In Conclusion:The James Bond Series Part 1

 

“In Conclusion” is a segment on here that revolves around taking different film series and comparing each film. The idea is to countdown the best of each film and give a critique on them without giving any spoilers. The first edition is a split up series entitled, “In Conclusion:The James Bond Series” revolving around everybody’s favorite English Secret Agent from England, James Bond 007 of Her Majesty’s Secret Service. This is divided into several parts because its a combined 32 pages according to openoffice…yeah I don’t think you guys want to read that in one shot so here is Part 1. I will note for the sake of the non-viewers of these films that I will not give any spoilers to the best of my ability, although knowing me I will slip once or twice.

If I do feel free to point it out and troll my comment box with your “observation”. For those who have a life, feel free to debate and banter as I count down this list. Starting with #22 of the EON Bond Series…

 
22.

People rag on Quantum of Solace but this one is far, far worse. This ends up being Pierce Brosnan’s last Bond film and the last of the original series before EON said, “Forget this” and hit the “restart” button on the series. Its odd how much this is a like A View to a Kill on terms of what happens. Brosnan, like Moore starts off fine in this movie but as it progresses he just gets worse…just like the rest of this movie. I think the issue was that this starts off as a serious, dark story but then turns into a typical EON screw-up where they think they need dumb jokes, unnecessary characters, and pointless special effects.

This uses the “triangle of evil” format where you have 2 antagonists and a henchman/henchwoman. The primary antagonist is Gustav Graves played by Toby Stephens (who later played Bond in radio adaptations and is arguably better than Brosnan in the role). I can’t say much without spoiling the movie but he’s ridiculous and the character sucks because of the stupidity behind the character, itself. Those who’ve seen this know what I mean and those who haven’t will see what I mean. The secondary antagonist again requires spoilers so I can’t disclose it but I will say that they make for a better villain than the actual primary one.

Graves:You see 007, I’m an Englishman playing a Korean, except I became English.

Bond:And here I thought a Scotsman, Austrailian, Englishman., Welshman, and an Irishman being the same person was bad.

The henchman of the group is Zao played by Rick Yune. I question his Korean ethnicity because Zao isn’t a Korean name. To show where the budget went for this movie, they spent most on his make-up where he has real diamonds inside of it. This is another case where EON tries pimping their villains by giving them ridiculous items that does nothing for the story at all except give Bond a big bad with some odd trait. He’s not a bad henchman but the character is inflated by the odd trait that isn’t needed.

In fact, this film doesn’t need half the garbage that goes on in it. More on this later. The Bond girl is Jinx and she is played by Halle Berry. How suitable since the minute she enters this film it gets jinxed and goes to hell. She’s cut from the “XXX” mold of Bond girl established in The Spy Who Loved Me but this time its done poorly. Pierce and her have absolutely no chemistry and she kills the film dead.

Scary thing is at one point EON wanted to do a spin-off with her. I’m very glad this never happened because I don’t see anything appealing about the character. The action in this film is faker than a WWE Diva’s tits. So much CGI is used and it just gets annoying after a while. I really miss the days of stuntmen and Peter Hunt’s editing.

The locations of this film is basically them trying to think of where Bond hasn’t gone before. North Korea is okay to see but he isn’t there long on terms of actual site seeing. It was nice to see Bond back in the Caribbean, specifically here in Cuba. Iceland is nice to see but gets lost in the CGI. The theme song is “Die Another Day” by Madonna and goes to show that EON really needs John Barry or at least someone who can compose a nice theme. Its atrocious and I find it to be possibly one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard.

Where do I start with my complaints? Well first the CGI bullet at the beginning was just really unnecessary and I’d rather they stop screwing with the gun-barrel. Leave it alone, it works as it was from 1962-1999. Secondly, I won’t lie I love the first 45 minutes of this movie. It had an original plot line which is rare with a Bond film since they get somewhat repetitive(see every Bond film that came out with a “7” on the end of the year).

It’s right after the 45 minute mark that this film just dies. It’s slow, gradual, and painful and I just hate it. They had a really got plot and they decide to instead replace this really good plot with CGI effects, pointless sex jokes, characters that have no real purpose in the grand scheme of the original plot, and the worst part being the INVISIBLE CAR. This movie sucks and its no wonder Bond fans don’t look highly of Brosnan. This is the worst of the series with no doubt in my mind.

Its the 40th anniversary of Dr. No and you give out this? EON really came along ways budget wise from Dr. No, but on terms of quality comparing this to Dr. No and the other films from the series, it’s garbage, pure garbage. Yes the series will Die Another Day but it almost died the day this movie came out. Sure it made 400 million but money isn’t a good measurement of quality of a movie.

In a sense though, you can say the original Bond series is dead since they wiped away all continuity with the release of Casino Royale in 2006. I do miss the quips, Q, Moneypenny, and of course villains with giant lairs that want to take over the world, but I don’t miss ridiculous villains with dumb traits and the endless sex jokes. There was wit in some of the older Bond films but the Brosnan ones were so blatant that they were cringeworthy.

21.

Every time I think of this movie, I get really sad. I’ll explain my reasoning later. This was Roger Moore’s final Bond film because by this point he was roughly 58 years old and waaaaaay over the hill. He’s not bad in his early scenes but I think that’s because of Patrick Macnee and his character. Those two always work well together and it was no exception here. However like the rest of this film, after the 56 minute mark it goes straight to hell.

I think what hurts his performance the most is the lack of chemistry he has with Tanya Roberts (more on that later) and the fact he looks out of place in the 2nd half. This would be another “triangle of evil” type of villain deal where Bond fights 3 villains who compliment each other perfectly. The primary antagonist is Max Zorin, played by Christopher Walken. It is rare to see a Bond film getting a big named star as the villain, but when they do the actor shines in the role. Walken is no exception here, as Zorin he’s psychotic, dangerous, and yet he seems so calm.

He’s very very deceiving and its a shame that Timothy Dalton hadn’t came to the series yet. He seems more suitable for a Dalton villain rather than a Moore one. The secondary antagonist is Carl Mortner played by Willoughby Gray. He doesn’t do much aside from being Max’s scientist friend/possible father. He serves somewhat of a purpose for Zorin’s character but otherwise he’s just kind of there.

The henchman…or henchwoman of the group is May Day played by Grace Jones. Again she’s someone you wouldn’t expect in a Bond film. I found May Day’s character to be rather interesting and the chemistry that Grace had with Walken was fantastic. You can see that she had something for him and that he likely felt something for her, despite what happens in the film. She’s monstrous, powerful, and more of a man than Bond is in this movie (then again, that isn’t too hard).

The Bond girl of this movie is Stacey Sutton played by Tanya Roberts. I didn’t know Midge from That 70’s Show had always been this hot. Well really that’s all she is because she comes across as a ditzy damsel in distress that we saw with the early-Moore films. She seems strong initially and she fights for a cause but in the end she’s just useless and I felt the film could’ve done without her. I often wonder if they just stuck her in there so Bond can have someone to bang.

It’s films like this one that make me wish that Felix Leiter was more present. His character would’ve made sense for someone to have Bond team up with. I guess they felt Bond banging Felix wasn’t as appealing as Bond banging bimbo and that Bond – Random Sex = Not appealing. The action scenes are fine but they could’ve been better. I liked the chase sequence at Zorin’s but the one in San Francisco isn’t that great.

The ending sequence is just…bleh. It was alright until you have Zorin and his band torturing Bond on a blimp. From there its just typical Moore schmozz that haunted the Moore films. I didn’t mind the locations. It was nice to see Paris in a James Bond film and San Francisco isn’t too bad.

I wish it just stayed in Europe, I felt going to America did nothing for this movie. The theme song, “A View to a Kill” by Duran Duran again is one of the best Bond theme songs of the series. It gets you into the movie immediately and is a nice relic of the 80’s. The problems I have with this movie. Well it starts right around the 56 minute mark.

I really liked this movie prior to then. I thought the scenes with Moore and Macnee were great and that there was a lot of suspense in it. Sure there is a silly moment where Moore uses tire air to survive underwater (which I don’t think is possible) but the beginning is great. Its right around the time they change the setting that movie just falls apart. Moore’s age begins to show as it goes on especially with the scenes of him and Roberts.

He seems grandfatherly like with her initially which I don’t mind because that’s how he should be since he’s 58 and she’s 29. It’s just awkward and the two have zero chemistry. Some of the scenes in San Francisco aren’t too bad but its there that you stop believing Moore is Bond since his stuntman looks somewhat different than he does. Then you get dumb moments like the Head of the KGB, General Gogol going to America to do a spy mission and being the getaway driver. Come on, you’re the head of the KGB, surely someone else could do it?

Furthermore wouldn’t U.S. Customs be very suspicious if the head of the KGB came to America, rented a car, and left overnight? It just isn’t believable. I thought the ending was anti-climatic and that there are better ways to end this movie than what we got. You get a Sheriff Pepper throwback in a cop who’s name was so important that I don’t remember it. The plot is a rehash of Goldfinger and its a poorly done rehash.

In the end, most people didn’t want to see anymoore and this ended up being Roger’s end. He would step down after this and has enjoyed the last 26 years being Roger Moore. What is with long-tenured Bond actors ending there run on such terrible films?

Well thats all for Part 1, later in the week I shall do Part 2 featuring films #20 and #19.

3 Comments
  1. So you start your review/countdown with “In Conclusion”? Is this a nod to Brendon Small’s movie reviews on that one episode of Home Movies?

  2. Admittingly I will say I have never seen “Home Movies”. Although it is an ironic beginning to say the least on terms of a title.

  3. Pingback: In Conclusion: The James Bond Series Part 3 | Freakin' Awesome Network

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