Wednesday 31 August 2011

Shu of the South Star White Heron Fist - what will you witness in the end of this century!?

The World Is Not Enough is a good spy caper, but a rubbish Bond film. It's too much about Bond's feelings rather than Bond's doings, and for some reason drags M into the emo nonsense. The action scenes feel a little flat this time around, too, and the best indicator that things aren't firing on all cylinders is probably that the story is about someone restoring the power and influence of their feudal-era heritage and the name of the movie is the Bond family motto (as established in On Her Majesty's Secret Service), yet while these two elements could be organically worked into a conversation to drop the name of the film into the actual script, instead we get Bond simply saying that "the world is not enough" of a payoff to convince him to turn traitor. Oh, and this scene takes place in the city of Istanbul, which lies in lands conquered by Alexander the Great whose epitaph reads "A tomb now suffices him for whom the world was not enough." i think they could have worked something in there given a few minutes of thought, but what's done is done. It's okay, but forgettable.
I didn't think much of Die Another Day at the time thanks largely to negative word of mouth and a damnably awful Madonna theme that I got stuck listening to at work far too often and couldn't face having to sit through without access to a fast forward button, so DAD became the first Bond film I never saw in the cinema. Time has not revised the opinion I formed upon viewing it on local telly when it finally appeared - it's dumb in a bad way. The CGI doesn't help things too much, either, though I'll concede that there's only so many ways to realise someone out-surfing an orbital death laser and none of them are particularly convincing as visuals, probably. Hally Berry is a bit lifeless as Jinx, and Rosamund Pike's not great either, though there's probably few people alive that can give a good reading to lines like "It really is DEATH FOR BREAKFAST!" The villain needing a Power Ranger armor upgrade is also a bit weak as a conceit given he's portrayed from his first appearance as a deadly martial artist and marksman, but I guess what's one more crazy notion on top of invisible cars and orbital death rays? The escape from the burning plane is really badly done, too, but what sticks out is that yet again it's a 'Bond seeks revenge" tale when that's not only been done to death in the franchise already, it's always ended in the same way - Bond knowing revenge gains him nothing. And yet he goes after it yet again? No sale.
It passed the time, I guess, but it's a lacklustre final outing for the character given Casino Royale was a reboot.

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