Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bond is Bourne. Bourne is Transporter. Transporter is Rubbish.

I love movies but rarely go to the movies. Personal stuff about the dirty seats and creepy employees with flashlights. But, whenever a new Bond film comes out I do go see it. But maybe this too shall pass.

I just saw the newest Bourne. Or was it Bond? Or was it Transporter? Or was it Fast & Furious? They all seem the same.

You see, Quantum of Solace is not a James Bond movie. It is an action movie. Director Marc Forster and the writing triumvirate of Haggis, Purvis & Wade (which sounds like an undertaker firm) have created an action movie. Not Bond. Not even close. They have taken the bait of the flash in the pan confusing direction of Greengrass and his demented Bourne movies and applied it to Bond. While adding in some of the stone stoic ferocity of the Transporter series. 

Here are the reasons why I believe that Quantum of Solace is not a James Bond movie. Or book. Please, read the books and you'll understand the daftness, humor and luxury of the character. All elements lacking from the newest incarnations.

1. In Quantum, Bond actually is asked what he is drinking and he says he does not know. OK, Forster, you are taking it upon yourself to undo over 40 years of history. Play with the icons of the series. I can just hear his audicty, "You see, in every Bond movie people look forward to hearing Bond order his martini. But get this? In this movie, he will not only not order one. He won't even know what he is drinking. Because, now Bond is taking drink as medicine to ease his aching heart." Ugh.

2. Bond did not drop any Bon Mots in this film. The perfect time would have been when he disarmed the three MI6 agents in the elevator. Tossing a clever quip at his vanquished foes is Bond. It is what he does. He should not, on his Ahab like quest to kill his lover's killers unbecome the man he is.

3. No gadgets. I admit in the Moore movies the gadgets went too far. But again, this is Bond. In the opening scene it would have been cool to see close up shots of bullet proof glass in his Aston. Or some sort of listening device in his watch or cuff for the scene at the dock. Something. It does not have to be over the top. Just clever.

I could go on but it would make me mad. I think Forster needs to back off and watch say, On Her Majesty's Secret Service or the original Day of the Jackal(for its realism and pacing) to get back to a solid, realistic film with the Bond ingredients. Just like sweetbreads are not sweet and not bread. Quantum of Solace is not James Bond, 007.

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