Friday, November 24, 2006

Getting Back to the Bond Essentials

There's no doubt about it, James Bond is back to being a spy instead of a cartoon. This is the James Bond I remember reading about in the Ian Fleming books so long ago. Unsentimental, edgy, stopping at nothing to get the job done.

And yet ... they managed to still keep the movie feeling like the "Bond movie" we expect to see. The opening credits were a brilliant take on the time honored graphics. The opening sequence leading to the credits ... I won't give it away but it was perfectly done. The chase sequence in the beginning was spot-on but nary a space station or huge satellite dish built by a super villain or such thing in sight. In fact, this movie didn't have Q, the quirky inventor of deadly devices, because he wasn't needed. The most that this James Bond needed was a revolver and his quick takes on nearby materials to use. Oh, and maybe the spare defibrillator...

Wait, I take that back. He also needed cell phones. Lots and lots of cell phones. His cell phones. Friends' cell phones. Enemies' cell phones. I never saw so much information gleaned from so many cell phones. But that's ok. How would you get so much product placement in without all those cell phones and computers and automobiles on which to prominently display logos? In fact, the product placement is so shameless that at one point a person says, "That's a nice watch. Rolodex?" "Omega," responds Bond with not so much as a deprecating smile.

However, this Bond movie is worth watching even with all that. This is Bond at the best he has been in a very long time. Welcome back, Mr. Bond.

HC rating: Nine thumbs up.

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