- The Hot Chick
- Austin Powers 1&2 ("I want my babyback babyback babyback ribs")
- The Hangover ("Tigers don't like cinnamon")
- The Proposal
|Hal, 2001 |
(How do you fight logic?)
So we have another 007instalment.
Well, let me start by putting a number out there – 2 out of 5
All in all they’ve simply tried too hard and fallen flat. The film is a meagre 106mins, a featherweight compared to its predecessor and yet they clearly struggle to fill even this minimal time. Perhaps I expected too much of Casino Royale’s sequel but I cannot even say it was just your average action flick because clearly it wasn’t made in this spirit.
Many action sequences, Bond bread and butter, seem to be an afterthought and, having dissed traditional techniques in favour of recent overused practices scenes are reminiscent of the Bourne trilogy but lacking their seamlessness. These broken edits have been so overly cut, they’ve edited the soul from of the scene. Now I admit that Casino Royale set the bar high. The opening sequence remains a very enjoyable and well executed scene.
I thoroughly enjoyed the return to a couple of classic Bond staples. Firstly, the aptly named taken female (this time around we have Strawberry Fields) and secondly, her unfortunate demise. **SPOILER** I really loved the dichotomy of her crude-oil slicked form laid out across the crispness of white silk sheets. A beautiful shot!
And yet, the lead female leaves much to be desired (given that James doesn’t shag this one he clearly agreed). Where Casino Royale’s Vesper Lynd was a sassy ice maiden in need of a good thaw, QoS’s Camille, having suffered genuine abuse, is less the damsel in distress and more a young woman psychologically damaged. And the many (many!) unsolicited and unnecessary references to Vesper and the way she felt about Bond begin to grate early in the film. As the tally built up (along with the body count) my opinion exactly mirrored James’ terse expression with each reference i.e. would you stop bloody mentioning her?
Indeed for every good thing in this film, there are twice as many faults. Some are glaringly obvious – plot anyone? But my biggest criticism is that while the film attempts to tie up the loose ends left at Casino Royale’s conclusion, it never actually does so. We are still left in the dark on many issues. This is typified by the numerous red herrings the writers mistook for clever plot twists.
Bond pursues environmentalist Dominic Greene, whom we are lead to believe is in fact an eco-terrorist though it seems his worse crime is damming a small Bolivian’s town’s water supply. He’s elevating dictators only to fleece them but his scam lacks the desire for anarchy displayed by Elliott. Greene’s apathetic approach to his business affairs dilutes his claim to villainy.
He’s so indifferent you can’t really be intimidated by him. Bad as the Brosnan years were, at least 2morrow Never Dies’ Elliot Carver inspired chaos.
I must agree with Pajiba’s example of Bond as a blunt instrument. As a cold, methodical killer his dispatch of the ‘dead end’ on the balcony while calmly looking around to make sure he hasn’t been seen embodies this trait in our hero. Indeed the only saving grace in the film is Daniel Craig stellar second turn as 007. Branded with battle scars, determination burned into his expression, he gives an unforgiving performance which far outstrips others.
Though you may hope to enjoy a few hours suspended from reality you will in fact find dissatisfaction and more questions. Head to the dvd store and hire something else instead!
PS - When a Baz Luhrman flick (and starring the darling curse herself, Kidman) steals the thunder from an established franchise like Bond, you know something's not right.
I want to take a moment to lament the sad passing of Sydney Pollack – a legend and a great talent –and the ever so slow, yet progressive decline of Emma Watson’s acting ability.
Emma’s portrayal of Hermione in the first Harry Potter film was sharp and right on the mark. She embodied the character described so lovingly by JKR, a remarkable achievement for one so young. But perhaps, we gave credit to her too soon. As the film heptology progresses, Hermione’s speech becomes proportionally more clipped, breathy, even rushed. She takes these seemingly enormous pauses before delivery and it makes the whole scene stilted.
It’s acting by numbers and it really shits me.Frankly, she’s been overcoached and you can see it in every line, particularly in the latest instalment, Order of the Phoenix. She isn’t so much over-acting as over-thinking how to deliver her lines. In action sequences, she’s back on form, clearly having little need to over plan her performance.
Emma, you’ve got the gift. We’ve seen what you can be capable of. Simply have the confidence in your own ability and ignore what your dramatic tutor has drummed into you – they do you a disservice!!