Nov 19, 2008

Michael Moore not Roger Moore

"This Bond film is explicit that the United States under Bush has become the bad guy, that US intelligence is in league with rogue mercenaries and brutal, rapist-generals who plot coups against elected governments. Bond therefore has to take on the United States government (at one point, a SWAT team from the CIA Special Activities Division tries to capture Bond in a bar in La Paz, but fails because Leiter tips Bond off to their approach. The good American in this film is the one willing to betray the US government to a more virtuous MI6 field officer). Craig's Bond is an intimation of the sort of Britain that could have been, if Tony Blair had stood up to Bush and refused to be dragged into an illegal war of choice, and into other actions and policies that profoundly contradicted the principles on which the Labour Party had been founded (and you could imagine Craig's Bond voting for Old Labour, while Flemings's was obviously a Tory). In a way, this Bond stands in for Clare Short, who resigned as a cabinet minister from Blair's government in 2003 over the illegitimacy of the Iraq War." — Juan Col, Informed Comment
I had a good time. It's a little confusing (whatever happened to the Bond villains patiently explaining their master plan for the benefit of us ignoramuses?) but the action sequences are genuienly classy as opposed to fake-rolex classy, and the women are great — particularly Fields, the prim English red head who sends men flying to their doom with a cry of "gosh, I'm sorry". There's a great detail, about 50 minutes in, when Bond takes off his shirt as we see a bunch of scars on his body: not nicks and smears from the last fight, or even the last fight but one, but slowly healing welts from some fight three weeks ago. Maybe the car chase at the beginning of the movie? Or the torture scene at the end of Casino Royale? How long does he have between missions anyway?

Foreign Policy meanwhile lists Five Real Missions for 007: infilitrate Pakistan in search of the H-bomb; check up on China's naval capabilities; investigate Russia's new energy wealth; bribe the Taliban; and establish Kim Jong Il's successor.

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