Summer's heroes sweat the details … profusely
Now that the major “franchise” movies of the summer have been unveiled, it’s time to ask the big question:Where’s James Bond now that we need him? The classic Bond movies had action, but they also had wit and style. By contrast, this summer’s movies are noisy and overwrought. Sean Connery was the king of cool. On the other hand, Angelina Jolie and even Tom Cruise (not to mention the thugs from “A-Team”) seem sweaty and over-caffeinated. Consider summer epics like “Knight and Day,” “Prince of Persia,” “Jonah Hex” and “Salt” and here’s the common denominator: They’re all trying too hard. Now think back on “Goldfinger” or “From Russia With Love” or “Thunderball.” They flirted with audiences rather than hammering them into submission. (They also cost a lot less money.) We all know why James Bond is on hiatus: MGM and UA have stalled and the Bond franchise has stalled with them. Until that morass is resolved we’re going to have to settle for the James Bond videogame, called “Blood Stone,” which is newly released by Activision. It cost well over $100 million to create and it has both Daniel Craig and Judi Dench, but it’s still a videogame. There have been some 22 Bond movies over the last 50 years and Bond has been played by actors ranging from Cool Connery to Roger Moore, who, at times, seemed more like a courtly maitre d’ than an action hero. Craig, the most recent Bond, was by far the most lethal — the movies’ body count increased accordingly — but he’s still downright laidback compared with the action heroes of the moment, even Cruise. “When Cruise was young, he played hustlers with terrific drive, but ‘cool’ is simply out of his range — he’s too jacked up for that,” wrote David Denby in the New Yorker. He added: “Right about now, audiences could use an international comedy thriller with fancy travel, fine hotels and dazzling oil-free beaches.” Sounds to me like the prescription for a Bond movie.
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