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2013-06-22: Transfered all of my 2011 "My Year in Music" posts from Facebook.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Superficial Bond Reviews --- #15: The Living Daylights

* Now this is a good start:
Two 00 agents get killed, and this - as I've previously stated - is a good thing. Our new James Bond, Timothy Dalton, immediately chases after the assassin on top a burning jeep full of ammo, kills him and parachutes off to a yacht to bang some chick he's never seen before. On top of that, he's deliberately late for work.
This may be the best opening in Bond movie history.

* The Norwegian 80s pop deities a-ha [sic] provide this year's bond tune, and it's great.
It's incredibly catchy, unbelievably well-made and... I can't possibly describe how good it is. Best Bond tune ever.
No, this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I'm Norwegian, myself. How dare you question my objectivity!?

a-ha: the glue keeping the Living Daylights - and possibly the World - together

* In an early scene, we see 007 about to perform an assassination, and I really, really like the idea of that - Bond sniping the crap outta someone on Her Majesty's orders. It's edgy, it's kinda provocative, and it gives great depth... oh, never mind. Bond misses his target deliberately, and says something like "stuff my orders!" which makes me collapse with disappointment.
So he's the headstrong cop who won't take orders from his boss, eh? Guess we're still in the eighties, then. Yawn.

* If Bond actually blew his target's brains all over the wall, the way he was supposed to, I wouldn't have to put up with brainless bond bimbo Maryam d'Abo.
She's a walking pout with stupid hair attached to it - she's like Diane from Cheers, with no sex appeal or humor. Yeah. Diane from Cheers, then.
Seeing that Timothy Dalton is such a babe, and that he's so cool (he smokes and everything!), I'm having a hard time believing that he'd nail her, unless it were strictly in the line of duty.
Every scene with those two lovebirds, is like some sort of artificial, half-assed opera, where they bolt after one another across the room and go "oh, James!" and "you can't come with me - it's not safe for you" and all that kind of dreary crap.
Next time, 007, you follow your damn orders!

* Thank God for the Aston Martin. Sorry, I mean - the ASTON MARTIN!
In tLD, they finally decide to give Bond a car again, and what a car! The Aston Martin V8 Volante - it's as if an American muscle car from the 70 met with a classic, English automobile and made a beautiful, beautiful love child together.
Of course, it comes with the "optional extras" too, and we get a few great scenes involving missiles and carved-up Soviet cars and stuff... but come on: Making Bond's car carve a hole in a frozen lake with its wheels, so that his pursuers fall in? Nobody thought that might not belong in a movie for grown-ups?
Obviously not - this is the same movie where 007 and Diane from Cheers go tobogganing in a cello case.

* The Dangerous KGB Henchman in this movie, Max Headroom, has gotten the right balance of silliness/violence, though.
Granted, there's a looot of silliness in throwing explosive milk bottles and rigging a sliding door to crush someone, but the sheer brutality of it makes it very fun, and very Bond. By not even showing the body of the guy being slammed by the door, the movie suggests that the results are awful; and the exploding milk bottles really pack a punch and send dudes flying around like meaty rag dolls. Got milk, bitches!?

* Then, for some reason, Bond et al end up in Afghanistan - and that part of the movie is a train wreck. (A boring train wreck, if such a thing is possible. A remote-controlled cargo train full of pillow cases derailing at 20 mph, falling sideways onto grass).
First of all, the Afghanistan sequence has that foul stink of writers trying to make a political statement without actually knowing anything of substance. Second of all, it's all the dumb scenes I have to suffer through.
In one scene, Bond escapes a nasty little jail with a nasty little jail guard. As he's leaving, some bearded dude asks Bond to help him get out, and Bond throws him the keys. What? Really? How the hell does Bond know what he's in for? For all he knows, he's releasing a cannibalistic serial child rapist! That it's an "evil jail" doesn't mean that everyone who's locked up there is good.
In another scene, Bond escapes a dangerous situation and gets hold of an AK-47, which he fires into the air - to scare people from following him, I guess. Why's this so bad? Because most of the bad guys are standing right in front of him! He has the chance to absolutely, positively blast everyone into little pieces, but chooses to shoot air instead.
Is that one of your "judgment calls", like when you refused to puncture Diane from Cheers' skull with a bullet? Explain that one, 007!

* When everyone's finally left Afghan soil, there's a fantastic action scene to behold. Here, James Bond fights Max Headroom on a huge net full of drugs, hanging on the outside of a cargo plane.
Spoiler warning: Bond wins.

* There's a showdown between Bond and the fat main villain, and Bond manages to annoy me for one last time before the movie ends. The bad fat guy has a bulletproof shield mounted on his gun, something that 007 discovers when he tries to shoot him in the face. Completely puzzled by the existence of bulletproof glass, and forgetting that he had such glass in the Aston (and even pointed that out to Diane) earlier in the movie, he proceeds to shoot more bullets into the glass. No, not into the cubic mile of fat torso under the glass. That would be too easy.
As usual, the main villain is totally forgettable. Even the people involved in the Bond franchise realize this, and will later get that same actor back to play a completely different, good guy character in Goldeneye, eight years later. Nobody on Earth give a shit.
I fear that Blofeld might have created an impossible void to fill after his unworthy demise. I, for one, miss a good nemesis for James Bond.
Nemeses certainly don't grow on trees, but at least I get a chance to show everyone that I know the plural form of "nemesis", like the dick I am.

1 comment:

  1. I love a-ha!! Greetings from Romania!