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9.5 7 10
FanFix March 01, 2020 4682
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I've had a love/hate relationship with this film. It's not the best Bond, but it's the only one I owned on Laserdisc back in the day so I watched it often. I therefore watched this edit critically: with high expectations and great familiarity. The result was both rewarding and frustrating.

Rewarding because most of LastSurvivor's concepts are clear improvements to the story. Frustrating because the execution of those concepts, with the limitation of available material, results in narrative gaps. Not technically, the visual editing is flawless, but the flow of the story is jumpy. Although the cut bits were bad, their removal creates noticeable jumps.

Rewarding because most of the sound replacement work is unnoticeable. Frustrating because some of them are. I find the new song in the bar sounds like an overlay, intended for the viewer's ears instead of playing inside the space for the characters. A few times background music cuts too abruptly between shots. Not a hard cut, but still unexpectedly sudden.

One moment puzzles me: We open on Killifer with Sanchez, then the wedding where Killifer walks in, then back to Killifer with Sanchez. Is that wedding scene a flashback or is Sanchez being loaded so close to the wedding venue that Killifer can go back and forth?

The lasting takeaway from watching this edit is rewarding because many BIG narrative improvements work perfectly well. Top marks that Leiter dies (I have nothing against this Leiter, it just serves the story better) and the love triangle is removed. On the whole, this edit improves the frustrating story. Individually the improvements are solid, but collectively they remind me of "the whole is less than the sum of its parts".

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