Film Reviews

Memo to James Bond

Memo to James Bond
To: James Bond
From: Todd Anthony
Re: GoldenEye

Welcome to the Nineties, 007. I thought you were dead, a victim of the changing times and the inability of the guardians of the Bond legacy to find a suitable actor to play you. Pierce Brosnan will never make anyone forget Sean Connery, but he has more spunk than Tim Dalton. (Let's not even discuss that pathetic fop Roger Moore.)

I was relieved to see you emerge victorious from your running battle with that treacherous Russian pilot-turned-assassin, Xenia Onatopp. When will these aspiring femme fatales ever learn? Just because a beautiful woman smokes cigars, drives insanely, enjoys biting as foreplay, orgasms when she caps people, and gives new meaning to the phrase "killer legs" doesn't mean she can have her way with the deadliest secret agent of them all.

And that chase scene with the tank through the streets of St. Petersburg -- what a hoot! One of the best Bond-movie chases ever. Some nice stunts, too, although many of the vaunted high-tech special effects failed to impress me.

No complaints about the Bond women this time out, either. Gorgeous and resourceful. Just the way we sexist dinosaurs love 'em. Too bad about M, though. Your paternally tolerant old boss replaced by a woman. And a stiff, humorless, middle-age numbers-cruncher at that.

I do have some bones to pick, old chap. First, I think the filmmakers took too long to introduce GoldenEye's villain. By the time we find out who it is, we're already apathetic. And then it turns out to be one of your blandest, least-challenging nemeses. Quitean disappointment.

And another thing. It's always a pleasure to hear the words "My name is Bond, James Bond" and "Vodka martini A shaken, not stirred," and to meet Q and Moneypenny and all the gang. But could you see to it that next time out the filmmakers work it all into the movie a little less obtrusively? It all seemed so self-conscious in GoldenEye.

But basically, James, GoldenEye wasn't bad. A bit long and not the sexiest or most thrilling Bond movie. But a Bond movie nonetheless, and far from an embarrassment like Moonraker. Welcome back.

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Todd Anthony
Contact: Todd Anthony