Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Specter of Ian Fleming

© by Gerald So | | 11:00 A.M.

The first full trailer for Eon's twenty-fourth James Bond movie, Spectre, was released yesterday:

I don't put much stock in trailers, especially for movies I already know I'm going to see. That said, I'm less enthused about Spectre than most Bond fans, mainly because it continues an arc that has run through all of Daniel Craig's Bond movies.

At first, I was intrigued that Quantum of Solace would pick up right where Casino Royale left off, but that continuity didn't drive Quantum very far. I found Craig's second movie oddly artsy, I daresay dull.

Skyfall didn't pick up directly from Quantum. Its plot was exciting, but as Bond came back from a very close brush with death, he seemed older, as if he'd lost a step. I forgot Skyfall was only Craig's third Bond film, and he was signed for two more.

I thought Casino Royale would start a string of younger, grittier adventures the franchise needed to refresh itself. Craig's movies haven't turned out that way, and with Spectre closely linked to Skyfall, Bond will be toting that baggage.

A big draw of Spectre is the return of archenemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld to the franchise. I, too, was excited to hear the trailer's musical nod to On Her Majesty's Secret Service. With a few hours to think about it, though, I don't want new movies to nod too plainly to old movies. I want the writers to come up with new plots for Bond. To me, that's only real way to keep Bond relevant to 2015.

I hear you saying, "Bond was created by Fleming. Part of his charm is his 1950s attitude." Yes, but Fleming's books don't have to be relevant to today. Movies made and set today do.

No comments: