Review: Okay. I saw it.
Should I leave it at that? After all, Bond-philes will have made up their own minds anyway and those who are not Bond-philes...why are you reading this?
Like a lot of Bond films, there are many things to praise but just as many things to shake one's head at and say, what the hell were they thinking?
The positive...first off, as always a very nice opening action sequence which gets you right into the movie but with a twist this time. It is actually like a long prologue to the movie, leading into the opening credit sequence which follows the traditional form but also helps bring the story a little further along.
Second, the give and take between M and Bond, also sharp and cold as always, Dench and Brosnan excel at this stuff. However, as it is Bond's anniversary, the filmmakers have decided to have some fun and let you spot reference after reference. I did pretty well with the obvious ones of Halle Berry doing the Ursula Andress bit from Dr. No to the less obvious of 'Diamonds Are For Ever-yone' line. But the one I didn't pick up on is so good I have to share it with you. The book picked up by Bond in Cuba along with the binoculars is "Birds of the West Indies". Doesn't seem like a reference until you know that when Ian Fleming went looking for a name for his agent he spied this book and noted that it was written by one James Bond.
You also get to enjoy John Cleese while playing spot the props from previous films.
I also loved the unique look of Zao (played by Rick Yune) with the diamonds embedded in his scarred face. A very menacing look and a suitable henchman to add to the 20 year history.
In the middle ground, Halle Berry. Neither great nor bad, she is a strong Bond female who can kick ass but can't get out of her own jam in an ice palace.
The weak bits...well, it is a formula so obviously there will be a turn-coat and believe me it easy to pick out who that turn-coat is. So that's a strike. But this next one is a debatable point.
Believability. I know, I know, Bond films stretch believability pretty far...but sometimes they ignore basic elements that just sort of get you shaking your head in wonder. From swimming underwater with no protective gear in Iceland to just running around in the snow and being unaffected. The water one is arguable as there is the possibility of the water being warmed from a tropical interior but then why is the ice not melting? Of course, you have to throw out these kinds of arguments alongside ones of 'how come everyone is sucked out the gaping hole in the plane towards the end of the movie?'
Just accept it, it's Bond, for the most part, it's fun and if you don't like Bond, don't go.
Now giving a score on a Bond film is a tough thing. I think I will stick with the very neutral 3 out of 5. Certain sequences I really liked but I won't be rushing back to check the film out again.
Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul
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