Film: Screen life
Friday 05 December 1997
"I'm going to place them in an easily escapable situation, involving an over-elaborate and exotic death," says Dr Evil of his secret agent quarry in the 007 spoof Austin Powers. Take the mickey out of James Bond? Get an evil mastermind who cannot do the simplest task, like killing someone. "We're not going to actually watch them die, we're going to shut the door and just assume everything goes as planned."
Our hero must go free for future adventures. So it goes in Austin Powers, Matt Helm, Our Man Flint, Simon Templar...
Wouldn't that leave a mark?
The good news is that Bond beds, bonks, bullets, blasts and bullshits just enough through this pounds 65m production to prove he's still the man men want to be, the one that women want to love despite the fact that he has to wear condoms and can hardly find enough evil these days to justify a movie. Thank heavens for Murdoch.
Without him, Jonathan Pryce may have had electric cattle prods for hands or something to lend him that exotic, erotic yet evil edge. As it is, he's a power-mad media mogul, which is creepy enough.
Alas, the Bond "franchise" now needs help from Visa, Smirnoff, Ericsson, BMW, Heineken, Omega and Avis to keep the production British. That's a far cry from the days when an unknown actor called Sean Connery - an ex- body builder who moved like a panther across the parking lot - got $15,000 to star in a little film called Dr No.
It could be so much worse. Tomorrow Never Dies, with its troubled script, bad set reports, and ballooning budget, promised to be a heap of old cobblers. As I saw on this week, Tomorrow Never Dies could be the best Bond yet. And I was weaned on Goldfinger.
(For Bond news - plus screensavers, clips, sounds and, yes, the obligatory mugs, T-shirts and business card cases, call up these excellent websites: www.mcs.net/klast/www/bond/html; www.Ianfleming.org/; www.universalexport.net/).
Life & Style blogs
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Paris Fashion Week: Skirting the issue for the stylish boys' brigade
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
Miss Universe 2015: A beefeater, a yellow tree and an entire hockey game - the bizarre national costumes
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...