Monday, November 17, 2008

Quantum of Solipsism

Diamonds are Forever, 1971, was Sean Connery's last 007 film. He starred in Zardoz in 1974, when posing pouches were still acceptable hero...uhhm... attire...and then Baldrick came around and posing pouches seperated themselves from herowear.

So, Daniel Craig! Be forewarned! The drop from 007 formal ware to Clothing by Baldrick (sorry, the only polite pic I could scrounge up) is precipitous and sudden. Not that, from the general glee I heard in the theatre this past weekend, your female fans would protest. But, fully clothed (mostly), with your intensity at full stoke and your life-crushing skills at their coldest, you, sir, are indeed the best version of James Bond for our times. Perhaps, even for all times. Sean Connery's lock on the 007 title is loosening and, if you go on to do 4-5 additional Bond movies, it may need to be relinquished. Your enemies just need to come up with more deserving villains! From "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" to "Quantum of Solace", Mathieu Amalric just doesn't cut it. I mean, what was he going to do to you? Stare you to death. I love his other work, but villainy of the 007 Black/White kind? Nah, he's too sophisticated and subtle to be carrying our dirty deeds. True, he can be malevolent, but such multi-sylabbic words should never be associated with a Bodn villain. Evil! Cruel! Those are words we like for our 007 contrapoints.

Casino Royale, Craig's first Bond venture, was a superior film. It had to be, since the choice of Craig, a fabulous actor, was a gamble. Not to denigrate Quantum of Solace, but it's one thing to have your hero destroy buildings in Venice and quite another to be destroying a Super 8 Motel in some desert. As a movie exploring the inner thoughts of our hero (and Mr. Craig seems to be cup-runneth-over with inner thoughts), the movie does well, considering the baggage this genre carries. There are references to previous Bond's specifically the oil-infused and coated death of one of 007's lovers, dove-tailing with the gold-finished death of one of Mr. Connery's between-the-action trysts. So, a connection is still maintained from Bonds of old. As usual, for the couch-bound appreciative audience, Mr. Bond does a lot of globe-hopping allowing us to experience the underbelly of each country without getting our own throats cut or uncomfortably squeezed. You have your usual Keystone Kops characters, in this case played by the entire Bolivian police force. Bond's guns, always possessing the secrets of the Magic Bullet, as usual kill 5-10 baddies with each shot.
My only regret was that more of the action didn't take place in northern Italy. Waht a beautiful part of the world for fast, furious, and deadly mayhem.

Oh well, there's always next time, when we may go further into the mystery that is Daniel Craig, Agent 007.

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Comments:
I know it's just a re-hash of Thunderball, but still: isn't Never Say Never Again technically Connery's last 007 movie? At least until the next one? His choice of overalls in that movie was probably in response to the picture you posted.
 
WP, you are correct! I should have perused this list all the way to the end! Darn, this ruins my Zardoz suit claim and its eventual filling thereof by Mr. Craig.
 
Hm, the jury is still out on Never Say Never Again, given the fact that it lack all the usual Bond-appendages such as Q and M ;)

But I very much agree with your assesment of the latest Bond flick (claps hands in excitement).

I especially love the way Craig (or the scriptwriter) is buildind Bond's charater up to Connery's impersonation. Little or no quips and one liners, shaken or stirred for the first time, no bond-james-bond and the telling placement of gun-barrel scene are all a plus in this particular installment of Adventures of 007
 
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