AT LEAST with a Bond flick, you know what to expect: that it will begin with a spectacular chase after which Bond pulls off a miraculous escape; that it will involve a megalomaniac; that there'll be plenty of exotic locations, guns gadgets and girls; and that the finale will feature another successful shoot-out in the baddies' headquarters, followed by a closing shot of Bond having a snog. You know this because you've seen it all 18 times before.
THE MINUTE Brosnan appears on screen you reckon there's not a precision bomb, lippy girl or shaken Martini in the world that will offer any meaningful resistance to his charm. Brosnan can run away from a fireball and still find time to fix his tie; and Brosnan, kingly, flashing, debonair, self- mocking Brosnan, will churn out jokes in the face of approaching band saws, nuclear holocaust and Robert Carlyle's deathly stare. Roll out the scarlet carpet: Bond is back.
LONG GONE is the time, towards the end of Roger Moore's reign, when each new Bond movie seemed drearier than the one before. Also mercifully vanished is the Timothy Dalton era, in which the series was too keen to ape the extreme violence of the Stallone-Schwarzenegger heyday. Since Brosnan took over the glamour and thrill have returned. Brosnan's third is the best of the trio, and in many ways the classiest of all the Bonds. It's formulaic - but because it's been updated with so much skill this remains a winning formula.
MAYBE THERE will be a back-to-basics movement in Bond movies soon: Barbara Broccoli will abandon the spurious updating and just make them period pieces, set in the Fffties with BOAC flights and people playing tense games of contract bridge in Mayfair clubs. Pending this revolution, though, there will be more of the same in the flashy, unreal production line: enjoyable Yuletide romps. And that's enough for me.Reuse content