimal and far superior to Mr Kidd and Mr Wint in Diamonds Are Forever. I very highly recommend this and honestly rank this version among the very best 007 movies. Extremely well done! So glad I got to see it!