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Friday, November 24, 2006

007 had me fooled

I happen to be a fan of the James Bond movies. This is partly because you always know what to expect. An insane person tries to destroy the world, but James Bond kills him and his henchmen and along the way makes love to several beautiful and scantily-clad women.

So you can imagine my surprise when I left the cinema tonight after seeing Casino Royale.

Casino Royale
is -- wait for it -- an ACTION movie.

I can hear you yelling "But ALL James Bond movies are action movies!"

See, I didn't think that. I thought they were parodies. Like Austin Powers, only with a smaller smirk. Women who say things like "Can you fit in, Mr. Bond?" or "I only date men with really big...FEET." Men who are either uber-baddies or mere scenery. These always seemed to be parodies of the spy genre, but perhaps this is because I am generally unfamiliar with spy movies anyway.

This James Bond does not generally shoot people. He prefers to hit them REALLY REALLY hard. He has no exciting gadgets: no invisible car or boot rockets. He does, however, carry around his own defibrillator. Good heavens, what's next? A spy with his own personal box of Ex-Lax?

There is, of course, a love interest. Her name is -- wait for it -- Vesper. I am guessing that exactly three of my readers will know what Vespers is. But seriously, Vesper? Aren't 007's girlfriends supposed to have names like Allota Fagina? There are no gratuitous nudity shots of her, either. She actually showers with her clothes on. There are a few beach shots, with the water sensuously trickling down a semi-nude body, but it's BOND'S body.

The bad guy does NOT want to destroy the world. I will not go into the details because I don't want to wreck it for people who want to see the movie. But this is not your typical Bond villain. He is not even the real bad guy: he's SCARED of the real bad guys. A wimpy Bond villain? What is this?

Don't get me wrong: I really liked this movie. But I am going to have to re-evaluate what I thought a James Bond movie was supposed to be. Is it possible that they were meant to be serious all this time?