Der-der-der du-duh-de-de-de-der-der-duh der-der-der-duh-duh
Unlike Alan Gordon Partridge I cannot recount the opening to Bond films off by heart. I do like Bond films, though. My Bond oddity? I have never seen a Dalton Bond. I point blank refused to watch him at the time he took over, I was a Moore loyalist at the time. And I have never redressed this error. I shall. Soon. I own them all, though that is no suggestion that I will watch something: I bought Natural Born Killers about 7 years ago and still haven’t watched it.
I did see a Bond film tonight, appropriately enough it was the one that was released today – the 23rd outing for 007, Skyfall. And very good it was. A cracking start gives way to the setup of the plot and establishing where we are with Bond. It’s the classic ‘am I too old for this?’ arc which runs parallel to the latest super-villain wanting to do really bad things for little more than malevolence. Javier Bardem is said villain and belting he is too. It’s been a good year for villains; Bardem is not quite Bane, but he is almost as good.
It’s common to focus on the villain or the Bond girl when talking about different episodes of the canon. Rightly, though, the current attitude to the Bond films focuses very much on the man himself. Daniel Craig has done no wrong with the license to kill. QOS had its detractors (not me) but you cannot blame him for any alleged faults. I don’t think he is far off from making the debate about the best Bond an actual debate – rather than people trying to suggest it isn’t Connery for some crazy reason.
Skyfall feels like it is my favourite Bond film. I can’t make rash decisions about things like this, though. You need a bit of perspective when bandying about things like which is the best Bond film. And Craig is brilliant again as 007, giving the right amount of fragility to Bond when necessary without ever really allowing you to think he won’t be able to twat the world when he needs to.
There’s one big problem with it, however. There is a good 30-45 minutes of bearded Bond. No. No. No-no-no-no-no-no-no. Stubble-NO-seven. James Bond should always be clean shaven.
The visit to the cinema wasn’t without some tragedy; The new Die Hard trailer was shown before the main feature and it was fucking shit. The Die Hard franchise is very dear to me. Me and many other people of a similar age. That’s because Die Hard is the best action film ever made. Some people scoff at Die Hard II: Die Harder (“They say lightning strikes twice – they were wrong!”) and say it’s just a re-hash of the first film. I say (to that): it’s not though, is it? It’s a similar story but it’s not the same enough to say it is without imagination. Die Hard 3 – known to the world as Die Hard – With a Vengance – was definitely not a retread and found John McClane in another setting where his every(police)man did extraordinary things when pushed to limits. So far so Die Hard.
Then Die Hard 4.0 came out. And I tolerated it because I love John McClane/Bruce Willis. But rather than be driven to the extraordinary when pushed to limits McClane was now throwing cars at helicopters and punching jet planes out of the air (after surfing on its wing).
The trailer for A Good Day to Die Hard does not look like anyone involved with the franchise thinks that DH4.0 went far enough. And the guy cast as McClane’s son looks like a gimp. I would have cast Channing Tatum. Whatever.
Much like I carried on giving Oasis albums a chance and saying they were good; I will go and see this at the cinema and probably find it enjoyable out of sentiment. Then several months later after buying it on Blu-ray – they will get the same amount of money from me regardless of the product – I will admit that it’s a steaming pile of shit.