Saturday, 27 October 2012

Double O 7 1/2 out of 10

I have been won over by Daniel Craig after Skyfall. I remember a critic (Charles Spencer, I think) describing the shock of the new thuggish Bond rather brilliantly when reviewing his first outing in Casino Royale, something along the lines of:

"many of us prefer our Bonds to be able to save the world with a well-placed Bollinger cork in the workings of an atomic bomb, whilst smoking sobranie cigarettes and indulging in a lot of boisterous rogering; the new Bond behaves in the way you might expect of someone fighting in a pub car park in Dagenham at midnight".

I paraphrase, having failed to find the quote on google. But you get my drift.

Craig and the great Judi Dench have established a complex and extraordinary relationship which is the crux of this film. Indeed, the baddie is motivated completely by his own relationship with M, too. I'm not going to give anything away (indeed, when I went to a pre-release screening on Thursday evening, they confiscated our mobile phones!).

This is emphatically NOT 'the best bond film ever' (Mail on Sunday, and others). The plot is tissue thin (sorry, Rob, me old housemate at school, who has written this and the previous five or six films), and the set piece finale in the cardboard granite lodge incongruously plonked on a boggy moor near Glencoe didn't quite do it for me. Has ever so big a schloss had no outbuildings, no garden, not even a solitary tree? I think not. And I cringed when the (miscast Lancastrian Albert Finney) old gamekeeper and retainer hands Bond a twelve bore shotgun, saying 'of course we couldnae sell your faither's HUNTING RIFLE'.

The 007 and M show is brilliant, however, the camp baddie a witty throwback to the early films, and the girls, such as we see of them, luscious - but in truth, the Bond Girl for this movie is an actress called Judi Dench. This is good Bondage, well above average and Craig's best. Seven and a half out of ten. There is life in the old dog yet.

UPDATE: Idle has been corrected. It IS a rifle, an old Anderson Wheeler .500 Nitro Express. 'Hunting' with rifles is an Americanism, however.


Bill Quango MP said...

Went to a wedding where bond has his
Convalescence in casino royale.

Lots and lots of men bing photographed in their best tux with their fingers in their inside pocket ang greeting each other with " I've been expecting you, Mr .."

Me included.
Great great fun.

Nomad said...

So this review informs us that you are not Dr No.

More like Dr Maybe perhaps?

Thud said...

I like Bond as a stone killer...bravo

wildhighlander said...

Bond has always been a Jock in Black Tie. Connery and Daniels, (honourary jock'ney) - not officer bone structure.
Fettes, (Bond's public school), has turned out many a rogue and Bond has been true to type.
It was the 'pretty' Bond's that were just too English to succeed. Dashing down villans with a slap of their pinky.
Hero's should be bigger than life - not wetter.

Hospitable Scots Bachelor said...

Easily equal to Connery. Greatly looking forward to Craig's Skyfall. For the first time in a long time I don't think I shall wait for a Bond film to show up on T.V.

idle said...

wildhighlander, good to see you commenting here, opinionated as ever.

Are you attending the Day of Death this year? I am drinking milk and taking antacid pills in preparation..........

The Lakelander said...

Nobody likes a smartarse, but here goes...

Re: the "rifle", I thought the same at first.

Then there is a scene where James Bond tries out the rifle on two bottles, shooting one after another.

If it was a shotgun, you would not bother shooting at two bottles from that distance as they would both shatter at the same time.

I'm pretty certain that he was given a double rifle.

When he then broke the rifle, it looked like two long brass cases ejected, rather than empty cartridges.

As these are designed to drop animals the size of an elephant, I can only imagine that getting hit by one could seriously spoil your day!

idle said...

The Lakelander speaks the truth. Further investigation has revealed the piece to be an Anderson Wheeler .500 Nitro Express, and Idle must admit his mistake.

However, the old retainer says "HUNTING rifle", which is American.

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