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In a recent development that I learned of on the AV Club,,40275/ (into which I did exactly no further research) the latest James Bond film will be delayed indefinitely. Given the lackluster nature of the franchise since its reboot as an action series first, last and always, I can’t say that I’m terribly distressed about this development. The first in the relaunch, the updated-for-the-2000s Casino Royale was entertaining in its opening and had potential to be better than it was. Where it failed was featuring 60 minutes of the most bandwagon jumping pandering since the blaxpoilation of Live and Let Die, the Texas Hold ‘Em game. Yes, poker was all the rage that year. So what? Does that make it worthy of the world’s foremost superspy and the villain he is called upon to thwart? The series has been guilty of bandwagon jumpery since before the kung fu school of The Man With the Golden Gun and the chicken-fried comedy of Sheriff J. W. Pepper in both previously mentioned films, but it doesn’t help you in the first film of your continuity reboot to do this. The sheer amount of time devoted to showing this game being played ground the film to a near halt, too, besides the fact that the game sheared a good deal of the glamour from the character. I just never could see Bond, James Bond as a poker player.

The action of the series has taken a definite trip too much to the forefront. The opening chase in Casino Royale helped define the character through his actions, in that when faced with an athletically superior opponent and having no hope of catching him Bond will throw his body on the line to achieve his goal. He took some harsh falls in that, sacrificing himself out of dedication to his job. That’s what made that scene work for me. Then later he got down to some spy work, which is exactly what Quantum of Solace forgot to put into the movie. I don’t recall Bond doing any spying at all. The movie to me was a chase scene, followed by a gun battle, which led to knife fight that ultimately broke down into a punch up, where Bond was the last man standing. He was much more John Matrix than James Bond in it. Just as I didn’t care for Batman venturing into Bond territory in the international kidnapping scene from The Dark Knight, I had no interest in Bond as a straight up action hero, killing everyone in his path. While the series did desperately need a revision of its methodology and a jettison of the blatant cheesiness it had become known for, scrapping the core concept is going too far. At this rate my best guess for the next Bond film, given that it must a) jump a popular bandwagon and b) add needless violence to a character whom is supposed to be engaging in subtlety, is that Bond goes undercover in the world of MMA, fighting a tournament until he reaches a match with the super villain arms dealer and Brazilian jiu-jitsu master in the final round. So, yeah, delay away on that.


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