Saturday, November 18, 2006

nobody does it better

one after the other we've watched each bond deftly handle anything with wheels , tank treads or long sexy legs in nearly every photogenic city in the world from udaipur to moscow. while each one had his own style, he was still being paid by the queen to cavort around the world enjoying gizmos and girls and to me it seemed like he was not working hard enough for his paycheck. or so i thought. the first few minutes of this movie were enough to justify the salaries of many future bonds.

the bond character begins his nascent journey with a black and white opening montage that shows his first kill. the title song that follows hints that something is different by eschewing the sexy silhouettes and instead opts for some wonderful animation which along with a great song had me mesmerized for a bit. the main movie opens with a spectacular, gritty chase/fight that quickly leads us to another - the pace of the movie and the camera trying really hard to keep up with daniel craig as he races down streets and tarmacs. by the time the camera finally catches up, he has settled down with a martini built to order to play a round of poker. for a good 45 minutes or so you forget that it is bond, as he sits battling wits with his nemesis instead of using a pair of x-ray glasses to look at his cards and his girlfriend's choice of lingerie. this one is certainly a little different. martin campbell,knowing that his US audience has been trained on non-stop tv screenings of world poker championships, deftly swaps bacarrat for texas hold em and it results in an engaging game that everyone vicariously enjoys. i know i did.

the movie then switches to a gear that none of bond's aston martin vanquishes or bmws have ever experienced as he falls headlong in love with the bond girl. eva green does not emerge from the ocean in a bikini. she instead proves to be a bond girl who is aware of bond's nature - a side that other bond girls are happy to ignore. remember though that this tale is of bond's yesteryears. he will change and sadly so will his women. the movie however loses its pace at this juncture. we are forced to wait and watch till he shows up at the end again, utters the most famous line in movie history and monty norman's legendary soundrack fills the theatre for the first time in the movie as the credits start rolling. we now know for sure that bond is back.

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