Tuesday, November 25, 2008

If you don't know his name by now, you've clearly been living in a cellar.

Look at those faces. No one's having any fun. The 22nd Bond flick is the Bond-without-funny-business Bond. How little funny business? The villain's name is Dominic Greene. The Bond-Girl's name is Camille. See a pattern? Any time now, Bond's going to announce his resignation from MI6 and decision to become a real estate agent rather than a secret agent.

Seriously, though. Quantum of Solace (and I repeat my previously stated opinion on the title and the lack of revision it should experienced) is continuing the pattern of stripped-down Bond that Casino Royale started. The stupid dialogue is gone. This Bond is a bit less interested in sex and more capable of killing someone with his bare hands or a box of paperclips.

Roger Ebert lamented the lack of colorful villain, colorful Bond-Girl name, and the traditional "Bond, James Bond" line. How many times does a line have to be repeated? If you don't know his name after 22 films, then perhaps it's necessary to have your hand held as you walk across a parking lot. We know his name, but we'd like to move onto the action.

What does this movie have? Quite a lot of action, a female lead who doesn't sleep with dear James (shocker!), a fantastic sequence involving many martinis and a bartender saving us all from cliche, a CIA agent who wants so badly to be Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson's War but can't come near Phillip's brilliance, and an interesting closing sequence that brings up questions about Canadian Intelligence (??).

It's a bit lacking in story, but for the second time, a Bond film has distanced itself from the tired cliches that have dragged it down for the last several years. Some people, such as Ebert, mourn that loss, but I celebrate it. I think if the Bond franchise is going to survived the next decade, it needs to shed some of the expected turns and surprise us with its originality.

Sadly, evil villains with henchmen in matching jumpsuits isn't particularly original anymore. Breaks my heart, but I suppose I'll live with an environmentalist gone bad.

Let's hope the 23rd Bond film gives Bond a reason to smile on the poster.

3 comments:

  1. Bond girl doesn't sleep with Bond? What kind of Bond movie is this!?

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  2. I know! Crazy! Granted, he slept w/ Agent Fields (Gemma Arterton), who took the "sexy woman who dies or turns out to be bad" role.

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  3. oh, well at least he went to bed with someone...

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