Which I believe MI:Fallout touches upon quite well, with just enough depth to not cover it too obnoxiously.
I´m conflicted about this.
I liked the moment of Bond going to Vesper and sitting beside her under the falling water (although I still wonder what the finger sucking was all about - highly creepy, if Vesper allows Bond to metaphorically drink the blood from her fingers, highly disgusting if there actually was blood left).
But I would hesitate to use that kind of introspection again, now that “Bond has become Bond”. It takes away from the resilience I love in Bond.
Sure, I do want to see violence affecting him. Absolutely - this is what differentiates him from other action heroes. But it should always be just a small moment, not more.
In CR the scene with him alone in front of the mirror, washing off the blood from his wounds, wincing - that’s good because it shows him in pain… and getting over it.
But that’s not a new idea, of course. MOONRAKER already did it. With that superb moment after the centrifuge scene, with Bond visibly shaken and still barely able to move, brushing away Goodhead´s helping hand. Wonderfully written and acted.
It is and it isn’t, for me. If the “throwing away the gun and walking to the other side of the bridge, away from M” had not been so symbolic, I could easily see it as a “let’s not be rescued now”-ending. This way, however, Madeleine is clearly shown as Bond´s new life perspective, especially with Q asking “I thought you were gone” and Bond replying “There´s just one more thing…”
I respectfully disagree - I think the “Bond waiting for an assassin and then Paris enters”-moment in TND is done pretty well.
Also, all the talk about “the talent in the Craig era” for me is just hyperbole.
Creative talent has always been part of the films. Fantastic actors, directors, directors of photography etc. worked on Bond films from the start.
And while I enjoy Craig´s work as Bond a lot I do have to wonder: is he really more talented than all the other actors who came before him?
Not at all. Although he very publicly hesitated taking on Bond, being afraid of losing the opportunity to become an actor due to becoming a star (tied to one particular hero role), I would say that Craig actually is exactly that: an actor who is mainly adept at doing one thing. Just like all the other actors who preceded him as Bond.
This is not a put down at all. Doing one thing perfectly is a very rare quality in actors. Connery, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan and Craig can do what they do while others would miserably fail at it.
They have the talent to play Bond. But they are no acting chameleons. Nor do they need to be.
So far, I haven’t seen Craig do a role that really showed that he can be totally different. And while he looked and acted differently in a film like LOGAN LUCKY, he basically did what he always does (and does very well): intensity.
But that, for me, is not bigger or better than the elegant, amused nonchalance of Sir Roger. Or the sardonic macho swagger of Connery. Or the slow-burn anger and melancholic longing of Dalton. Or the self-confident arrogance of Brosnan.
I wonder if that really is a mass audience concern. In my experience it is much more about the need to cheer the good guy (in this case Bond) going against the bad guy and succeeding.
Of course, the idea of Great Britain being the (only) authority which can produce THE dragonslayer 007 felt already more amusing then authentic during the late 60´s or the 70´s at least. Therefore it was used more as a wink-wink gag (the Union Jack parachute, the parrot talking to Margaret Thatcher etc.). With the next months (and years) this will be an interesting aspect to address in future Bond films: the relevancy of a post-Brexit “Empire” for 007.
But I guess even then it will be treated as a given - and maybe that’s the way to go for 007.
Let’s face it: Bond is an anachronism, and he lives and acts in a fantasy world. So why not keep on pretending that all’s still well in his political universe?
Off topic, but I think this is the best death-trap sequence in the series. Where else does Bond look so visibly in danger and shaken up? Pretty good for an ‘over the top cartoon’. In comparison, 2006’s Casino Royale, which does depict a life threatening and painful situation involving rope, has Bond cracking jokes and laughing.
I think that scene clearly showed the difference of CraigBond: he still makes rough jokes (“I have an itch down there, do you mind?”) during torture and would not look out of place during a barroom brawl being the loudest and meanest brute.
Contrast that with ConneryBond strapped to Goldfinger´s table and the approaching laser. Or MooreBond about to lose a finger to TeeHee. DaltonBond maybe falling into that chipper-machine. Brosnan tortured by elektra.
I´m not comparing them to play favorites, by the way - just thinking about the small but deciding differences an actor’s personality brings to the role.
All true. However I’m more referring to a bleak situation in which Bond has barely any hope of survival with no humour elements at all. No opportunity for quips, or anything at all really. He’s strapped in and whizzing around faster and faster. Such a brilliantly tense sequence.
I agree, but I think the important aspect is quality, rather than frequency and duration. If it’s written, directed and acted well then it’s always going to add to our belief in the hero. If it’s a hack job (the Paris carver seduction) then it’s always going to weaken that belief.
I don’t think that Craig’s Bond has given many hack moments to grumble about. That’s mainly down to the acting and direction imo; the scripts have had moments which in lessor hands could’ve been incredibly cheesy and over ponderous.
Sorry if I wasn’t clear, but I was referring to that waiting scene as a good example of character work, whereas it’s the Dynasty-esque cheesetastic neck licking, stocking revealing, cliche uttering seduction that follows which is pretty much unwatchable.
Afterwards it’s a relief that she’s found dead so that we don’t have to suffer such cheese again.
I agree - Brosnan-neck-biting is… an acquired taste. But love scenes in general are problematic. Showing too little can feel too tentative, showing too much can become awkwardly choreographed - and really, isn’t Bond mostly of the kiss and fade off/camera move to the fireplace-variety, and rightly so?
By the way, for all of CraigBond´s most virile manliness he rarely has gotten a longer roll in the hay. Even with Vesper it was more of the blankets over everything-kind, quick to the next scene. Which is fine with me. But still, interesting. Then again, he had Vesper tearfully playing up his stud-status with the really cringeworthy “you’re more of a man in your little finger”-line.
Which for me is even worse than Brosnan´s Nosferatu-attack.
Little finger was a little weird
Agreed! The Bond Actors have in general been chosen perfectly over the years, in terms of range Dalton and Craig are about equal, In terms of comedy timing Connery and Moore also about equal, Brosnan’s Bond was a less relaxed creation he does shouty better than most but I always felt he was doing a pastiche of Moore and Connery, rather than tailoring something that was uniquely his but hey that was true if most art in the 90s.
Lazenby looked totally out of depth, ok for his movie but if he had continued I believe Bond wouldn’t have survived the 70s.
The Bond actor has to have the self confidence to know what they are best at and just be an extension of themselves. They need to appeal to both sexes, maybe, controversially why Daltons Bond wasn’t as successful financially as it should have been. His was less appealing to women men are more responsive to Dalton.
New world now Bond 7 needs to be someone possessing that self confidence and appeal to both male and female audiences, look good in a tux and crucially , can act at least one emotion REALLY well…
How much are the casting people getting paid ?!
I don’t know: my wife’s guilty pleasure is romance novels, and during Dalton’s tenure there was a definite spike in books with male heroes described as looking, talking and acting like Dalton. There was definitely a contingent of female authors out there who not only dug Dalton, but expected their readers to share that affinity.
Of course in my wife’s case, she didn’t care for him at all, so who knows.
Same here. My wife actually happily went to see a Bond film together with me when Brosnan took over.
When Craig came on board her interest waned again - just not her type.
When we were dating, I loaned my wife the entire Bond series (up to that time) on video as it was all new to her (except FYEO, which she saw in the theater as a kid and loved). Overall she was nonplussed, and in particular she mentioned she didn’t find any of the Bond actors particularly attractive. Assuming I appealed to her, I guess that means I’ll never be mistaken for James Bond.
Anyway, then came Brosnan, who she found “pretty” by objective standards but nothing to drool over, and Craig, who she thinks is as homely as a mud fence.
I think she sees the Bonds with me just out of a sense of wifely devotion. She tends to enjoy the entries that have a human element and emotional stakes, like OHMSS, CR and LTK, but in terms of eye candy, apparently there’s nothing there for her.
My wife always says she prefers Blofeld to any of them … Explains everything
This is an example of the “knife edge” I see successful Bond films existing on–a measured amount of realism combined with a measured amount of fantasy; add in a measured acknowledgement of cultural realities; then apply a measured amount of heroics mixed with a measured amount of skepticism of heroics. Top it all off with a commitment to being an assassin with a soupcon of realization of the cost of being in the assassin game.
It is a heady brew and when done correctly wonderful, but too much of any one one element throws the mixture off (which may well be to certain viewers’ liking). Bond films need to be committed to a reality that they are also willing to question. In cutural times such as now exist where partisanship is heightened, such a combination may not go down as smoothly as in the past.
For me, everything is always up for revision in the Bond film universe, so unless the point is hammered home (which I did not feel it was here), I believe anything can happen.
My experience is different. People do still cheer for the good guy, but they are also looking at how good and bad are defined. Also, this trend goes back to the 1950’s in Hollywood cinema, so it is not a recent occurrence, but it has gained steam in the last decade or so.
Following Dustin’s lead: I do not think being a dragon slayer is anachronistic. It is an open question of how many people want a movie to act as if it is still the 1960’s in terms of a political universe. They exist, but how large is their cohort?
I experienced the exact opposite with my wife and both of my adult daughters. They instantly preferred Craig to Brosnan.