Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Broccoli: Good for Bond, Too
Eef - talk about the madness of crowds: what's so awful about bringing in Daniel Craig as the new James Bond? And what, exactly, was so great about Pierce Brosnan's Bond? Watching Brosnan, I could never quite shake the feeling that he was still searching for the right note to play. I remember enjoying Goldeneye, chiefly because the final fight sequence had a measured weight to it, unlike so many of the other cartoony sequences the franchise resorts to. After that, the Brosnan-Bonds blur together. I've seen them all, and yet when I'm told the total number of Brosnan-Bond films is four, I'm surprised: I would have said three. I guess dozing off during the last 30 minutes of Die Another Day must have erased the film from memory.
It's not that I think Brosnan is a bad actor. Far from it: his Andy Osnard in The Tailor of Panama is the pitch-perfect Brosnan vehicle. He plays off his eternally good looks, has charm, demonstrates ruthlessness, but oozes with an outright sleaziness that says this man should in no way be trusted. And while I've not yet seen it, I'm guessing his turn in The Matador is similarly excellent.
But his Bond didn't seem quite capable of taking anything personally, even torture at the hands of North Korea and (gasp! no, anything but this!) a theme-song by Madonna. His Bond is the video-game Bond, who manages to outrun machine-gun fire and deliver Bugs Bunny one-liners with a badly-animated wink.
As for Craig, I couldn't make heads or tails out of L4YER CAKE, but when he finally made up his mind to do something nasty, I believed it. Now we're being told this Bond is an "art haus" Bond. I'm all for it. In fact, for the first time since I was old enough to go to movies by myself, I'm actually excited at the prospect of a new Bond.