Here is what I like about James Bond movies: the mission, the secret mission behind the mission, the staples: gadgets, improbable sexual activity (you’re surprised in the shower by a naked man and your first reaction is not OH GOD WHO IS THAT?), euphemistic fireworks, gloating villains, dry smirky British humor, and classic cars. With ejector seats.
Here is what I liked about this James Bond movie: The fact that it took us back to a mini-Wayne Manor (my date called it Wayne Minor which is why he is my date), the fact that Bond went super Kevin McCallister but with more dynamite, the fact that Adele did the theme song, the fact that we got to see a woman of color as an active agent partner instead of just desk candy, every single thing about Javier Bardem except his impressively terrible hair, and the metacommentary of whether we even need this level of hand-to-hand personal espionage in the age of cyberterrorism. Oh and the fact that Q was doing a Sherlock Cumberbatch impression, basically. And the fact that Daniel Craig looked decidedly more craggy than usual–it felt right to see him aging, without the magic healing of a Rocky training montage. He’d even lost his cocky pout from the first movie.
This Sam Mendes Bond flick had a lot of subtlety — Silver’s (Bardem) facial expressions as he ran his hands up and down Bond’s thighs (nothing exposes the internalized homophobia of male Bond fans like a sexually aggressive gay man, amirite? My theater was full of “WHOA”s that no amount of straight sex or violence could elicit), the fact that Bond didn’t truly get angry until Silver blew up his car, and then his anger only manifested as a grimace… and the only overt misogyny was intended to show that Silver was devoid of humanity (the sacrifice of the woman who linked Bond to Silver was…..annoying. But at least she got some shower shenanigans. I guess. I wasn’t thrilled with that part, or with the clunky train miniatures Silver sent speeding at Bond’s head). Oh and also! Daddy Warbucks as George R. R. Martin-looking Harold character!
(Have I told you guys about Harold? It’s a construction the Aged P came up with, an archetype that appears to facilitate the main character’s progress in a crucial way– Chocolat in Moulin Rouge, the woman at the front desk who checks Charlize Theron into the hotel during “Young Adult”…who happens to be the amazing Louisa Krause, HS classmate of yours truly :~)
Also how priceless was it to see Bond on the Tube?! I feel like I would absolutely lose my mind if I glanced to my left on the R train and 007 was elbowing past the guy next to me.
Sigh. I love these films. I love that this iteration of the franchise has brought us full circle, and if they retire Craig or retire Bond alltogether, it would be sad but totally appropriate. Let Bond walk away in a sharp silhouette with those unmistakeable ears.
The previews, though consistent in terms of their audience alternately appalled and delighted me. I will see anything Melissa McCarthy ever does, including this “Identity Theft,” but seriously, fuck Quentin Tarantino for that disaster he made starring Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio, about a former(?) slave trying to get his wife back from a gloating white slave owner. I hate that guy. But I would probably see Die Hard 4.