Welcome to another troll column. Enjoy.
You know? I’m a simple cow, who likes to eat Cheetos Puffs, masticate lettuce and rocket salads and shoot Ettins with buckshot, so when I see the words “James Bond”, I expect my suspension of disbelief to be offended, feminists burning bras and sexy songs.
As you can guess, I haven’t enjoyed Bond since Madonna raped our ears with her “music” on 2002’s Bismuth-on-a-shit-stick, Die Another Day, a movie that failed because:
- Halle Berry can’t act
- Pierce Brosnan was asleep at the wheel
- It tried to be as edgy as Vin Diesel‘s XXX (nice example to follow, Broccolis).
So I was wary when I sat down to see Casino Royale (with cheese). And justifiably so. The film was not James Bond. It was Jason Bourne meets Generic BBC spy thriller. It basically did the same mistake that Die Another Day did: copy another franchise. Sorry Daniel Craig, you ain’t no Matt Damon (MAAATT DA-MOOOON!)
A few years later, Quantum of Solace happens. And although that Ukranian girl makes me go superwahwahweewah, the movie still was a mess, with problems exacerbated by the scriptwriters’ strike. Also, Gemma Atherton gets killed and that sucks spoiled milk. Oh, shit, spoiler alert.
So, was Blond Bond gone? It seemed so, as the economic problems of several studios involved seemed to have more success where S.P.E.C.T.R.E. failed.
Then, it happened… Christopher Nolan made Batman 2: The Dark Knight Boogaloo, which was dark and pessimistic and sporting a villain with a very convoluted plan that needed everything to work in perfect order, even if it meant contradicting his “put some chaos into the system” belief. Still, Nolan made mucho moolah. Everyone rant and raved about Gary Oldman‘s moustache (I would). Taking a cue from said facial hair, the Bond team reconvened, had mead, pasted a couple of pubes on James Bond and created Skyfall.
The theme tune came courtesy of Adele, and I’m conflicted about this. In a good day, she looks and sings amazingly. In a bad day, her hair looks like an ostrich tied up and her voice still is amazing. Storyline? It stinks! Oh, yeah. So the film (or you may say…movie?) starts quite well, with more action and… wait a frickin’ moment. Where’s the gunsight sequence? This ain’t kosher! No gunbarrel sequence, no love from me and my homies.
Oh, vicarious vicissitude of vicious vile villagers, woe is me! So the movie (downgraded from film) starts with quite the cold opening (Bond wounded in the water, you know, like the beginning of The Bourne Identity – ZING!) and some time passes, M looks forlorn, pets her little Churchill figurine (oh, yeshh!) and a lot of yakkety stuff happens. I dunno, I was eating popcorn. My popcorn was more interesting than this flick (downgraded from movie).
Why so? Because…it’s a non-event. The stakes are as low as the low hanging fruit I’ve met through Plenty of Fish and although critics say this is a “personal film”, well, that might be, but it’s no Bond. Call it “Spy Drama about a wet behind the ears agent” but not James Bond. Bond is about grandiosity, shagging stupidly gorgeous women with terrible character names and saving the world via blowingtheshitality, spiced up with some ludicrous stunts and quips.
Skyfall, on the other hoof, has a still wet behind the ears Bond (seriously, why even give The 40 Year Old Rookie missions?) that seems as able at spying as an undergraduate is able to stay sober during one of them Carnage drinkathons.
And the villain? Fuck me, Bardem is chewing the scenery like a bad 1980s Doctor Who villain. He makes Travolta‘s Castor Troy look underperformed. He is two “not the bees!” moments from trumping Nicolas Cage. He makes a blunt rock to the head feel like the caress of a sweet woman. Bardem, ladies and germs, is acting like shit. Worse of all, he’s so camp, Chris Tucker in The 5th Element looks like Ah-nuld. Never did I feel that Bardem‘s pinky swearing thug was an actual villain, he was just a guy who dipped his head in a peroxide vat and came out speaking like some posh Toreador from Coruña.
(WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. I’m ruining the film…well, no, just finishing the job)
We get some sorta decent action in the last half of the film, with McGyver style traps (hey, Macaulay Culkin is stuntdoubling for Craig) and some pretty nifty visuals (love the Scotland panoramas) and we have this big ass ending in a church (copied from 2007’s Ghost Rider – of course!) and then… James Fucking Blond fails his mission and M kicks the bucket via a stray convenient plot device.
So Bond loses. Sorta. Kinda. Y’see, the flick does something sort of messed up (plot wise) and we end up with a film saying it’s new and fresh while falling back into old territory. No longer do we have a fierce, independent woman in charge (who is basically reduced to a walking target in this film), no, we end up with fucking Voldemort as M, Moneypenny on “please shag me now!” mode and a wispy-moustache Q. Und keine eier.
And the worst sin this non-Bourne wannabe commits is killing that totoooooing Bérénice Marlohe. And that callous remark CraigListBlond does? Urgh. URGH I SAID. Never has the franchise has been as despicable as to have our Thug With a Martini (TM) callously remark that a fallen glass of peaty piss (that’s Scotch whisky for ya) is more of loss than a woman getting killed by a convenient plot device to the stomach. Never. Even Mr. “It’s okay to slap women” Connery felt bad after Shirley Eaton gets covered in gold, like an expensive Ferrero Rocher.
(Here endeth SPOILERS. Continue reading my claptrap)
I do have one question to the plot: what are exactly Dame Judi Dench M‘s sins that the other M‘s haven’t done? Why Judi Dench becomes Judi Wench? It’s a government agency, not the fucking Samaritans, of course people are going to be left behind. There’s another agency that deals in missions that are of high difficult (almost impossible, you might say) and they clearly disavow any agent that meets the business end of Death. Why, oh why then does Javier Bardem has such a nasty streak towards M? Is it the oxygenated toupee leaching poisonous peroxide into his brain? Is it the hammy acting? Is it the ridiculous-as-The-Joker‘s-plan that the idiot made to kill everyone messing up with his moral barometer?
The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind. And it’s also in the fact that this is a film with an identity crisis: it tries so hard to be “real and gritty” like Casino Royale mit cheese and Quantum Leap of Solace while still trying to appease the old school fans with a lot of “Look! Look! It all fits in the established canon!! Wink wink!” moments, not the least one introducing back Ms. Moneypenny in a moment so cringe inducing it makes that “Miss you I will, Chewbacca” moment from Episode III look well written. No, Sam Mendes, NO. This is what happens when you stop shagging Kate Winslet: your quality goes down.
And what the fuck happened to Kate Winslet? She’s so fucking thin, Twiggy is giving her hand me downs! Babe, call me. No, actually, don’t, because you’ve restrain-ordered me and I don’t want to give the cozzers probable cause.
My name is Orestes “P. is for pHater” Xistos and this was my rant. If you don’t like it, go watch Diamonds are forever, Goldeneye or The Spy who loved me. Or if you want a Spy Film that is realistic and has a good introspective moment, go watch The Bourne Supremacy. All about that confession scene.
Words simmered in vitriol: Orestes P. Xistos.