Kissy Suzuki! could have been a hit if she wanted to be.
Granted, those fans who swear fealty to “classic Bond” are, nearly unanimously, in the bag for the one and true Bond, Sean Connery. He’s Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle to Roger Moore’s Dave Kingman or Daniel Craig’s Roger Clemens. Connery had no use for submarine BMWs or nuclear physicists played by Denise Richards, and he never took his charm to the moon. But Connery’s run wasn’t perfect and anyone thinking otherwise is whitewashing their childhood the same way baseball fans choose to forget that the only reason Ty Cobb had 46 inside-the-park home runs was that no one knew how to field baseballs in those oversized parks at the turn of the century.
“From Russia With Love”, for example, starts out with a group of villains walking through their henchman-training facility—a large, outdoor room with temporary walls and no roof that magically suppresses the sound of all the gunfire going on within. In “You Only Live Twice”, Bond puts on a Spock wig and some thick(er) eyebrows and magically becomes Japanese, though he never speaks a word of it. “Goldfinger”, the movie most Bond movies are compared to, featured a megalomaniac who was more than happy killing 50,000 men, women and children in order to make a few million dollars and whose plan to do this involved a team of stunt-flying bombshells crop-dusting Fort Knox with a lethal neurotoxin.
These are the three best Bond movies starring the single greatest Bond ever and yet they still have such prominent, glaring weaknesses, weaknesses that would never see the light of day today. And all that is before we mention any of the chronic shortcomings present in every Bond movie, including the stunted, sped-up fight scenes, the cheap, bloodless deaths, and the terrible acting from non-essential characters. We typically let those blemishes go as a product of their time, but, like second and third string players on the Washington Senators or St. Louis Browns, they must be acknowledged for what they are.
The Sean Connery Bond movies have many terrific strengths and helped create some iconic scenes in movie history, but there’s a lot in there that doesn’t stand up past the filters of nostalgia. Much like comparing today’s players—from Albert Pujols and Justin Verlander down to Matt Treanor and Lew Ford—with the “golden age” contemporaries of Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle, saying that 2012’s “Skyfall” is the greatest Bond movie ever does not take away from Sean Connery’s legendary run as the secret agent. One does not wash away the other.
Posted: November 12, 2012 at 01:41 PM | 104 comment(s)
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