Where are the Bonds of yesteryear?

from Uinterview.com, 11/30/08

bondIn Quantum of Solace, James Bond is stripped of his credit cards, his passports, and his mission. Why didn’t they strip the name James Bond while they were at it? The creators of the most recent two Bond films have removed just about every vestige of the character I once knew. The high-tech gadgets are a thing of the past, as are Bond’s standard sidekicks, Q and Moneypenny (though Daniel Craig is lobbying for Q’s return). Bond’s bevy of willing women shrinks with each new installment. His only successful venture here is with the facile (in every sense of the word) Agent Fields (Gemma Arterton). The fiery, complicated Camille (Olga Kurylenko) is just the kind of woman with whom Bond should end the film locked in a passionate embrace. In Q of S [SPOILER ALERT] the girl just doesn’t give a damn.

Perhaps it’s because this Bond sorely lacks a sense of humor. Bond’s boss, M, claims that Bond is damaged by his lover’s betrayal in Casino Royale (this film picks up where that one left off). But Bond doesn’t mope about his lost love, nor does he allow it to affect his duty, which he performs with ruthless efficiency. Rather, it seems that the new Bond just isn’t any fun to begin with. He doesn’t flirt, crack jokes, or deliver deathblow one-liners. He embraces nihilism instead. “He wouldn’t care,” says Bond as he deposits a friend’s body in a dumpster. If Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace are supposed to show how Bond became the 007 we’ve all known for decades, then the next installment must send him back to college, where a British John Belushi schools him on how to take life a bit less seriously.

In the meantime, Bond breaks things, kills people, and gets blood everywhere with none of his predecessors’ joie de vivre. The fight and chase scenes are impressive, particularly the opera house melee in which Bond’s maneuvers are juxtaposed with battle scenes from Puccini’s opera, Tosca. But they burn up so much of the movie’s clock that little time is left for character or plot. Daniel Craig, Kurylenko, and Mathieu Amalric, who plays villain Dominic Greene, do an admirable job with the time and script they’re given, but that’s not much.

Anyone who hated Bond movies for their formula and escapism will undoubtedly appreciate the new installment. But when I want to feel depressed and nihilistic I can pick up a newspaper. For me, the real Bond inhabits an imaginary world in which government at its core is good, there’s always enough time for a romp and a martini, and women value witty comments over silly things like job security and emotional stability. And in the hour when I need him most, he is gone.

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1 comment so far

  1. James Mason on

    Olga is the hot gir of the moment right now with roles in all kind of movies. She is headlining the action movie Kirot.

    In the movie she plays a woman that is coerced into becoming a hit woman for a shadowy organization after being imprisoned for working as a prostitute.

    She escapes from her new employees and joins forces with an abused woman she encounters on the run. Together they embark on a campaign of revenge.

    Sound like the movie NIKITA to me but with olga and that makes it 100% better 🙂 and the original NIKITA movie is great!


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