A couple of comments on James Bond from the post below that I wanted to comment on in a bit more detail:
asks 'who would you cast Tony as?'
(I presume she's referring to Tony Blair, Fettes College's second most famous alumnus) It's actually a tricky one to answer. He's not really convincingly evil, malevolent or cunning enough to be the big villain and couldn't really be a henchman. Bond himself is out of course, if only because I can't see Tony being able to do all the drinking and womanising the job involves, and and I doubt that his desire for publicity would be regarded as a useful asset for any other career in MI6. So, the role would have to be some sort of flunky Bond meets on the way and dismisses quickly, or the rather obvious panicking politician occasionally seen in Bond movies (Julian Fellowes' Defence Secretary in Tomorrow Never Dies
springs to mind) who always thinks Bond and MI6 have failed and is about to send the troops in until Bond achieves his mission at the end.
comments, referring to George Lazenby: 'Am I the only person in the world to think the Australian guy (whose name momentarily escapes me) who played Bond in 'On Her Majesty\'s Secret Service' was really good?'
It's one of those questions that can keep film fans debating for hours, but my feeling is that he was pretty hard done by and unlucky. In his one outing as Bond, in On Her Majesty's Secret Service
, he did show signs of being able to carry off the role, particularly in the romance with Diana Rigg's Tracy. However, the main plot of the film was terrible with his main job seemingly being to wear a kilt, call himself Hilary and infiltrate a girl's finishing school in Switzerland that Blofeld is using for nefarious purposes. It's a plot one would associate with Carry On Spying
or a scene from Casino Royale
than a real Bond one. It would have been interesting if he'd been given the chance to be Bond in Diamonds are Forever
or Live and Let Die
and then you could make a better judgement on his abilities. I'd still rank him above Roger Moore, if only for the fact that he could act with more than just one eyebrow.
suffers from something that's affected a couple of the more recent Bond movies as well (notably Tomorrow Never Dies
and The World Is Not Enough
) - the 'is that it?' factor. It comes at the moment when you discover the villain's evil plan and you end up thinking 'is that it?' or, in more detail, 'you went to all that trouble just for that?' TND
is probably the best (or worst, depending on the point of view) example of this - Carver goes to incredible lengths (stealing GNS devices, building a stealth boat, goading Britain and China to the brink of war) and then reveals that he's done it all to sell more newspapers and get more people watching his TV channels. Now, we all know media barons are men who'd do almost anything to make an extra dollar or two, but aren't Bond villains meant to be trying to take over the world, or at least a major part of it? And in TWINE
, Elektra is again willing to go to extraordinary lengths, including blowing up a nuclear submarine in Istanbul... to get an oil pipeline built. Given the amount of money needed for the plan, wouldn't it have just been cheaper to bribe a few people? They're the sort of plans you suspect a real villain like Blofeld would have been able to achieve in a couple of hours rather than an entire film.
There's not anything necessarily wrong with Bond foiling plots that aren't to take over the world, but when they're done well, the film isn't so much about the intricacies of the villain's plan but the personal interplay between Bond and the villain. Both of the Dalton films are like this, but the classic of the type is probably Goldfinger
- which, of course, is the best Bond film.