Notice how Bond used to be the trendsetter but has spent the last few years (decades?!) playing catch-up?!? Moonraker was the first of this as it was clearly done to rip off Star Wars. But I've noticed that the Craig Bond's are, by far, the most grevious thieving magpies of the entire series. I'll explain....
The Brosnan Bonds decended into the usual Roger Moore assclown bullshit (invisible cars, ice palaces ect....) by the time Die Another Day came out. But between DAD and Casino Royale the first two Bourne movies were released.
Now, The Bourne Identity was a very good spy-thriller and reminded people that the genre wasn't about stupid gadgets being thrown around by a clothing model. It came out in 2002 and made Die Another Day (also released that year) look like a ridiculous piece of shit. It's clear that the Bond Producers (Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson) took a look at that when they started putting together Casino Royale. By 2004 The Bourne Supremacy had been put out but luckily Martin Campbell had returned to Direct Bond after helming Goldeneye which was my favorite of the series movie until CR. But most significantly you’ll notice that they hired Bourne Identity second unit Director Alexander Witt for the same job on CR while cutting down on the gadgets and going for a tougher, more “realistic” feel towards the action scene’s. This approach was a huge boon as it made CR feel fresh and helped to make it the best Bond movie IMHO.
But it helped that they were working from a good novel and had the right Director for the job because the biggest problem with the Bond series lately has been Neil Purvis and Robert Wade, Brocolli and Wilson’s in-house writers who have been scribbling the Bond movies since The World Is Not Enough. These two are the Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman of the Bond franchise. Their scripts are weak and have left a stink on every Bond project that they’ve been a part of with the exception of CR and I believe that’s because the quality of the book, Director Campbell and script polisher Paul Haggis ‘ contributions outweighed the shit produced by those two fucking script monkey’s.
The proof of this theory is Quantum of Solace which I will now refer to as Suckass. That movie is a horrid piece of shit. The first problem is nice again letting those two cocksuckers develop the script while Haggis returned for a polish, but you can make a turd shine. The second problem is that after Bond showing a strong emotional core in CR, Broccoli and Wilson made the mistake of hiring yet another HACK, Marc Forster, to Direct when he was only known for one films, 2001’s Monsters Ball, which won Halle Berry her Oscar. But that movie sucks shit and Forster has made nothing but fucking trash his whole worthless career. They just hired him to Direct the “dramatic scenes” while leaving the action to the second unit as had been the standard for most of the Bond movies. With Campbell the Producers got lucky with a Director who can do both action/suspense as well as good drama. Forster is incompetent at both.
So hiring Forster on top of Purvis and Wade just compounded every problem. But even worse is that you can tell exactly what the Producers were doing. Broccoli and Wilson have a tendency to revert the Bond franchise back into the same old mold every time. Look at the Brosnan era; Goldeneye was the first Bond without Barbara’s father, Albert R. Broccoli who died in 1996, who Produced every Bond from the very first film back in 1962. I get the feeling that, as it was their first solo Bond, Barbara and Michael G. Wilson (step-son of Albert, half-brother of Barbara) took extra special care on Goldeneye which is why that movie was an extremely well-crafted action-thriller. But soon after the wheels started to come off and by the fourth Brosnan film they were back in Roger Moore territory as previously mentioned.
This is why they re-booted Bond and although I adore Casino Royale, it’s a shame that the films development wasn’t organic and rather a by-product of the success of the Bourne films. But with Suckass they reverted back to type in only the second film while also aping the Paul Greengrass Bourne movies. The script for Suckass was fucking terrible, as per usual from Purvis and Wade, but even worst than that, on Suckass they hired Greengrass’ second unit Director from his Bourne flicks, Dan Bradly (who apparently played Jason Voorhees on the first day of shooting Friday the 13th part 6!), and this outright plagiarism extended to that goddamn motherfucking headache inducing shaky cam approach which made the Bourne sequels all but impossible to watch. Suckass was trash, end of fucking story.
Which now brings us to Skyfall. It’s clear that Same Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, fucking Kate Winslet!) was once again hired to do the “dramatic” stuff while the second unit took care of the action business with Alexander Witt returning for the PEW-PEW-PEW-KABOOM! But from minute one it was clear that Mendes and the Producers intent was not to rip-off the Bourne movies as it was to Xerox Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, specifically The Dark Knight.
I knew this going in but I wasn’t prepared for how much wallowing this movie was going to be doing into the dark recesses of the human soul or some such bullshit that Mendes wanted to convey in his grade school psychological exploration of a fictional character who became famous for his globetrotting, woman fucking and bad guy killing exploits that have been reincarnated several times over. Bond is a fantasy character. He became famous with the Connery films because of it was a Playboy magazine come to life. Exotic locations, hot bitches and licensed to murder, who doesn’t dream of such things?!? *cough*
The point is that there is a serious fallacy of trying to do a psyche assessment of a character who isn’t a “hero” and is in fact a vicious, cold-blooded killer. Because that is what Bond would be in the real world. Batman has always been a vigilante and what Nolan did was return him to the moral ambiguity that was always at the heart of Bruce Wayne. But if Mendes was to do a proper representation of a “realistic” Bond then it would have to deal with a man who works as a secret agent, not for Queen and country, but because he gets to travel the world with an expense account, is permitted to seduce and destroy hot women when not indulging in stress relieving murder.
A Bond movie that has the character come to terms with being a sociopath and the fact that he enjoys it would be something interesting. But that wouldn’t wash with the producers who just want a simple “good vs. evil” story while the details of Skyfall have been lifted wholesale from a dozen different sources; the ex-agent with a grudge – Goldeneye; the stolen spy records – Mission: Impossible (1996); crazy disfigured villain who allows himself to be caught as part of his plan – The Dark Knight; along with an “over-the-hill” Bond coming to terms with his own mortality while dealing with young newcomers Q and Moneypenny and his relationship with mother figure M. We’ve seen all of this shit before in many, many other movies and there’s nothing new to any of it although it sure does look purdy due to Roger Deakins photography. But a psychological case study is not what I wanted and Skyfall is as trite as I expected a Same Mendes Bond movie to be. Great action films can be dramatically satisfying but Skyfall comes off as just dull. This feels like two separate movies (character study/action) molded into one when it should have been a solid suspense-thriller that revealed character through the narrative as opposed to bashing everyone over the head with how “deep” it is before throwing yet another by-the-numbers action scene at the audience to wake them the fuck up.
And now Bond is at yet another crossroad where it appears that this franchise will once again revert back to type with Q, Moneypenny and a male M in place before a cat stroking villain makes an appearance no doubt.
Yawn, James Yawn zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………………..
This will be my last post for a while until I'm back in Jan after my stress relieving trip.