Thursday, August 17, 2006

MOVIES: The Man Who Will Be Bond

Why do some Bond fans have it out for Daniel Craig? He had a creepy performance as a psychotic Mafioso in Road to Perdition, he played an archeologist, Indiana Jones lite, in the first Tomb Raider and most recently he played a Moussad agent in Munich and a drug dealer in Layer Cake. This role is supposedly what inspired producer Broccoli to hand over the mantle of 007 to Craig. I was reading in my Entertainment Weekly about the Fall Movie Preview and I've been getting really excited about James Bond and the new look and I see that those radical Bond fans were mentioned slamming Daniel Craig. Having seen Layer Cake, Munich and Road to Perdition I felt that Daniel Craig had the acting chops, the darkness, the coldness and the tough mettle to push Bond into a new era. Apparently they didn't have a problem with any of these things they just kept coming back to his hair. Yes these completely ignorant morons have only one problem with the new Bond-- his blond hair.

Now I understand that fans out there have doubts about a movie when it comes to their favorite hero. For instance I was very vocal about how much I thought X-Men 3 was going to suck because of the vast differences from the original comic. I saw the movie and my complaint is still valid, but I don't give a shit if, say, Wolverine's hair is Blond, as long as the guy they got to play him understands the role and makes me believe it, who cares. The same goes for Bond, personally I think that the series has been going down the toilet for the last twenty or thirty years. I was never a big fan of Roger Moore. I thought Lazenby was a lightweight. Timothy Dalton is a good actor but he was almost too much for Bond, plus I felt that his scripts were not as good as they could have been. Then you have Pierce Brosnan, who I felt was a decent Bond, far superior to Lazenby or Moore but he was missing something that I believe Craig has--toughness.

I was re-watching Die Another Day and then Dr. No back to back, it was interesting to see the two different styles of Bond. Brosnan's Bond is very nimble and energetic; he isn't a physical presence as he is a thinking one. He is cold and of course he has a way with the ladies, but I did find myself struggling to believe that this guy could endure all of that torture. (In the beginning of Die Another Day--Scorpions.) He seemed so effeminate that it was hard to take him seriously as a 00 agent with a license to kill. I was seeing him in a different light and the only reason I think I was questioning the man's, machismo, is because I was already picturing Daniel Craig as the new Bond with those piercing Blue eyes and damn, I was thinking this Scot could kick the shit out of that Irishman. Of course it all comes back to Connery, a fellow Scot, in Dr. No; Bond doesn't take shit from anybody. He'll slap a girl around if he felt she wasn't on the level with him. He killed that Professor in cold blood saying very smoothly after the Doc shot all of his rounds into an unsuspecting pillow. "That's a Smith and Wesson and you've had you're six." Best bad ass line in any movie now or ever. Now if Pierce were to say that line, I don't know, I don't think I'd buy it. Now picture Daniel Craig saying it... Badass.

This is a great time for a revamp of Bond after the Austin Power movies pointed out the silliness of Bond and the Bourne Identity series which revealed how formulaic and unreal 007 had become. I think it's time to take Bond back to the roots of the books. It's tough without the Cold War as a backdrop but I think it can be done. They are taking all the right steps Casino Royale was written by Oscar winning screenwriter Paul Haggis(Crash and Million Dollar Baby) and directed by Martin Campbell who successfully directed Goldeneye which I think is the best of the Brosnan years. It's time to strip away all the stupid gadgets and Schumakeresque scenery chewing villains. So give Craig a break, let him prove to everyone why his Bond may be the best 007 since Connery. It's time to get back to what makes James Bond more than just a suave super spy, but a cold, sometimes merciless killer who does what he has to do for Queen and country.

Casino Royale debuts in theatres November 17.

1 comment:

Speck said...

I think the new Bond looks awesome.

considering there has been no good Bond movie since Goldeneye...we need one.