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9.9 9 10
FanFix August 27, 2022 1549
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The “Death To Spies” edit is a very enjoyable viewing experience. It drags “The Living Daylights” (almost) right out of the lingering Roger Moore era mindset and makes it a more unapologetically Timothy Dalton Bond movie. Alterations are well chosen and well executed.

Here’s a few thoughts I recall after watching…

Cutting Bond landing on the yacht in the pre-titles does jar a little, not because it isn’t well done, but because it means that throughout his whole introductory sequence, the new Bond never speaks. It felt odd to be into the title song and he hasn’t said a word. [Maybe Bond casually remarking “007 here, report in one hour” might fit over the ship and parachute shots that now end the scene? “Bond, James Bond” is still lost, but at least he would introduce himself in some way.]

Messing with the Binder titles must be a slippery slope, as IMO they are often so goofy where do you stop?! But changes are well done on this edit, although personally I always liked the final shot of girl in champagne glass, even if it does wobble a bit!

Lots of silliness is removed from the movie, and to good effect. Perhaps this could have gone even further? Lasering the police car is removed, that is certainly a Roger Moore gag, but IMO cutting a circle in the ice and the police car sinking should be removed too, this is also a pretty silly gag. The scene could go from the tyre shredding straight to Bond activating outrigger and spikes.

Overall, edits are beautifully done, and the movie is an easy watch. I could nitpick a couple of points, I suppose.
There is a slight remnant on the soundtrack of Kamran’s arrival at the concert. This was presumably not possible to work around. However, the end credits song fades out a couple of seconds early and leaves an unresolved feel, this is more of a problem IMO. Maybe it’s because I listen to the soundtrack albums often, but the loss of the very end of the track really bugged me. I could knock a star off for that alone… but I won’t! :-)

A highly recommended edit, any fan of Dalton’s Bond will find this well worth their time.

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