Living Daylights: Who Do You Trust?, TheFeatured
Dalton, inspired by the novels, presents a colder, more cynical Bond. His approach to win the confidence of a beautiful woman behind the Cold War's Iron Curtain, reminds of Richard Burton's performance in the Spy Who Came In From The Cold.
Perhaps the filmmakers feared that changing Bond overnight from the suave, cheery gentleman to a cynical smoking alcoholic, would feel as jarring to the audience as dislocating your shoulder. Perhaps they were right to fill Dalton's first adventure with comedic moments. In hindsight, however, we know the audience responded just fine to the comparable transition from suave and jocular Pierce Brosnan to steely-eyed and cynical Daniel Craig.
- Mute off-screen Bond tapping Moneypenny's behind, cut Moneypenny sighing after Bond.
- Cut real milkman.
- Trim Q Branch: cut ghetto blaster, cut turning couch.
- Bond and Kara in tram: micro-trims for pacing.
- Bond with cello in toilet: micro-trim to reduce comedy.
- Bond / Kara in her apt: micro-trims to long pauzes in dialog for pacing.
- Begin car chase: cut "must be atmospheric anomaly".
- Cut cello bobsled chase!
- Tangier: cut Leiter's rooftop lookout and yacht.
- Mute/cut 2x Where Has Everybody Gone around Prater Cafe, copy Living Daylights tune from Hercules plane scene in its place.
- Cut several Dabo's swooning one-liners.
- Cut shot of Moroccan harem during Bond's rooftop escape. No plot relevance.
- Cut officer inspecting the heart-transplant container.
- Add establishing shot of heart from previous scene when Kara opens the container.
- Trim Bond and Kara in Soviet jail to reduce comedy.
- Replace Bond line "save for harem" with "come".
- Small trims when Bond and Kara are with Mujahideen, for pacing.
- Bond carries bag to truck: cut Necros stops Bond.
- Cut Dabo rides away from Afghans.
- Trim Afghans attack Russian base.
- Bag out of airplane: trim 1 cycle of Barry theme for pacing, mute/cut Necros "please, no".
- Cut Leiter lookout in Tangier.
- Cut Leiter.
- Small trims when Bond faces Whitaker, for pacing.
- Edit closing concert: remove bullet-hole in cello (using photoshop).
- End on applause at Kara's concert: cut Gogol, Afghans, Bond. I love General Gogol, but his appearance here didn't strengthen the film. No armed Mujahideen in Vienna, no Bond and M fawning over a cellist. Just a happy ending where for once our spies were able to do something nice for someone.
- Remove "Gogol" and "Felix Leiter" from end credits.
- Replace end credits song w Aha instrumental TLD.
Dalton although not quite marmite, is still a Bond that divides the fans. I think he would have a more regarded if he stayed till Goldeneye, but history played out differently. Anyway, I've always thought The Living Daylights was a massive improvement from the Moore films (especially the final few), but yet I also believe the Dalton films in general needed to be cut down quite a bit as they suffer from being too bloated and this is what this edit improves on. Much of the cheesy jokes that seem to have lingered on since the final Moore years are removed to further mark the change that this is a different Bond with a different style and I liked that. It feels as if Dalton is actually the real middle man to the Bronson years, but he shouldn't be simply be regarded as that since he carries off Bond's persona in a much more calculated way. He has the British charm that is neither Moore's early years or Bronson and he has holds that same British humour as a classic Connery.
As for the edit itself, I found that the pacing actually brought out both the narrative suspense and Dalton's Bond. The cuts are seamless and the audio is spot on. I thought the Necros fight scenes were quicker than usual and built the scene up, but I may be wrong. Whitaker's final scenes are definitely sped up. If I was going to watch a Dalton Bond film again then I would simply choose this edit over the original for the pacing in general. I also didn't think you could also make the introduction more of a jump scare than what it is, but you somehow managed it. Well done!
Lapis gives us more Dalton to enjoy with this fine tweeking of a timeless Bond adventure. I remember recording this in the spring of 1998 and watching it endlessly, Dalton is a masterclass as Bond. Many of the movie's overly comedic gags and loony set pieces are cut for this, many to great effect. Some scenes go by smoothly with the cuts (like in Q branch, the jail, and Whitaker), others (like the trimming of the Cello sled and the rooftop chase), while not jarring, seem incomplete and take the audience familiar with the movie by surprise (rooftop chase in particular because there is very strong background music playing which, either due to a happy accident or to Lapis' credit, is drowned out before the scene ends by gunfire so it's not too noticeable)
Any faults I point out here are mostly due to maintaining a feeling of immersion and being overly familiar with the movie. You might find new audiences who are indifferent or dont' mind the changes, you might not even notice any, and if you can, then that's Lapis' job done. I do recommend this edit.