read the James Bond books before the first film, Dr. No, and had a
vision of Bond, which was as Brosnan looks (which resembles Ian
Fleming, whose picture was on all the books I read). The first
time I saw Sean Connery I thought he was all wrong, but grew to be a
huge fan. The movies were as formulaic as the books.
Bond was suave, debonair, and tough.
The villains were monstrous egomaniacs out to conquer the
world; the endings were all apocalyptic (for the bad guy).
The first films, Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger,
were well written and clever.
Connery hung up his double-O status and Roger Moore took over, the
films changed from pretty good scripts to lots and lots of special
effects. The movies got worse as the action increased.
Considering the deterioration of the quality of the films and
the fact that I havenít been a big fan of Brosnan as Bond, I
wasnít looking forward to this film.
Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised.
it still opens up with ludicrous special effects.
But after about 15 minutes, when Bond returns to civilization,
the script picks up. There
arenít many special effects in the middle hour plus. Brosnan is more
like Flemingís (and Conneryís) Bond, more likeable and less
arrogant than heís been in the past. The bad guy, Gustav Graves
(Toby Stephens), is comparable to Dr. No and Goldfinger.
Heís bad. The
women, Jinx (Halle Berry) and Miranda Frost (Rosamand Pike) are
gorgeous (especially Pike). And
a wonderful addition is the incomparable John Cleese as Q, the man in
charge of all Bondís gadgets.
storyís OK. Iím not
going into any detail because all Bond stories are the same with just
different names. I generally donít try to figure out how and why the bad guy
is doing what heís doing, and thatís the same here. Whatís different here is that the script is actually pretty
good if you ignore the first 15 minutes and last 20 minutes of special
like short movies. This
one runs over 2 hours. Although
I was fidgeting quite a bit during the first 15 minutes, after that my
attention didnít wane even though the ending special effects are
preposterous and far too long. This
is the first James Bond film in a long time that I found entertaining.