Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bomb. James Bomb.


I'm glad I saw that movie in Oregon, so I only paid $6.25 for it.

You know, I like action packed, epic spectaculars as much as the next guy. I may be gay, but I dig the testosterone thing every once in a while. But I have a brain, too, and it remembers things. Things like scenes, plot twists and explosions that I've seen before. Often in other Bond movies.

I don't think there was an original thought in this movie. Let's see, we've got a one-eyed villain on a yacht who has a thing for cardgames. Is this movie an homage to earlier Bond films or to Austin Powers? Didn't they know the latter was successful because it traded in cliches and stereotypes everyone had seen so many times that they were instantly recognizable?

This was more like Frankenbond: a monster stitched together using the best parts of other movies, everything from True Lies to Die Hard to My Fair Lady to Master Frank's Dungeon Sluts Volume 3.

Okay, okay, Daniel Craig looks pretty damn good dripping wet in a bathing suit. And not bad buck naked tied to a seatless chair. (Fine, maybe we haven't seen that in a Bond movie before. But honestly, would you have wanted to?) I get that they were trying to break the Bond tradition a bit: upon arrival in the Bahamas he rents a Ford (shudder) and he doesn't care which way his martinis are made. Oooooh, rebel. But Bond should be slicker and more sophisticated than that. This guy's just a thug who looks good naked. You get the feeling that if he didn't work for the government he'd be one of the crooks, possibly entertaining evangelical ministers in hotel rooms on weekends for extra cash.

Eva Green? I'm sure she's a fine actress, but she's not a Bond girl. Sorry. She's pretty, in a Denny's waitress kind of way. The kind of girl you see behind the counter at Dairy Queen in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and think, "I hope she finds a way out of here someday." Her first appearance at the high-stakes poker game was less ravishing transformation then that kind of awkward sympathy you feel for a girl going to prom whose dress doesn't quite fit and whose make-up isn't quite right. She's pretty, but you wish she had some gay friends to help her with that.

And then I confess because of Craig's accent, I misheard her name. I thought it was Vespa. You know, like a scooter? All I could think was, "This is my confidential Italian secretary Alfa. Alfa Romeo." So I was just at a disadvantage to take her seriously.

Other kvetches: during the endless poker tournament, random eastern European undercover contact Mathis (no one remembers For Your Eyes Only, I guess) leans over and whispers to Vesper and says, "There's $14.5 million on the table." Ummm, she's an accountant for the British treasury. I'm pretty sure she can count. But of course, he's not really whispering to her, he's telling the lunkheads in the audience who are impressed by this figure.

The opening sequence: I guess that was an homage to Donkey Kong.

The Grand Canal in Venice is about twelve feet deep, and it's the color of antifreeze, only it smells worse and is probably more lethal. Vesper wouldn't have drowned in it, she'd have dissolved.

Terrible, terrible movie.


Matthew said...

"... random eastern European undercover contact Mathis (no one remembers For Your Eyes Only, I guess)..."

Not sure I followed this, but 1) there was no character named Mathis in FYEO (just checked the cast/character list on IMDB), and 2) even if there had been, of course no one in "Casino Royale" would have remembered him because, given that this new movie was a re-boot, FYEO wouldn't have happened yet.

Aside from that, I pretty much agree with your assessment of the film. I wouldn't trust Daniel Craig's Bond as far as I could throw him. The movie also felt too long at 2 1/2 hours. Some films can pull that off, but this one couldn't (how about trimming down that massively overlong card game?) And, they still can't get a good, memorable villain on board. Le Chiffre will probably be forgotten as quickly as... wait... what was I just talking about? And Mr. White? Um, ok...

Ah, for the Bond of old.

K-Lyn said...

I don't think there was an original thought in this movie.

You do know this is a remake, yes?

Andy said...

Matthew: I was referring to the Topol character.

K-Lyn: Well, that just makes my complaint redundant, doesn't it. Like I said, no. new. ideas.

Jess said...

So, um, you're saying we shouldn't go see it? :)

Okay, in that case, I'm staying home!

Mike B. said...

I was the only one of the geeks in town to not be overly impressed. Loved the opening sequence and title song, liked Craig as Bond, disliked how the plot managed to be contrived while not quite being escapist fun.

Rachel said...

Ha- it was the best Bond movie turned into chick movie ever. So, of course, I loved it!!! I thought he was cool and sexy, but I am so easily amused, really. I totally have to agree that I thought he kept calling her Vespa too!! And I have been living in England for 3 months now. HA HA! Loved your comments at any rate!! :)

Anthony said...

May I point out that the -er at the end of words is pronounced differently in Britain from the US? A Brit wouldn't differenciate between "Vesper" and "Vespa", unless, like me, he's a linguistic pedant and speaks the latter as an Italian word.

For your eyes only is, to my mind, the best of the Roger Moore films and the only one of his I have on DVD, so I know it well. That said, I have to agree with Mathis' comments being for the benefit of the slower members of the audience.

That said, I don't think it was anywhere near as bad a film as you make it out to be. You said nothing about Judi Dench, and she was superb.

Jade said...

Andy - part of the problem might be that it's a remake and you've seen the stuff that came after it. For an example... how many time have you heard "Go ahead... make my day" and rolled your eyes? It's such an old cliche now... yet when "Sudden Impact" first came out apparently it was quite the powerful line. My problem is... I didn't see "Sudden Impact" until after the line was over used, so when it came up in the movie I was thinking... man, this is so old.

Maybe this movie seemed too unoriginal to you because it's a remake of what came before the movies that you've already seen?

Jeff said...

Well, we just saw it and I thought it was great. This was a rawer James Bond (and a *rawr* one, at that).

As for original thoughts: not only was this a remake, it was based on a novel. The first James Bond novel, at that. And I agree with Jade.

As for "Vesper" - her business card said "Vesper Lynd" when she showed it to him, so that didn't confuse me.