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This is not your father’s Bond

Paul Peterson

Any reasonable reviewer will start off the piece with a dissertation on who was the best Bond ever. I’ve never laid claim to any level of reasonable but I will for the purposes of this review suggest that while Sean Connery was hands down the definitive Bond, and you can believe me because I’m always right and I never lie. Ok that was George Leroy Tirebiters campaign slogan for dogcatcher on Firesign Theatres Don’t Crush That Dwarf Hand Me the Pliers and has squat to do with this column, but you get the idea.
Daniel Craig has rewritten the Bond character. He has this manic energy, an almost palpable death wish and dead eyes. I also understand from several well placed sources that he’s a hotty.
Let’s fast forward thru that icky part.

Our story so far.
Bond is shot and presumed dead, the supposed fatal bullet the result of friendly fire ordered by M (Judy Dench) who is willing to sacrifice her #1 agent to get the bad guy. Bond falls off the train into the river and isn’t seen for a long enough period to give the appearance of having assumed room temperature.
However M is under fire
The bad guy had a list of all the M16 agents and is trying to use it to bring M down.
Any hero is only as good as his nemesis is evil, and Javier Bardem as the uber-evil Silva is the best Bond villain ever although Odd Job. was equally memorable.
I love Judy Dench.
She’s the ultimate strong woman and I think she’s totally sexy.
She has a bad history with Silva and he’s not trying to destroy the world, just one very uptight British control freak.
Bond is a lot of things, including loyal to a fault, and his path is to get her out of the thick of it.
At the end of the day it’s a Bond film. In fact, it’s the 23rd Bond film which I think might surpass the number of Police Academy sequels. This franchise grows stronger.

Director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) shows us the real Bond, or at least as much as we’ve ever seen of this cat.
Mendes won an Academy Award for Beauty and his steady hand and attention to the story arc pay off. We get lost in Bond’s story and while we know at the end of the day it’s just one really big chase movie, there’s a lot of character to sink your teeth into.
That was the best part for me. I like how loyal he is to M. She’s his girl and he’s not going to let anyone take her down. Oh, sure she was responsible for having him nearly killed, but hey it’s all part of the ride.
Bardem and Craig dance, and the steps mesmerize us. This is an action movie that allows its actors to set the tone, not the cars and gadgets.
It’s a grown up movie.
A little long, at 2:25, they could have picked up the pace but it doesn’t seem excessive. There’s that sense that you don’t want this film to end. The date maybe, but the film can stay. That slushie melted a long time ago.
Seriously, I usually rail against anything over 2 hours but Mendes paces this one just right.
It’s a remarkable achievement for a Bond film and I strongly recommend it. The obligatory special effects are clever and original and there’s the standard bevy of beauties but can they sing? Can they get you Row 10 tickets? Not likely.
At the end of the day, I liked Skyfall.
This is a new incarnation of Bond. I like him. He really is quite fetching in an I’ve-got-a-mancrush-on-you kind of way.
Probably shouldn’t have said that out loud, but hey, I’m in touch with my inner dude.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson

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